Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

High School Students Suspended for Roles in Rodenmeyer Bully-cide

Jamey Rodenmeyer,14, bullied by high school classmates

Williamsburg School District, New York – An unspecified number of North High School students have been suspended for bullying Jamey Rodenmeyer, who killed himself in September following unrelenting anti-gay harassment.  The Advocate reports that the suspensions resulted from information shared by police after the Rodenmeyer case was closed.  Though Amherst law enforcement authorities declined to bring charges against students in the case, they identified at least five incidents of anti-gay bullying aimed at Rodenmeyer, a 14-year-old freshman. The boy’s parents and school officers were not informed of the bullying incidents in question until it was too late.

School officials would not say the number of students suspended, but indicated that each of them faced a “minimum suspension” of at least five days.  Longer term suspensions may have been invoked, as well, though expulsion from school is not permitted for youths of this age.  These suspensions mark the second round of actions taken by the school system since Rodenmeyer’s death.  A female student who said she was “glad he was dead” was suspended soon after the suicide. Rodenmeyer, whose “It Gets Better” YouTube video gained wide circulation and the attention of Lady Gaga, took his life by hanging on September 18.

December 5, 2011 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Bullycide, Bullying in schools, gay teens, GLBTQ, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, It Gets Better Project (IGBP), Lady Gaga, Law and Order, LGBTQ, LGBTQ suicide, New York | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on High School Students Suspended for Roles in Rodenmeyer Bully-cide

Heartbroken 14-year-old Gay Youth Tormented to Death

Amherst, New York – Jamey Rodenmeyer wrote Lady Gaga lyrics on his Facebook page the weekend before he took his own life: “Don’t forget me when I come crying to heaven’s door.”  The quotation is from “The Queen,” a song included on Lady Gaga’s hit album, “Born This Way.”  The 14-year-old Williamsville North High student suffered unrelenting taunting and cyberbullying for being gay. Though he was in counseling with a therapist and a social worker, and was supported by his parents and a host of fans around the country due to his YouTube video for the “It Gets Better” project, the cumulative effect of psychic trauma and fear of violence broke down young Rodenmeyer’s defenses. His parents, who found Jamey’s body outside their home on September 19, told WGRZ Buffalo that they are certain he killed himself because of the bullying.  Rodenmeyer’s suicide immediately rekindled nationwide concern and anger over the culture of violence elementary, middle, and secondary school LGBTQ students face in and out of classrooms every day.  Lady Gaga called for a campaign to make bullycide a hate crime by law (no bullying laws exist in New York State).  An outspoken advocate for the gay and lesbian community, Gaga tweeted her fans: “Jamey Rodemeyer, 14 yrs old, took his life because of bullying.  Bullying must become be illegal. It is a hate crime.”  She then committed herself to approach President Obama.  “I am meeting with our President,” she posted.  “I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey.”  Dan Savage, the co-originator of the “It Gets Better” project for which Rodemeyer made a video last May, said that he broke down and cried when he heard about the youth’s suicide.  Savage wrote on his blog, “The point of the ‘It Gets Better’ project is to give kids like Jamey Rodemeyer hope for their futures. But sometimes hope isn’t enough. Sometimes the damage done by hate and by haters is simply too great. Sometimes the future seems too remote. And those are the times our hearts break.”

The insults, rumors, and ridicule became too much for Jamey to bear.  On a Formspring site he opened to chat with friends online, he was targeted by irrational hate.  The Washington Post reports two representative instances of hate speech that would have unsettled anyone, no matter how well grounded: “JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!” an anonymous detractor wrote. Another went straight for his heart: “I wouldn’t care if you died. No one would. So just do it 🙂 It would make everyone WAY more happier!”  Even though there were expressions of support among the posts to his site, the loudness of the hate drowned out the love. In hindsight, Jamey’s cries for help are all too obvious.  On September 9, he wrote on Facebook, “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. … What do I have to do so people will listen to me? No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you’re the ones calling me [gay slur] and tearing me down.”  But the face he let his parents see was calm and relatively upbeat.  Just days before he took his own life, the family went on a camping trip.

Amherst Police are investigating whether charges may be brought against youths who continually dogged Rodenmeyer with taunts and slurs. Buffalo News reports that the Special Victims Unit has been assigned to investigate whether crimes were committed against Jamey.  Cyberbullying, especially if it was centered on Rodenmeyer’s sexual orientation, could carry charges against his tormentors.  Police spokesmen have said that they are focusing their probe on one to three young harassers who targeted Rodenmeyer ever since he was a student at Heim Middle School. “We’re looking into it to see if he was the victim of any crimes, and that’s the bottom line,” Amherst Chief of Police John C. Askey told reporters. “We’re going to be speaking to school officials and students and anyone with direct information about crimes that may have been committed against this individual.”

Nearly 5,000 youths commit suicide each year, according the Centers for Disease Control, making teen suicide, especially teen LGBTQ suicide, a national health issue.  But the statistics cannot adequately count the cost of bullying in American society. Criminal harassment, ridicule, and threats strike real boys and girls one-by-one, like Jamey Rodenmeyer, and rip away their futures. In the last communication of his short life, Jamey tweeted Lady Gaga, “@ladygaga bye mother monster thank you for all you have done, paws up forever.”  In a tribute to Gaga, Jamey’s parents buried him Saturday wearing his “Born This Way” tee shirt.

September 23, 2011 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Bisexual persons, Blame the victim, Bullycide, Bullying in schools, Dan Savage, gay men, gay teens, Gender Variant Youth, GLBTQ, harassment, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, It Gets Better Project (IGBP), Lady Gaga, Law and Order, Legislation, Lesbian women, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ, LGBTQ suicide, New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Heartbroken 14-year-old Gay Youth Tormented to Death

President Obama Officially Proclaims June 2011 “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month”

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2011

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2011

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

The story of America’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law.  Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since taking office, my Administration has made significant progress towards achieving equality for LGBT Americans.  Last December, I was proud to sign the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  With this repeal, gay and lesbian Americans will be able to serve openly in our Armed Forces for the first time in our Nation’s history.  Our national security will be strengthened and the heroic contributions these Americans make to our military, and have made throughout our history, will be fully recognized.

My Administration has also taken steps to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans in Federal housing programs and to give LGBT Americans the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital.  We have made clear through executive branch nondiscrimination policies that discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the Federal workplace will not be tolerated. I have continued to nominate and appoint highly qualified, openly LGBT individuals to executive branch and judicial positions.  Because we recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, my Administration stands with advocates of equality around the world in leading the fight against pernicious laws targeting LGBT persons and malicious attempts to exclude LGBT organizations from full participation in the international system.  We led a global campaign to ensure “sexual orientation” was included in the United Nations resolution on extrajudicial execution — the only United Nations resolution that specifically mentions LGBT people — to send the unequivocal message that no matter where it occurs, state-sanctioned killing of gays and lesbians is indefensible.  No one should be harmed because of who they are or who they love, and my Administration has mobilized unprecedented public commitments from countries around the world to join in the fight against hate and homophobia.

At home, we are working to address and eliminate violence against LGBT individuals through our enforcement and implementation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  We are also working to reduce the threat of bullying against young people, including LGBT youth. My Administration is actively engaged with educators and community leaders across America to reduce violence and discrimination in schools.  To help dispel the myth that bullying is a harmless or inevitable part of growing up, the First Lady and I hosted the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March. Many senior Administration officials have also joined me in reaching out to LGBT youth who have been bullied by recording “It Gets Better” video messages to assure them they are not alone.

This month also marks the 30th anniversary of the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which has had a profound impact on the LGBT community.  Though we have made strides in combating this devastating disease, more work remains to be done, and I am committed to expanding access to HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Last year, I announced the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.  This strategy focuses on combinations of evidence-based approaches to decrease new HIV infections in high risk communities, improve care for people living with HIV/AIDS, and reduce health disparities. My Administration also increased domestic HIV/AIDS funding to support the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and HIV prevention, and to invest in HIV/AIDS-related research.  However, government cannot take on this disease alone.  This landmark anniversary is an opportunity for the LGBT community and allies to recommit to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and continuing the fight against this deadly pandemic.

Every generation of Americans has brought our Nation closer to fulfilling its promise of equality.  While progress has taken time, our achievements in advancing the rights of LGBT Americans remind us that history is on our side, and that the American people will never stop striving toward liberty and justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2011 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

June 1, 2011 Posted by | African Americans, Anglo Americans, Asian Americans, Bisexual persons, Bullying in schools, Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT), gay men, Gay Pride Month, gay teens, gender identity/expression, Gender Variant Youth, GLBTQ, hate crimes prevention, HIV/AIDS, Housing Discrimination, It Gets Better Project (IGBP), Latino and Latina Americans, Legislation, Lesbian women, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ, LGBTQ suicide, Matthew Shepard Act, Native Americans, President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, Repeal of DADT, transgender persons, Washington, D.C. | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on President Obama Officially Proclaims June 2011 “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month”

“Unfinished Lives” Book Tour Rolls Through North Carolina

 

Stephen Sprinkle signs "Unfinished Lives" book at Barton College, Wilson, North Carolina (Keith Tew photograph)

Raleigh, North Carolina – The Unfinished Lives Book Tour is visiting cities, churches, and campuses throughout the Old North State, and buzz is growing on the book wherever it goes.  Dr. Sprinkle commenced at the home of the Reverends Phil Jones and Cathy Cralle-Jones in Cary on April 9, where a packed house heard the story of how Unfinished Lives came to be. “I survived an anti-gay hate crime threat myself in 2000,” Dr. Sprinkle told the gathering of well-wishers for the book.  “That near-brush with physical violence just because I was gay set me on the journey to learn as much as I could about other stories of hate crimes victims in the United States,” he said. Representatives of St. Paul’s Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Hillyer Memorial Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, Covenant Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Cary, Hopewell United Methodist Church in Sampson County, and the Graduate School at North Carolina State University engaged Dr. Sprinkle in a lively Q & A on hate crimes in America.  On Sunday, April 10, Dr. Sprinkle preached for the 9 and 11 a.m. services at St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church in Wilmington, an LGBTQ-predominant congregation founded after the brutal 1990 disembowelment slaying of lesbian carpenter, Talana Quay Kreeger, “Talana with the wild, blonde hair.”  No church in the city would allow Kreeger’s funeral because of the negativity toward her homosexuality, though she was the innocent victim of a horrendous hate crime.  Coastal Carolina queer folk vowed never to depend on a straight Christian congregation again to allow a funeral for one of their own. Local visionary activist, social worker Tab Ballis, introduced Dr. Lou Buttino, head of the UNC-Wilmington Film Studies Department, and announced that “The Park View Project” documenting the murder of Talana Kreeger, would be seen to completion by the eminent filmmaker. Reverend John A. McLaughlin, pastor of St. Jude’s, welcomed Dr. Sprinkle on behalf of the city of Wilmington. In the afternoon, representatives of St. Jude’s and First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Wilmington, and Winterville Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) joined Dr. Sprinkle for a book signing at Two Sisters Bookery in the historic Cape Fear Riverfront Cotton Exchange. On Monday, April 11, Dr. Sprinkle spoke at the NC State University GLBT Center “Lunch and Learn” event, and signed copies of his book. Center Director Justine Hollingshead and Emeritus Professor Bill Swallow hosted Dr. Sprinkle at State, where members of the Wolfpack Football Team were in attendance for the talk. This was Dr. Sprinkle’s second appearance at the NC State GLBT Center. In the afternoon, Dr. Sprinkle and Rev. Phil Jones went to Wilson to deliver a lecture and sign books at Barton College.  Dr. Sprinkle was hosted by Dr. Joe Jones, and greeted by members of the Religion and Philosophy, Sociology, Social Work, and English faculties of the college. He spoke on “Honor and Educate: How the Community of the Dead Shapes LGBTQ Community.”  Students, faculty, and staff asked many probing and pertinent questions about the nature of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes and the linkage with religious intolerance. On Tuesday, April 12, Rev. Jones and Dr. Sprinkle traveled to Duke University Divinity School in Durham for a book signing sponsored by Cokesbury Bookstore. Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, renowned theological ethicist, called “America’s best theologian” by Time Magazine, attended, and got his copy of Unfinished Lives. “These stories need to be gotten out there,” Dr. Hauerwas said. He presented Dr. Sprinkle with a signed copy of his 2005 book, Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words. Later in the afternoon, the tour went to the LGBTQ Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where Dr. Sprinkle and Rev. Jones were greeted by Terry Phoenix, Center Director. A topic of discussion was the April 4 torture attack on gay UNC student Quinn Matney, who claimed he was branded by a super-hot metal instrument while being held down by his assailant. “Here is a taste of hell for you, you fucking faggot!”, the UNC student said his attacker shouted while torturing him, as reported to the Daily Tarheel. Before departing Chapel Hill, Dr. Sprinkle introduced his book to Dr. Rick Edens and Dr. Jill Edens, co-pastors at the 800-member United Church, a congregation of the United Church of Christ. Dr. Sprinkle plans to contact RDU leaders on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program on Wednesday, before returning to Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth.  The book tour is making friends and news everywhere it goes.  A four-session series on the book is planned for Houston during Pride Month, in June, and a six city national tour in the Fall.  Stay tuned for more on Unfinished Lives!

April 12, 2011 Posted by | African Americans, Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Barton College, Beatings and battery, Bisexual persons, Book Tour, Bullying in schools, Burning and branding, Cokesbury Books, Covenant Christian Church, death threats, desecration of corpses, Duke Divinity School, Evisceration, First Christian Church Wilmington, funerals, gay bashing, gay men, gay teens, gender identity/expression, Gender Variant Youth, harassment, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Human Rights Campaign Religion and Faith Program, It Gets Better Book, It Gets Better Project (IGBP), Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, Legislation, Lesbian women, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ suicide, Matthew Shepard Act, NC State GLBT Center, NC State Graduate School, North Carolina, Park View Project, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Public Theology, Queer, Racism, rape, religious hate speech, religious intolerance, School and church shootings, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, St Jude's MCC, stabbings, stalking, Stanley Hauerwas, Stomping and Kicking Violence, Strangulation, suicide, Torture and Mutilation, transgender persons, transphobia, Two Sisters Bookery, U.S. Navy, UNC-Chapel Hill LGBTQ Center, UNC-W Film Studies Program, Unfinished Lives Book Signings, United Church of Chapel Hill, Unsolved LGBT Crimes, women | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Unfinished Lives” Book Tour Rolls Through North Carolina

“It Gets Better” Makes Us All Stronger! A Special Comment by Dr. Stephen Sprinkle

Dr. Stephen Sprinkle and Dan Savage (Unfinished Lives Project Director, Dr.Sprinkle, was an early contributor to the "It Gets Better Project").

When Dan Savage and Terry Miller conceived of the “It Gets Better Project,” the goal they had was a hundred videos.  Now there are over 10,000 of them, and the videos have been viewed over 40,000,000 times to date—and growing!  Dan has said that had there been 20 videos online, and one life saved, it would have been worth it.  We know now that many, many teenage lives have been given new hope, and also that young lives by the hundreds have been saved by this visionary project.  As the Jewish Talmud teaches, Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5; Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a).  The IGB Project, and now the New York Times bestselling book by the same name has already saved a galaxy of worlds by this rabbinic measure.

But the IGB project and book have gone one better than this, if such a thing might be possible.  Dan, Terry, and the worldwide host of contributors to this positive effort have changed the world irrevocably, queer and straight alike.  Here are two of the ways I see.

First, the “coming out story,” a staple of LGBTQ life, has been transformed into a declaration of how the queer community is overcoming shame, persecution, and victimhood—and coming on strong.  For two generations since Stonewall, the coming out story has been a way LGBTQ people shared their struggles and established solidarity with each other.  Most of these stories were accounts of struggle, hurt, and survival. Queer folk got to see they were not alone and isolated—we heard the battles others fought, and compared scars—and that was powerful for all parties, because these stories allowed us to see that there were others like us in this difficult world—that we resisted and lived on into a new life together, no longer alone.  But IGB went a crucial step further: as thousands of us were empowered to speak directly to queer teenagers with a positive message of hope and power, “It really does get better, and this is how it got better for us,” we got to overhear ourselves rehearsing stories of strength and success—not just repetitions of woe and endurance.  IGB powered up the queer community to tell the whole world how we are defeating opposition in fine style thousands of different ways everyday.  The message is, “We are no one’s patsies anymore, thank you! And we are ready and able to make things improve for ourselves and our teens every day, until it gets better for all of us!”  IGB changed the coming out story into the overcoming stories of a powerful queer people who will never settle for victimhood again.  In my religious tradition, as a queer Baptist preacher, that makes me want to shout, Hallelujah!

Second, IGB empowered our straight allies to come out strong, too.  From President Obama to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  From Prime Minister David Cameron to Lutheran Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson. From moms and pops, school teachers who taught us, and straight employers who hired us.  Our allies joined the queer community to make the message of zero tolerance for school bullying perfectly queer.  I know the term “queer” rankles some genteel sentiments, but to see the way our straight allies have taken the term and wrapped themselves in it for our sakes should dispel the last reservations we have about the word and about how the LGBTQ movement for human rights and equal dignity will grow and eventually prevail.  Straight queer allies by the hundreds of thousands are rising up against bullying, het privilege, and the culture of violence that imperils not only gender non-conforming youth, but all youth everywhere.  By ourselves, LGBTQ people are not numerous enough to change the het world.  But IGB shows youth and adults in our LGBTQ communities—out or closeted—that growing numbers of queerly empowered straight allies are joining us to transform the world we all share.  This is no panacea, of course.  My generation may not live to see it, especially in the churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques where old prejudices linger with desperate power.  But even there, straight allies are queering religion with us.  When the annals of these years are written, I believe the IGB Project will feature prominently in the story of how all us queers, LGBTQ and straight, overcame together. Like the Black Gospel refrain goes, “Over! Over! My soul looks back and wonders how I got over!”

So, Dan and Terry, and the tens of thousands who have rallied to the cause of a safer world for youth to grow up in, a salute to you!  The children will rise up to call you “blessed.”  And so does this mighty queer Baptist preacher from Texas, too!    ~ Stephen V. Sprinkle, Brite Divinity School, and Unfinished Lives Project Director

April 3, 2011 Posted by | African Americans, Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Bisexual persons, Bullying in schools, Dan Savage, gay bashing, gay men, gay teens, gender identity/expression, Gender Variant Youth, harassment, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, It Gets Better Book, It Gets Better Project, It Gets Better Project (IGBP), Latino and Latina Americans, Latinos, Lesbian women, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ suicide, Popular Culture, religious hate speech, religious intolerance, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, Special Comments, Stonewall Inn, transgender persons, transphobia | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “It Gets Better” Makes Us All Stronger! A Special Comment by Dr. Stephen Sprinkle

Gay Prof’s Message to Gay Youth Goes National: “God Loves You!”

Fort Worth, Texas – A gay divinity school professor’s short video message of God’s acceptance and love for LGBTQ youth has “gone national,” according to The Dallas Voice.  Reporting on an Associated Press story about the It Gets Better Project started by Dan Savage to speak directly to American gay young people who have been shaken by multiple teen gay suicide throughout the nation, Dallas Voice online editor, John Wright, opined that Dr. Stephen Sprinkle’s Santa Claus-like demeanor and grandfatherly message has struck a positive chord among thousands of YouTube watchers.  Sprinkle’s 4-minute video was one of only four featured in a national AP story about submissions to the effort to give LGBTQ teens and young adults a reason to resist suicide because of despair.  Savage told the New York Times what he hoped would happen as gay men and lesbians caught onto the idea of sending a positive message to LGBTQ teens through YouTube.  He said, “I don’t want it to be ‘lifestyles of the gay and fabulous.’  What we want to say to kids is that if you don’t win the economic lottery, and most people don’t, you can have a good and decent and fun life that brings love.” In barely two weeks, the It Gets Better Channel on YouTube has had over 1,000 video uploads selected by Savage, and a million visitors.  As the AP story says, “comment threads are growing and e-mails are pouring in from bullied and closeted teens.”  Among the many emails Sprinkle has received have been two so far from young men struggling with God and their sexuality.  One who is 18 told Sprinkle he was on the verge of “exploding” over the question of God and gays.  As a closeted gay person, the teen doubts that God can love and approve of a same-gender-loving person.  Over and over, he asked Sprinkle “Does God hate me? Are you sure?”  Sprinkle replied, “Heavens no!  God created you wonderfully and beautifully as a gay person. God doesn’t make mistakes.”  Then Sprinkle says he connected the youth with counseling help so that the healing can begin in this young man’s life.  At this point, over 12,000 viewers have seen Sprinkle’s video.  When asked about how the sudden popular response to the video makes him feel, Sprinkle said, “My hope is that, regardless of the messenger, the message gets through that God fully and thoroughly accepts and loves LGBTQ young people.”

October 8, 2010 Posted by | African Americans, Anglo Americans, Bisexual persons, gay men, gay teens, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, It Gets Better Project (IGBP), Latino and Latina Americans, Lesbian women, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ suicide, Media Issues, Popular Culture, religious hate speech, religious intolerance, Social Justice Advocacy, Texas, transgender persons, transphobia, Trevor Project | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gay Prof’s Message to Gay Youth Goes National: “God Loves You!”

   

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