Thursday, October 14, 2010

Meet Joel Burns

I realize I said last week that there's no "epidemic" of bullying -- of gay kids or otherwise -- and merely a series of unfortunate and highly publicized coincidences. I stand by this. But it doesn't change the fact that those who were bullied to the point where they felt like suicide was the only way out suffered greatly -- and undeservedly. And now their families are left with nothing but a lifetime of pain and loss.

And yes, it will continue. There will be others.

So watch this, from start to finish.

By this time tomorrow, this clip will be everywhere -- and Councilman Joel Burns of Fort Worth, Texas, will be called a hero. And rightfully so.


Holly said...

Holy shit, this is powerful and amazing.

Anonymous said...

what a speech. I'm proud to be a Texan today.

Jacki Schechner said...


Pants said...

Beautiful and necessary, not because of the "epidemic", but because being gay isn't abnormal and public office needs to reflect that.

Burns is right to say it does get better. When I was growing up, my gay cousin who lived with us had a very hard time at school. Today, looking at my younger cousin, who's eleven now and known on YouTube as "Lenny Gaga", being young and gay has become much more socially accepted, if not totally cool.

Granted, I do live in the Netherlands instead of Texas, but we have plenty of rednecks here as well. My point is, there were a lot of vocal and powerful gay roll models here for these kids to look up to. Not just in the entertainment industry, but also in politics, business and education. That is what is needed to finally emancipate this group of people and overcome the assbackward reasoning of their tormentors.

My hat is off to Joel Burns.

Nick said...

Thanks for posting that, Chez. I'm heartened that Burns' words will reach a lot of kids who need to hear them, and also that most of the council chambers rose and stood to applaud. Change is happening, slowly but surely.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joel Burns. It is worth repeating that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Heather said...

He has an open Facebook page for his City Council work, and you can find it here:

So many people have gone there to leave wonderful and supportive messages for him. It's incredibly heartening and he seems genuinely surprised by the outpouring of support he has received.

toastie said...


Meanwhile, a federal judge has thrown out DADT, and gay men and women should be able to serve openly and legally. But they're still being thrown out and turned away. The Commander-in-Chief could put an end to the discrimination. Instead, Obama wants DADT enforced while the judge's ruling is appealed.

Historic leadership could be and should be coming from the top. But if it must come from Joel Burns on the Fort Worth City Council, so be it.

(Not meaning to take away from Burns' courageous speech...just contrasting it with the empty words followed by pathetic inaction of a President who had so much promise.)

Le Penseur said...

Might we be looking at the first gay president?

Anonymous said...

And who said that everyone in Texas was inbred, backwards,...

Oh, that would be you, Chez! (You stereotyping bully!)

Dallas, TX