|Councilman Joel Burns|
If you have not seen this video of Fort Worth, Texas, Councilman Joel Burns sharing his personal story and urging young gay and lesbian teens not to give up hope, and understand that it only gets better, I urge you to do so. One can only hope that his brave and emotional speech reaches far and wide, and is able to cut through the hurt and the pain that people inflict on one another.
My twelve year old daughter attends a private school, a school of privileged children who come from educated families, and yet she has come home several times this year upset by the way her fellow students treat each other. She is hurt when words like "gay" and "retard" are thrown around to insult each other. She says that the students think it's funny or clever to behave this way. I am often stumped as to how to respond and what to tell her - I don't know what the best ways are to handle this for a twelve year old. I remember going through the same types of situations and feelings at that age, and, of course, these types of troubles do, for the most part, shake themselves out as you get older. That is rarely a comforting response to her. I think I'll share Joel Burns' speech with her and let her decide if she would like to share it with her classmates.
Bravo and thank you to Councilman Joel Burns for his bravery and commitment to speaking the truth, and for bringing hope to those who need it most.
Also, check out The Trevor Project that Mr. Burns mentions near the end of his speech.