Gay Ohio Teen Whose Beating Was Filmed Speaks Publicly About Years Of Abuse

Queerty reported last fall about the brutal assault of gay Unioto High School student Zach Huston, whose unprovoked attack was recorded and uploaded online.

Now Zach and his mom, Becky Collins, are coming forward to share his story in a new video.  Mother and son describe the years of discrimination and harassment Zach endured and the utter lack of response to Becky’s many pleas to school officials to protect her son.

“I didn’t feel like I could go and talk to anyone at school,” Zach says in the video, “because I didn’t trust anybody.”

The ACLU released the clip, as well as a a short blog about Zach and information about upcoming congressional legislation aimed at stemming such abuse:

The Student Non-Discrimination Act would have a profound impact  on the lives of LGBT students in the U.S. by ensuring that discrimination and harassment of students on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity has no place in our country’s public elementary and secondary schools.

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  • Triple S

    What kind of spastic uploads a video of someone being brutalised? Let alone actually THINKING of taking out their phone or camera to film it. Fucking psychos.

  • Mike UK

    @Triple S: although it’s sick to film it and not great for the poor guy at the time but it’s also great evidence for a prosecution should the young guy and his mum decide to press charges or sue!

  • KyleW

    Thank goodness they DID take their phone out to film it. Kids point a phone at everything nowadays.

  • Triple S

    @Mike UK: I suppose. But the fact that so many people have already seen it is just psychotic! If it were me, I wouldn’t want it on the internet forever more, even if I COULD use it as evidence! It will NEVER leave the internet, once anything goes on there, it’ll be copied to who knows how many sites. But yes, I can see your point, Mikey.

  • KyleW

    @Triple S: Yes I agree Mike. It will be painful for this boy to know that his trauma and humiliation is entertaining people for the rest of his life.

  • Cam

    I’m sure that the school will lie and say the family never came to them and that this is the first time this ever happened.

    IF any of you parents of gays are reading this, DOCUMENT your complaints to school officials, even if it is just an e-mail to a friend or family member saying “I went to the school to day, informed the Vice Principal about what was being done, they said they would look into it.”

    Anything like that so they can’t say nobody ever complained.

  • WillBFair

    @Cam: In the email, you can cc the principal. That usually gets action because he knows there’s a document out there calling him to account.

  • ousslander

    Was he assaulted before? If so why didn’t mom call the police. It’s a shame what this kid went through and I wish him the best. Maybe mom should have gotten someone to show him how to throw a punch and defended himself.

  • KyleW

    @Cam: That’s really excellent quality advice Cam.

  • No-Obot

    Hmmmmmm…let’s see…the Democrats will vote overwhelmingly for The Student Non-Discrimination Act knowing full well now that it wont get past the Republican-controlled House. Whereas, The Student Non-Discrimination Act (as well as the repeal of DOMA & DADT, and passage of ENDA, etc) could have all been more likely the law of the land today if three years ago, when Nancy Pelosi and the DEMS had the power to really make a difference in our lives, got their collective heads out of their asses and actually did something to earn our votes.

    Obama and the Dems get zero credit for the repeal of DADT (at the midnight hour) only because DADT had already been struck down repeatedly as unconstitutional by federal courts while Obama was fighting in those very same federal courts to uphold discrimination against Gay and Lesbian while they were, in turn, fighting and dying overseas to defending the United States’ perverted version of selective “Freedom and Democracy”… as well as Obama’s sorry ass’s right to be the GLBT community’s first “Fierce Advocate” President.

    Yep…..”Fierce Advocate”….

  • DonsterNYC

    Yes, it’s amazing some kid had the quick reaction to record this, but it’s good that it happened because even the school admitted that without it, they would have done nothing to the perp. Even the district attorney said it was the cornerstone of their juvenile case against the perp. Also, the anti-bullying legislation got a quick start because of it.

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    In many communities, the Police will defer to school officials when assaults and fights occur on school property, school buses and even while kids are walking home. Short of attempted murder and rape the local authorities let the school’s disciplinary process supersede the adult or juvenile justice system.

  • KyleW

    @Ted B. (Charging Rhino): Which would be fine if the school had a judiciary process comparable to that afforded to adults, but they don’t In fact, in most schools, the whole process is completely laughable, with the innocent as likely to be summarily punished or dismissed as the guilty. And don’t get me started on the travesty of zero tolerance.

    A lot of people here advocate learning to fight, but the fact is, that is more likely to get them punished and expelled than it is to help matters.

  • Cam

    @Ted B. (Charging Rhino):

    I know, in Baltimore there was a case where a student put a busdriver in the hospital and all the school was going to do was suspend the kid for a few days. Luckily a video surfaced and the police were pressured to go after the student in spite of the school claiming that it was taken care of.

  • Giovannidude

    “It didn’t happen here” is the motto of most schools unless there is a video to prove that their denial is a crock. The idea is, the criminal statutes don’t apply inside school grounds during school hours. Usually, only a viral video will shame the police into doing their job, because even if they buy what happened, it will be chalked up to “Boys will be boys”.

  • Shannon1981

    @Giovannidude: Ain’t that the truth. I do not trust school officials and cops or anyone else in positions of authority to stop this sort of thing. They refuse. Furthermore, with no bias intimidation laws for LGBT youth and adults in most states, our kids are sitting ducks.

  • B

    No. 6 · Cam wrote, “IF any of you parents of gays are reading this, DOCUMENT your complaints to school officials, even if it is just an e-mail to a friend or family member saying “I went to the school to day, informed the Vice Principal about what was being done, they said they would look into it.” Anything like that so they can’t say nobody ever complained.”

    Better suggestion: if you are using gmail (other mail services do this too), simply send the message with a blind CC to yourself on a separate email account, possibly one associated with your ISP. Gmail includes a DKIM header, which uses a digital signature (signed by Google) of your message’s contents plus various headers (e.g., the recipient). If you receive the message on your ISPs email account the digital signatures prove that Google sent the message, and that any copy you present in court was not modified. The fact that you received it proves there was not a technical glitch during transmission on Google’s part.

  • Hephaestion

    This legislation needs to be our TOP PRIORITY now. It is up to US to do this to protect our gay children from childhoods full of torment and fear. If we don’t make it our top priority, SHAME on us!

  • Shannon1981

    @Hephaestion: and anyone who wants to help:

    I am currently in the process of attempting to start a 501c3 non profit aimed at just LGBT youth, this problem of bullying and suicide, toxic home environments, being stuck at religious colleges and universities, so on and so forth.

    If you want to help, go to

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