10-Year-Old Will Phillips Is a Bigger Gay Rights Hero Than Obama

Will Phillips, we salute you. We knew the 10-year-old Arkansas fifth grader who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance — to a country that actively discriminates against LGBTs — was awesome. We had no idea how awesome until he popped up on CNN over the weekend to retell his tale … in front of an obviously proud, though mildly embarrassed, father, who says it best: “The more I heard from him, the more it became apparent that this wasn’t a typical act of juvenile delinquency — this was a a very a-typical act of juvenile delinquency.”

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  • wondermann

    oh please, stop the Obama mess.

  • Attmay

    @1 wondermann:

    I’d like to stop the Obama mess, but the election is three years away.

  • Transracial

    This kid is far too young to be drawn into battles such as these.

    Meanwhile, as the kid himself says, his opposition to the pledge is also anchored around existing racism and sexism in the culture.

    Accordingly, all liberation movements can claim him as a hero –not just GLBTs.

    This can only lead to no good…..

  • terrwill

    Ok last time I didn’t get my wish, no one posted anything negative about Will. This kid is freakin awesome! not only for having the biggest set of balls for taking this stand (when I am pretty sure his own balls haven’t dropped )and you know he is taking a ton of shit from other kids. He added such a great word to the gay lexicon: “other kids called me a GAYWAD”….

    So in advance for member of the BOQB who is going to find something negative about this awesome kid: YOU ARE A GAYWAD!!!!

  • Keith Kimmel

    No. 2 · Transracial

    “This kid is far too young to be drawn into battles such as these.”

    Bullshit. Its people like him that are going to make the difference. He is drawing a huge amount of attention to an issue that is too often ignored. He is doing it in one of the most backward states our country has to offer and its those people that will be on the bleeding edge of making things go forward.

    Its easy to sit in San Francisco and preach about gay rights. Its not quite so easy to do it in a place like Oklahoma, or Arkansas. Its sure as hell not easy to do it when your 10 years old. I am sure this kid is being teased like crazy and he is holding his ground. Mark my words, he will be among the next leaders.

    I love this kid. I just hope his parents take responsibility for keeping him safe and understand the ferocity with which people hate. This kid is in physical danger and I really hope that they are aware of this and taking appropriate steps.

  • Cam

    I love the fact that the kids parents had no idea what was going on. This is NOT an example of a child parenting the parents in order to sue a school. This kids father found out about this from the school. Will is a brave boy. And there is apparently something to the saying “Out of the mouths of babes”. He can look at something and realize that it isn’t fair or right and that all the political and religeous obfuscation is just a bunch of B.S.

  • Mike L.

    OMG he’s so inspiring. Maybe more people should do that for support, b/c truelly as he said, it would be a lie that all people have those rights that the pledge of allegiance saiy we do.

    Remarkably inspiring.

  • Chitown Kev

    Good Lawd, queerty, let the kid’s statements stand on their own accord. No need to compare his fantastic and eloquent sentiments to Obama.

    I disagree with wondermann…

    This particular headline is a hot mess.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    Why Chitown?

    It’s all they live for.

  • Chitown Kev

    @John From England

    LOL. I know, I know.

    But still…

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Between Balloon-boy and Pledge-of-allegiance-boy, it’s no wonder BBC News, R.T., and Deutsche Welle News are frequented sites for information. Our local news covers penguins, penguins mating, penguins getting a new play pen, and the penguin naming contest. Will Phillips stood up for equality and it is very much appreciated, but unless he dresses up in a penguin suit, we won’t hear about it.

  • Cam

    No. 10 · 1EqualityUSA said..
    Will Phillips stood up for equality and it is very much appreciated, but unless he dresses up in a penguin suit, we won’t hear about it.

    CNN Headline News gave him his own segment this morning, just he and his father.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Cam, we don’t have cable. Only in the mountains do we have cable. Locally, we are relegated to penguin stories.

  • InExile

    Don’t blame Queerty, it’s not their fault Obama is not the “fierce advocate” he claimed to be among other things. This kid should give Obama diversity training!

  • Bill Perdue

    Our young Will is quite the hero.

    And Obama is our open enemy.

    They shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence.

    It’s an insult.

  • Quake



  • Bill


    People criticizing a 10 year old child for telling the TRUTH as it pertains to 30 million LGTB American Citizens.

    This world has lost its mind.

    The boy is a hero. And proof that our message is getting through.

  • Sydney

    “Its people like him that are going to make the difference.”
    I agree completely! Go him.

  • FakeName

    Obama is not our “open enemy”.

    Your enemies tend to care about you and it’s clear Obama doesn’t care enough to be our enemy.

  • Mary

    This boy is amazing.
    If others followed this act of courage, maybe the world would change.
    Maybe there is hope for the world.

  • Andrew

    This 10-year old boy will do more for the LGBT community than Obama + HRC. He’s taking a stand, Obama and HRC are NOT.

    It’s really simple and this kid gets it – you either for equality or against it. It’s that simple.

  • Becca

    I’m relatively new to this blog and feel surprisingly refreshed to find a post like this. I HAD to send the CNN segment to my girlfriend!

    To attend my own pity party, my girlfriend and I watch every documentary, fictitious film, and read every book we can find relating to gays, both their lives and struggles. I feel completely helpless due to the opinion that gays are mostly in the news when it deals with tragedy and persecution. Of course, large pride rallies are covered, but only to a certain degree. I applaud this boy for both the courage to stand up for his beliefs and, substantially, the publicity it has caused – no matter how small it seems, his efforts were a great example of what we can individually be [activists] and provides a great inspiration for us all.

  • Transracial

    No. 14., No. 18
    LGBTS have very real and very dangerous enemies out there — Pres. Obama is not one of them.

    But your brand of thinking only empowers those who truly seek your disempowerment and demise.

    I do hope for all of our sakes, you wake up to this fact before it is too late.

  • Christopher

    A true Hero. Smart and honest. I hope someone famous visits his school and tries to get some of the flack off him with his school mates. They make fun because they are afraid. Go will!

  • Bill Perdue

    No. 22 • Transracial – Either you’re opposed to equality and liberation for GLBT folks or you’re from another planet.

    For almost two years we’ve watched with mounting anger and mounting disbelief (for the naive) as he fought to lead the right centrist Democrat party, the party that gave us Bill Clintons DADT and DOMA even further to the right.

    There’s no longer any room for argument about his political role.

    McClurkin and Warren are right wing bigoted scum who make their living calling us less than human and undeserving of the right to marry and to be equal. They were successfully used by Obama’s campaign under the direction of Josh Dubois, an ordained pentecostal bigot, to increase the Democrats share of the bigot vote.

    Obama himself went to Warren’s church, California Bigot Central and said that we shouldn’t be allowed to marry because “gawd’s in the mix.” He repeated it on MTV. The polls reversed on Prop 8 and we lost. He saw the same polls we did and even though he’d have won even if he’d reversed himself and supported equality he didn’t.

    Some will say that homohating and pandering to it are not unique to Obama and that the Democrats and Republicans are infested by bigots and those who cater to them.

    I agree and I’ve said do for years. Those parties are our enemies too. I said so during the campaign and long before it became clear to millions of GLBT folks.

    But that doesn’t excuse Obama; it just put’s him in context. For us the context is discrimination and violence. For immigrant and imported workers the context is a racist denial of medical services. For the unions and working people the context is union busting, unending foreclosures, homelessness and mounting, Depression level unemployment. For GIs and civilians from Palestine to Pakistan the context is dying for Texaco and Halliburton.

    That’s why he’s our enemy. You may like his (and the Democrats) wars, their unemployment, union busting and racism towards immigrants and muslim civilians. Feel free. That’s your choice, but don’t try to tell us he and his party are not our enemies when they so clearly and publicly are.

    It’s no use bemoaning the fact that people are cathing on to Obama and are angry. They got change but it’s for the worse.

  • Robert in Texas

    Thank you Will Phillips for your support, compassion, honesty and strength. A kid with your brains and attitude will go far in this world… Hopefully those other selfish minded kids will leave you alone… Live and let live… Peace!

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Bill Perdue–Should we form a union under which every GBLT organization can fall under one roof? It might streamline our efforts.

  • transracial

    @Bill Purdue

    Feeling that the government needs to do more to further your agenda is a natural and admirable part of our democracy.
    Good luck.

    But calling this administration your “enemy” is simply foolish and merely confirms that you have no idea WHO you real enemies are — and no concept of the harm they want to do to you.

    You — and the silly folk who read/edit this site — must truly look inward, do some digging and begin to think criticaly, factually and historically.

    Take a look at what happened to gay folk in Nazi Germany. Take a look at what is about to happen to gay folk in Uganda. Think about what is happening with increasingly frequency to gay folk in Jamaica.

    THESE are examples of the real enemies of GLBTs and their victims were not boo-hooing on blogs — their victims were rounded up, killed and buried.

    Think about that — and think about how every time you recklesslessly and senselessly demonize the current administration, you are paving the way for the politicians who want you DEAD to come to power and exercise their own charming efforts to limit that quest for equality and liberation.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    The real power rests in the Supreme Court.

  • Bill Perdue

    No. 18 · FakeName – Not exactly. He cares about our money and our votes and he wants us to work for his reelection. So he’ll sign toothless symbolic bills like the Hate Crimes bill and tell his speechwriters to ladle on the treacle for his comments. He’ll try to sound ‘residential’ and make lots of good noises but he wouldn’t in a million years think of doing real things for us.

    Things like:

    • giving us and everyone else need a real program to solve the crises of economic failure and unemployment.

    • taking steps to nationalize banks and insurance companies and get back the hundreds of billions wasted on bonuses, excessive salaries and stockholder revenues that came out of TARP.

    • fighting for good housing, an end to foreclosures, federal guarantees of interest free loans for new loans and to replace current mortgages, 30 day vacations at pay, maternity and paternity leave with pay and guaranteed socially paid full educational opportunities. GLBT folks and everyone else needs that.

    • GLBT folks and everyone else need an end to the wars and an offer of open asylum to GLBT muslims and others endangered by the US invasions and occupations from Palestine to Pakistan.

    • We need a Manhattan Project approach to ending the HIV/AIDS plague worldwide.

    In essence what we desperately need is fifty state equality in jobs, housing, domestic arrangements and in access to services. We urgently need freedom from violence and the hate speech that produces it. Obama and the Democrats and Republicans won’t do that because they can’t do that. Their owners wouldn’t put up with it.

  • Bill Perdue

    No. 27 • transracial – that settles it. You’re delusional and from another planet and you don’t know squat about American history and politics. Your loyalties to Obama are based on what he says and your own projections onto him and not on what he actually does.

    Obama is as much our enemy as Clinton and Bush were.

    No. 26 • 1EqualityUSA I think we need a national organization of activists, independent of the Democrats and Republicans, with a mass action perspective and a thoroughgoing democratic internal life.

    Put all the existing GLBT groups in a room and ask them to design a vehicle for our progress and a they’ll give us a grouchy, evil smelling, biting, spitting CAMEL that demands half a million a year and a house and a car and socialized medicine and an expense account and full insurance and…

  • 1EqualityUSA

    That’s a good one, Bill Perdue. If Irish people can pull themselves out of the hate filled situation that were in, we should be able to do the same. The sled is being pulled by huskies going in different directions. If that spitting camel is effective, then paying that camel is worthwhile. It’s when they’re ineffective and getting paid big bucks that I get frustrated. Could you imagine the power block the GLBT community would have if we UNIONIZED under one umbrella? Please clarify this sentence, “a thoroughgoing democratic internal life.” Does that mean a democratic model for this Gay Union?

  • Jacqui Smith

    I just wanna say that little kid is SO. COOL.

  • Idde

    May God bless this kid and protect him from hate crime.Yesterday Jorge Steven Lopez was found on the site of an isolated road in the city of Cayey,Puerto Rico.He was partially burned, decapitated, and dismembered, both arms, both legs, and the torso.This is sad and we al iqual to God.

  • Tommy

    You all are completely ignorant.

    Did you not notice the kid’s shirt?

    “Nerds 2^2 Ever”

    He wore that on national television.

    If he had done or said nothing else, that’s all the awesome I’d need to know.

  • B

    In No 25, Bill Perdue dissembled, “Obama himself went to Warren’s church, California Bigot Central and said that we shouldn’t be allowed to marry because “gawd’s in the mix.” He repeated it on MTV. The polls reversed on Prop 8 and we lost.”

    Aside from the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, an MTV video is at and it clearly stated that Obama opposed Proposition Eight. He said that he had “stated his opposition to [Prop 8].” While he said that he did not support gay marriage, he also said you should not play around with constitutions. He specifically said, “this [modifying constitutions to take away rights] is not what this country is about.” In other words, while he was not going to “support” (e.g., actively promote) gay marriages, he opposed modifying state constitutions to take away rights.

    If a few percent more not comfortable with same-sex marriages did what he suggested, Proposition Eight would have failed.

    I’m sure we will see Bill Perdue claim once again that he somehow “knows” that Obama’s people are paying me to say this, no matter how idiotic that lie is, and it won’t surprise me if he denies what is on the video – that is, if his track record is any guide.

  • Bill Perdue

    No. 36 · B – don’t be such an insipid paid apologist or they’ll cut you off.

    Obama repeatedly shouted “gawd’s in the mix” and empowered bigots. To continue getting money and votes he whispered that he had a tactical difference with the authors of Prop 8 – he said their efforts duplicated those of Clinton and other Democtrats and Republicans who’d passed DOMA. He said Prop 8 was unnecessary.

    Hedid not say he thought we had the right to marry. He did say that only striaght poeple have that right becasue “gawds in the mix.” That’s the statement of a religious bigot and the other bigots at Yes on 8 quoted him in millions of robo calls and thousands of radio-TV ads and he never contradicted them.

    The polls reversed and we loss. That’s history. Your lies don’t change a thing.

  • ArkansasGrl

    “I eventually, very solemnly, with a little bit of malice in my voice, said ‘Ma’am, with all do respect, you can go jump off a bridge.’” LOL!

    Great job Will!

    If this is what happens in a “backwards” state, then I’m proud to be from Arkansas. Good work kid. :)



  • Einie

    We all need to take a cue from this brave and passionate 10-year-old. Good for him! And how unfortunate that grown people have no motivation to make a public statement for their rights, or for the rights of the oppressed people of this country.

    Hooray for Will. And may we all be inspired by his temerity.

  • Dave

    Congratulations to Will. It took me until I was in College to start thinking about what the Pledge actually meant. To actually think about what you are being required to memorize in grade school?! Astonishing!

    Anyway, to Will, you’re right. The disregard for the rights of gay people in this country will some day be recognized as big an atrocity as the disregard for minority races in this country. Full of contradictions, we always must question ourselves and our beliefs, and sometimes it takes a ten year old to help us do it. Good for you. You are correct in your objections. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

  • Annonymous

    Way to go Will! Keep standing up for what you believe in!

Comments are closed.