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11-Year-Old LGBT Activist’s Online Petition Strips Anti-Gay Lawmaker Of Lofty Award

marcelneergaardbadassFollowing a petition spearheaded by 11-year-old LGBT activist Marcel Neergaard, the StudentsFirst organization has decided to officially rescind the “education reformer of the year” title, which they previously awarded to anti-gay Tennessee Representative John Ragan.

Last month, StudentsFirst offered Rep. Ragan the award despite his support of the discriminatory “Don’t Say Gay” bill and insensitive comments comparing the LGBT community to pedophiles, prostitutes, and murderers. Rightfully outraged, Neergaard enlisted the help of his family to bring attention to the issue, and ultimately force StudentsFirst to take back their word.

Neergaard’s petition on MoveOn.org garnered over 53,000 signatures, and in three short days, StudentsFirst issued a statement saying they “stand with Marcel” and will do everything the petition asked for, which includes rescinding Ragan’s “reformer of the year” title, supporting the Safe Schools Improvement Act, and supporting the TN Dignity for All Students Act.

“Three days. It didn’t even take a week to change StudentFirst’s mind,” Marcel told GLAAD. “I’m pretty proud. I want to make sure to thank all the people who signed my petition, because without them, it would not have been possible.”

“I can’t believe the way in which Marcel’s story changed so many minds, beyond just StudentsFirst,” Marcel’s father Mike added. “We heard from people talking about what it was like to be bullied as an 11 year-old. It was an honor to have Marcel inspire so many people to share their stories.”

Way to go, Marcel! You are a Grade-A badass, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll do for LGBT rights in the future!

On:           Jun 5, 2013
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    • Vincent

      Please fix the title.

      Jun 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris Bull · Queerty Editor

      good catch, vincent. thanks

      Jun 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams

      Amazing that a child could accomplish what adults failed to.

      Well done!

      Jun 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran

      “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

      ? John F. Kennedy

      Jun 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yiannis

      Way to go Marcel! Here’s to a wonderful future :-)

      Jun 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Taliaferro

      Marcel – I thank you! This could not have happened in the 1960s when I was a young gay high school student! I applaud your courage and compassion.

      Jun 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Avenger

      Meh. I prefer Caiden Cowger to this brat.

      Jun 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steven

      @Avenger: Caiden Cowger? You mean the twink hate monger who wants to grow up to be the next Rush Limbaugh? Hard to tell who’s more pathetic, you, or him.

      Jun 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brush_My_Teeth

      There are Caidens all over the place but Marcel at 11 is one of a kind. How I do wish there had been a bunch of Marcels around when I was 11. I’d have grown up a different kind of person — the world is and will be a better place because of Marcel and others like him.

      Jun 6, 2013 at 1:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees

      @Derek Williams: No.3

      You said it best I think —

      ” Amazing that a child could accomplish what adults failed to. Well done! ”

      Also, here’s something interesting.

      From the Book, Isaiah 11:6, this quotation is used for various explanations but it’s basically about God’s Kingdom to come in the future —

      ” And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. “…..New American Standard Bible.

      Jun 6, 2013 at 4:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead

      Marcel! You did it the right way!! You are so game!!

      Jun 6, 2013 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Thank you Marcel! Great work!!

      Jun 6, 2013 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Niall

      @Steven: The comment is so out there and bizarre, that i think the poster was joking.

      Jun 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • siddartha999

      HEY MARCEL ~ Thanks dude ! Like others here & about have said it would have been / would be a different universe if “we” had been able to behave more like you did recently without fear of being bullied / silenced / committed [sadly true] – it was unpleasant enough to be the / a High School Homo, although every little bit helped / helps, I suppose.
      You’ve got a great head on your shoulders & hope for all the best for you.

      PS – thanks to Marcel Mom & Dad also; you did a lot right raising him to be the young man he is and the outstanding person he will / is become[ing]
      Great husband material to boot ;)~

      Jun 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerty1958

      @Avenger: Caiden Cowger is a a punk! He seems to bitch and complain about issues. I don’t see him doing anything positive towards the betterment of anyone. He has an enormous ego for such a young person. He always comes across like a misinformed, under-educated, ignorant, and arrogant bigot. Marcel is someone to aspire to. Caiden is not!

      Jun 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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