neighborhood watch

SUICIDE: Oklahoma’s Zach Harrington, 19, Kills Himself After Hateful Town Meeting

Zach Harrington, a 19-year-old in Norman, Oklahoma, attended a City Council meeting Sept. 28 where council members were asked to simply recognize October at LGBT History Month in the city. In a 7-1 vote, the council approved the resolution — but not before three hours of incensed debate back and forth between members of the public during an open comment period. It was this “toxic” exchange among neighbors, railing against the recognition of queers’ contributions to society, that led Zach to take his own life a week later, his family says.

Like Tyler Clementi, Zach was an aspiring musician who graduated from Norman North High School, where he was in band, orchestra, and became the first male captain of the color guard. It’s also where this 6-foot-4 gay teen found himself taunted by classmates because of his sexuality. His father Van says halfway into senior year, Zach asked to leave Norman North and get his diploma through a separate program. He would go on to University of Central Oklahoma, where he completed a semester.

Nikki Harrington, who is eight years older than her brother and also attended Norman North, said she recalls the way members of the GLBT community were treated during her time there. “There was one gay guy in my high school at the time, and he was made fun of all the time,” she said. “It was a pretty much non-stop thing at school.” Harrington received a $1,000 scholarship from the Norman chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays when he graduated high school and briefly studied music at the University of Central Oklahoma. He had been living in Arkansas for about a month prior to his death.

So just what happened during that awful town hall meeting that would lead Zach to take his own life in his family’s home? It was a war of words.

[You can watch the entire city council meeting here, reader Charles let us know. The debate begins around the 30-minute mark. We clipped a couple speakers below, but holy crap, there are dozens and dozens more talking about “the choice people make,” how “the majority” doesn’t support LGBT History Month, how we need a “Straight Reproduction Month,” how Facebook is full of pedophiles because of the gays, how history lessons “promote” homosexuality. There are also a few people supporting to the resolution, including LGBT citizens.]

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Support for and opposition to the proclamation were fairly even and the public comment portion of the agenda item lasted for three hours — the entire time allotted. The entire process was an exercise in representative government, with both sides — and those in between — given their chance to speak their minds.

One man said he moved to Norman because he thought it was the kind of place that would never accept the GLBT community with open arms. A woman, who described herself as “bi-racial,” said she was tired of the GLBT plight being compared to Civil Rights [Ed: See above video]. Some of those who opposed the proclamation claimed that members of the GLBT community would use it to infiltrate the public school system, essentially allowing the “gay lifestyle” to become a part of the curriculum. Others claimed that council recognizing October as GLBT History Month was a waste of their time. Some members of the audience even suggested that any council members voting in favor of the proclamation may have trouble getting reelected. Numerous residents also claimed the Bible was their guiding light, citing the ancient text as their primary reason for opposing the proclamation and the GLBT community in general.

And for those in attendance, it was hard to ignore the intolerant grumblings, the exasperated sighs and cold, hard stares that followed comments from supporters of the GLBT proclamation. Even most council members admitted that a majority of the e-mails and phone calls they fielded regarding the proclamation were against it.

Can we pin Zach’s suicide on a single city council meeting? Likely not. A young man must already be facing some serious internal demons to contemplate suicide. But certainly hearing from members of your own small community that they think you are disgusting for the way you were born didn’t help. We tell our kids to be tolerant of others, to embrace their classmates’ differences, to be open minded. And then as a community these same parents and neighbors refuse to do the same thing simply because they are scared of what’s different.

And you know what happens when everyone bands together to ostracize a group of people? Who are told the are a waste of time? And violate Biblical teachings? Are are less than?

They fucking kill themselves.

UPDATE: Zach’s online memorial is here.

[Norman Transcript]

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  • Acem


  • ewe

    Sad. Final.

  • John Steen

    We are ALL to Blame;
    Gay Teen Suicides

    I’ve seen many heartwarming reactions to all the recent gay teen suicides this week. We all feel so helpless and angry and want to do something, anything, to make ourselves feel better. I’ve read many great articles, watched television coverage but they all miss the mark.

    There’s a scab in America that nobody wants to pick and it just keeps bleeding and bleeding. No legislation, no laws will solve the problem. This is a national emergency but, will anyone really deal with the problem and not just put a band-aid on it? You have to go to the root of the problem, not let it trickle down.

    The root is hate, plain and simple. Where does hate come from, where is it learned? Two places, in the home and in the church and it has manifested this week in the school, away from parents.

    Many americans go to church every Sunday and they usually drag their kids, cause that’s what you do, right? But what is happening in churches these days? Sure, they pontificate about morals and the teachings of Jesus Christ, among others. They also pontificate hate towards gay people, although they’ll deny it, but that’s exactly what they’re doing.

    Sure, many people who go to church don’t believe in everything the priest and/or church says, they’re selective with their beliefs, but too many take it to heart and end up acting on it. The problem really isn’t the church itself, it’s the people who are quietly sitting in the church pews.

    People’s individual faith should be their own, it should be personal. When you quietly sit in a church pew week after week when the church pontificates about how gay people don’t deserve marriage equality, how they’re evil and wrong and they can change if they just follow Jesus Christ, the responsibility lays in your hands. You may not believe what the priest is saying, but do you stand up and challenge the priest, do you challenge the church, do you write letters to the editor or do you just put your money in the basket each week and sit quietly praying?

    The hierarchy of the church sees this and they know it. It reverberates. It’s hypocritical. It’s complacency.

    What would happen if people challenged the church and what they teach? Would they stop going and would the church change it’s teachings? If you stopped giving them money until they changed their teachings, would they change? I have a very strong feeling they would. You see, you hold the power, not them. Sadly, that doesn’t happen a lot. Sure, there are some people who do go to church each week and challenge the church all the time. They are truly warriors.

    Personally, I just don’t understand people’s fear or inaction. Growing up catholic I have very strong feelings from sitting in the pew listening to the priest and saying to myself I didn’t believe what they were saying. I trusted my intuition and decided it wasn’t a place where I wanted to make an impact. Fighting the church is like fighting the NRA. It’s exhaustive.

    Organized religion is exclusive, therefore it will never work. How can it? Is God exclusive? I think not.

    Therefore, it’s a societal problem.

    Recently on the Oprah Winfrey Show, she had a 5 year follow-up segment with author Terry McMillan and her ex-husband Jonathan Plummer, who is gay. The show 5 years ago has always stayed with me as well as the show about being on the Down Low. Watching those shows made me scream out loud.

    I don’t condone or offer excuses for anyone who has lied or who would mislead another person. Oprah always seemed to miss the mark on these shows. These things happen because of what society says about gay people, what they’ve learned at home and at church.

    How can we expect people to be honest about who they are when society is constantly beating them down? They’re told at an early age they are evil, they will die at the hands of this wrathful God for being gay. How do we honestly expect these people to behave? Sure, I wish we were more enlightened, but we are not.

    Sadly, I doubt Oprah or anyone else in the public eye will have the strength or audacity to rip this scab off and have an honest discussion about where this hate is born and taught. When you confront people about their religion, walls usually go up and they staunchly defend it, sadly.

    The other problem is the media. More often than not, when a news program does a story about gay people, they usually debate the issue with someone who has very strong opposing views. Your children hear this. Struggling adults hear this, because that’s what they were taught as children, so it effects them as adults. It’s a downward spiral.

    Why do our lives need to be debated at all, especially by someone from the conservative religious right? You’d never see someone from the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) being asked to give their opinions about black issues, and we shouldn’t. Gay people are the only ones whose lives are debated and this has to stop. We must hold them accountable and stop being complacent.

    There are many people who believe in gay rights and equality for all, but they are too complacent. It all can’t be done at the voting booth but sadly, that’s where it will end up. Yes, legislation and laws must be passed, and they will, but the bigger issue is the teaching of hate and our complacency.

    Politicians know this as well. It’s not limited to just republicans as there are many democrats who also don’t believe in gay rights and also teach hate. Hate they’ve learned, probably from a young age at home, the church or both. This learned hate therefore is used to pass laws holding gay people down. Again, it reverberates, it’s energy, it’s cause and effect.

    For instance, you vote for a republican, they vote against the recent Don’t Ask Don’t Tell amendment in the military spending bill. Parent sees on television their senator votes against it, says, “Good, don’t want those homo’s in the army.” Child hears this hate, goes to school the next day and bullies a gay kid, gay kid goes home and shoots/hangs themselves.

    Who is responsible? Everyone! This is exactly how the cycle of hate continues, this is where it’s learned. This is how it manifests. This is the hypocrisy.

    What does this all amount too? Money! Always follow the money. Do you think any person in so called “power,” in the public eye can truly talk about this? Most likely not, because politicians, celebrities & those in the public eye are mostly controlled by bigger companies, who raise their money off of “us,” and the collective “us,” doesn’t want to hear about “our” religion being criticized. Therefore, those people who may agree are beholden to the “money.” It’s as simple as that. Always follow the money.

    If we all realized the true power we hold, our lives would be dramatically different. If we collectively wanted equality for all, we’d have it, just like if we collectively wanted to eradicate poverty, society would. It’s as simple as that. It is really as simple as that!

    I believe in the universal law of cause and effect. It’s exactly how this hate is taught and how it spreads. Our children aren’t born to hate. The majority of people don’t wake up every day to be hateful. This is learned behavior and we can change it.

    I challenge you to stop quietly sitting in a church pew. Take a stand, don’t be afraid. Our children are taking their lives because of this and we are all responsible.

  • Wonka


  • Larence

    to the bi-racial bitch – I dont give a shit about your 3.5 GPA, I graduated from the moe university with a 4.0!

  • samthor

    i wonder if all the attention we are giving suicide lately is not in some way… glorifying it? Are we giving people ideas to be martyrs?

  • John Raymond Barker

    Let’s just once again note the precise tone of those against gays and the precise tone of those who support gays.

    It’s very revealing.

  • Michael

    @samthor: Hardly. If you’ve never been in that deep dark place, you have no idea.

  • alan brickman

    So sad….people should get their kids enrolled in defensive courses like karate, judo, and boxing….

  • SBC19

    Forgive me for saying so, but I feel this one is a bandwagon-y.

    I’m not discounting the anguish that the kid went through that resulted in his suicide, but rather the family’s claims/report trying to link his taking his life to this City Council meeting and his being purportedly taunted. Unlike the other recent suicides victims, this report doesn’t suggest that this kid was being PRESENTLY harassed. It just says that he attended a heated meeting — where there were strong opinions coming from all sides (even though the measure ultimately passed) — and somehow this was just too much for him to handle, so he committed suicide…and oh yeah, he used to be bullied too!

    Again, I don’t negate the pain this boy suffered in his final moments, but I have a feeling that the reporting of it is trying to deliberately add another coal to the increasingly sensationalized bullied-to-death “trend” amongst gay teenagers. I hope that we don’t start to see the families of teenagers who commit suicide look at this recent media wave, and try and latch onto it…as a way of exploiting what’s hot right now, or to defer the blame onto other sources.

    Either way, the bottom line is that another young life is lost. Sad.

  • tallskin2

    ANOTHER gay teen suicide in the USA???

    I am sure that gay teens here in the UK are not committing suicide at this high rate, so I have to ask what the f*ck is going on in the US??

    why the difference between the UK and USA?

    Is it religion?

    Is it that gay teen suicides are not being reported here in Europe?


  • randy

    I’m linking this one to Christian website and telling the Good Job, Christians! One less immoral homosexual for you to worry about!

    I know it won’t really shame them – they’ll probably think he deserved to die. But they should at least know that they’re hate really does lead to death.

  • greenluv1322

    I am not even going to bother listening on these bigots. I’ve heard it all before. blah, blah, blah. I just wish these kids didn’t kill themselves and then I think. Why not? Suicide is just the way some people die.

  • uu

    “… scared of what’s different.”

    Don’t let them so easily get away with that. Their hatred comes from something far viler and more paradoxical than that. In fact, I’d say that they’re not scared of the unknown but the known and recognizable.

  • Kieran

    Well, I bet all those ignorant homophobes are sure sorry now! That’ll teach ’em!

  • Kyle412

    Sad. From the article it sounds like Zach was out to his family and they were accepting of him. When I was 19 I wish I was out to my family. Coming out to your parents in the biggest hurdle. Who cares what these other people have to say that don’t even know you?

    I can’t understand what is going on with our GLBT youth. They have visibility, outlets and acceptance on the internet, film, TV, etc. I’m 40 and never had that. Why aren’t all the REAL WORLDS, WILL & GRACES, NIP TUCKS, BROTHER & SISTERS, Logos, Neil Patrick Harris, Lance Bass of the world helping our young people know that they aren’t alone?

    I can’t imagine how many GLBT teens (undocumented) killed themselves 20 or 30 years ago since they didn’t have role models.


    And you know what happens when everyone bands together to ostracize a group of people? Who are told the are a waste of time? And violate Biblical teachings? Are are less than?

    They fucking kill themselves.

    Or they prove them wrong by becoming vehicles for change. Or they prove the saying that “living well is the best revenge”. Or they drop the religion and live happily without. Or they find a religion that has no problem with them. Or they move away from a toxic environment and to a place where they can find happiness. Or they do a multitude of other things in response.

    Hell, I’m black (and gay) if all my past relatives killed themselves because they were told they were less than, or were being ostracizing, etc, etc… I wouldn’t be here right now.

    I am not making light of his death at all, put people have suffered must worse offensives and have not killed themselves. Hester didn’t turn around and kill herself after being forced to wear the Scarlet Letter and that time period ostracizing was an art form.

    There are just as many people who have gone through worse due to their sexuality (or not because of their sexuality) and have NOT killed themselves.

    I’ve always found it funny that if you commit HOMICIDE, the fault is yours and yours alone, but if you commit SUICIDE, for some reason the trend is the fault lies with everyone else. (Which is pretty ironic considering suicide is the much more “personal” deed).

    Suicides(specifically gay ones, lately) seem to be turning into the new “cause de jour”. I personally don’t know if it has been proven that there are MORE of them…. or simply that the news is picking up on them more. Regardless, the problem with “cause de jour” and “the latest bandwagon”, is that they go out as fast as they come in and that ends up being a huge disservice to everyone in the long run. If this happened two years ago, would it had even be reported outside of the local newspaper?

    My condolences, to this family. A parent should never have to outlive their child. A close second to the pain I felt at my mother’s death, was seeing my grandmother’s reaction to it.

  • Kev C

    @alan brickman: They can defend their bodies from physical attack, but what about defending their minds from hearing ignorance and bigotry? They need to learn to tune out the bullshit.

  • Bortnik

    @tallskin2: Well seeing as our two nations have the exact same culture, history, and social issues, it really is a mystery!

    America is not a binary for the UK. We share your language.

  • Rod Man

    In response to the biracial heifer – NO, what a person does in his/her bedroom does not need to be recognized, or even sensationalized, BUT any time you publicly celebrate an anniversary with your husband, you are celebrating your union with him as your life partner. Likewise, you are celebrating everything that goes along with that union, which the average person would naturally assume would include your sexual relations! THAT

  • Rod Man

    cont from previous post – THAT’S ALL WE WANT! And STOP with the self-righteous “I’m a Christian” business. First and foremost, I’m a Christian as well. Secondly, I’m a gay man who simply desires to enjoy the freedom NOT to be harrassed with his partner, something that you likely take for granted!

  • merkin

    Im also confounded by this rash of gay teen suicides. While Im saddened by the loss of another young person, Im wondering why this is happening now, when things were much worse for gay teens 20 years ago. I think its a combination of things:

    1. There’s more visibility now, which is generally good but also puts a spotlight on us. I was teased somewhat in school (Im 38) but there was such a stigma about homosexuality that kids didnt even dwell on it too much. I bet my bullies didnt even really think i was gay, just a sissy.

    2. We’ve created a society of victims. 30, 40, 50 years ago, killing yourself was so shameful. Now its seen as an inevitable result of being bullied or harrassed. No one is looking at these kids who kill themselves and addressing their mental-health issues. We’re seeing them as victims of murder, which theyre not. For every 1 gay teen who kills himself, there are 1,000 who don’t. Kids need to know if they feel this way they should see a trained therapist to help cope. Even if we eradicated bullying, gay kids will still kill themselves.

    3. Young people, gay or straight, often feel ignored and alone. Now with the internet and mainstream media, they see that the world will pay attention if they kill themselves. How many of us fantasized about killing ourselves as kids so that our parents would understand. (“That’ll show them!).

  • Mike

    I don’t want to sound insensitive and I know my opinion is not going to be popular but here goes nothing.. I’m 20 years old and was bullied throughout elementary, middle and high school for being gay. My parents are conservative and do not support me, I hear anti-gay things all the time, my state banned same sex marriage, I’ve experienced harassment, have had thing thrown at me, and I have NOT commited suicide. If a town hall meeting was enough to push him over the edge, then he clearly had other psychological issues that we do not know about. At least his father supported him.

  • Viral

    Seriously though, as much as it sucks that another young life has ended (and has pretty much become another statistic)… but the council meeting videos need their own story. Some of those people are just effing crazy!

    I guess food wasn’t allowed at the meeting, because that interracial bitch would’ve caught a Chunky soup can in the back of head

  • Hilarious

    This really needs to stop and I do agree with those who said that we are victimizing these teens as if they were murdered. They were not. They’re taking their own lives and I feel at this point we’re enabling them.

    We’ve all been through these things. I dealt with depression for a good ten or more years and no one knew, I hid it well, and kept on through the day. Was it hard? Yes. Worth losing my life over? No.

    Bullying happens gay or straight. People say nasty things regardless of who you are or what you look like.

    It doesn’t “get better”. You just get stronger. After a while you stop caring as much what other people think.

    I can understand the feeling alone, I’m sure we all can, but there really isn’t anything we can do to stop someone from taking their own life.

    It’s almost like the media and celebs putting such a focus on it is creating a teen suicide pact among kids who don’t even know each other. There’s a little too much coddling and not enough “Tough Love” going on.

    If anything being gay was harder for those of us who are 25+ than it is for these teens now. They have far more support than any of us did and many more teens are at least accepting. Hell even when I was in school I befriended a lesbian circle who happened to know I was gay long before I did, and this was 99-01 when calling everyone “fag” was still “in”.

    I really hope these kids find some strength somewhere within themselves to deal with it and make it through.

    It’s not easy, but it’s not worth killing yourself over. Words are not the end of the world. Hell us young gays aren’t being beaten to death like others have been in the past. So I just don’t understand dying over words.

    At any rate it’s pretty clear what we’re currently doing isn’t helping to change a damned thing. I mean at 19 this kid was free to move away and he chose death. I just don’t understand that at all.

  • kendall

    LGBT suicides have not increased dramatically. Coverage of LGBT teen suicides has increased dramatically. The media, for the first time, are bringing attention to anti-gay bullying. Unfortunately, gay youth have been killing themselves for years to escape the misery of a life where almost all aspects of society hatefully bully LGBT. The only difference is that now it’s on the 5 o’ clock news.

  • tallskin2

    The other night my ex and I were talking about this rash of gay teen suicides in the USA (as the spate has been reported over this side of the pond quite heavily) and I said I was appalled at the sheer number, but he seemed rather indifferent, which shocked me. But when I questioned him as to why he said, “Well, for one it’s nothing new, it’s just being better reported. Teens always have committed suicide, especially gay teens. And we had it much tougher when we were teenagers.”

    I wonder if he has a point. Is it that GAY teens are being highlighted now as having committed suicide whereas before it would’ve been just teenagers killing themselves- and this could be because kids ‘come out’ at a much earlier age and are known to be gay.

    And his point about us having it much tougher when we were young is true – we are both in our early 50s now, and when we were teens you had to be age 21 to have gay sex here in the UK, and kids and their lovers were prosecuted and sent to prison, believe me. And gay clubs in those days were not the happy fun factories gay kids have to play in now, but were rather disgusting places full of furtive, sad and f*cked up people.

    I didn’t have gay sex until I was over 20 and I had my first boyfriend when I was 23.

    Being gay in the UK in those days before and during Mrs Thatcher was like living in Iran (but without the hanging from cranes thing) but there was the constant fear of arrest, of clubs being raided by the police. Of being found out and outed at work and being sacked.

    Most gays of my generation spent our teenage years in a state of fear and terror.

    Which is not to diminish what gay teens these days have to go through, but it was a lot harder then than it is now.


    You can’t have a good defense against words. No one understands the power words have. They can motivate you, or break you into little pieces. I just recieved a nice note about a verse I wrote for this song last night. It said I fuckin’ killed it. That resided within me the whole night while going to sleep.



    “Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”

    This is the biggest lie an adult has ever told me.

  • ron

    Stopping teen suicides should be , by far , the most important issue other than HIV that gay “leaders” should be concentrated on instead of the same sex marriage nonsense that most gays don’t want and won’t use.

  • Survival Instinct

    Because even though I too have been in the deepest and darkest places and have thought of not existing anymore….I REFUSE…I REFUSE…to be another young person who gave up…I REFUSE to be another number, another statistic, another headline. I refuse to be overwhelmed by disappointment and despair… because I know that I need to FIGHT not only for myself, but for my community and its members -for those who were here, those who are here and those who will be here. This is MY world too, this is MY life, and I WILL live in dignity and in peace and I WILL enjoy the things that life has to offer and I WILL live the way I want to and LOVE who I want to, just like straight people do.

    Cause I know that I am part of a special group of people, of an army, that are in a battle against ignorance, bigotry, religious extremism, prejudice and plain FEAR, and we are ALL here to help our cause move FORWARD and help each other gain all the rights and freedoms, not that we deserve, but that we are ENTITLED to as human beings. Because they are JUST MEN… weak, selfish, fickle, feeble, and capricious men.

    Because I am a FIGHTER… and I will fight till my last breath. Because ALL QUEER PEOPLE are FIGHTERS… we always have been and we always will be. Because it starts with ME… Because they’ve taught us hate ourselves, but we KNOW the TRUTH now.

    Queer people are STRONGER because of all the shit that we’ve had to endure throughout history. Because we’ve been murdered and oppressed just for who we love… love, the purest of emotions.

    Because QUEER people have taken all these hits and have fallen down, but we have risen again, dusted ourselves off and have continued fighting. And even though we are OUTNUMBERED and half the world is against us, we will NEVER give up! We’ve never given up and we will NEVER give up.

    Because QUEER people are some of the most intelligent, creative, artistic and caring individuals around, and OUR contributions to THIS society are INVALUABLE. Because I am NOT alone. This not MY fight, this is OUR fight. We are ALL furthering our cause… and yes, he who perseveres will eventually reach his goal. No platitudes. Just the truth.

    So I refuse to give up and I refuse to go back into the shadows and I refuse to hide who I am and refuse to stop loving who I love and doing what I want to do! I refuse to be judged, I refuse to live and to be told that I live in SHAME because I have NOTHING to be ashamed off. I refuse to shut up and be marginalized. I refuse to I refuse to be physically and emotionally attacked, I refuse to let their words and their hate get to me in ANY way, because I KNOW the TRUTH and I KNOW, and others know (gay & straight) what is RIGHT! I refuse to be pushed over the edge.

    I will fight. I will live. I will love. They will not have MY life! They. will. not. win.

  • Justin

    Was there a suicide note? If not, then it’s just speculation as to why he killed himself. Of course, the years of rejection and bullying added to his misery but we don’t know for sure waht was the final act that pushed him to suicide.

  • Bruno

    I think it’d be really horrible if Zach was influenced by this exchange, but my first reaction otherwise is “I’m glad they’re at least talking about this stuff in Oklahoma.” In general, I think this stuff needs to be aired out, even if we have to hear their hatred. There used to be no dialogue in places like this.

  • Chuck

    @ron: I agree but would also add ENDA because sadly, being a gay grown up can be bad too.

  • BJ

    It was definitely not even on the for or against.
    The mass majority of the town was against GLBT month.

    I think several council members will lose there seats next election cycle.

    Myself, having a brother that committed suicide in May of 09′,
    there is no one to blame for this selfish act but the person that committed it.

    I feel for the family, I know exactly what they are going through.

    A massive wake of pain and suffering is left behind, much more than one person could possibly feel.

  • peter

    It’s becoming apparent that the gay community is under attack nationwide. We are seeing the results of years of anti-gay hatred and intolerance in the churches, on the radio, and on television. It is manifesting itself especially in the minds of young people. For a sensitive person, like this young man, things can seem hopeless and terribly depressing. We need to support each other during this trying time.

  • David


    Please try to remember that early settlers came to the US because the UK was not religiously conservative enough.

  • Lance Rockland

    When gays and lesbians are CONTINUALLY degraded by society and the institutions of that society, then it gives LICENSE to SICK people to unleash their hatred on us in all sorts of ways.

    I am ANGRY and I have had ENOUGH!

    I am TIRED of being treated like a second-class citizen in my own country.

    I am TIRED of being told that marrying my same-sex partner will “destroy” someone else’s marriage, as well as the “fabric of society.”

    I am TIRED of being demonized by organized religion and their political allies.

    I am ANGRY at the violence inflicted on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people.

    I am ANGERED by the senseless loss of life we have had to endure not just in America, but ALL OVER THE WORLD due to bigotry and ignorance.

    I am TIRED of living in FEAR, and tired of fearing for the lives of my queer brothers and sisters.


    WHEN will the CATHOLIC CHURCH and their affiliates take responsibility for the rhetoric they spew out to their parishioners on a daily basis?

    WHEN will they take RESPONSIBILITY for the poison they are circulating, and the HARMFUL effects: every time a gay or lesbian teenager takes their own life because they have heard OVER and OVER by a preacher that they are “diseased”, “evil”, “sick”, “immoral”, and “perverted”?

    WHEN will groups such as FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA, AND THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE, among MANY OTHERS, realize that their voicing the LIE that gays and lesbians are trying to ruin society are resulting in the harassment and violence against GLBTs everywhere?!




  • Baxter

    Clearly we need to repeal the First Amendment and do away with civic debate because some people are too fragile to hear that anybody disagrees with them.

  • B

    No. 11 · tallskin2 wrote, “ANOTHER gay teen suicide in the USA??? I am sure that gay teens here in the UK are not committing suicide at this high rate, so I have to ask what the f*ck is going on in the US??”

    Nothing new is going on (but there is a serious problem – the suicide rate for gay teens is several times higher than the rate for straight teens in the U.S.). The press is simply reporting it nationwide because the recent suicide at Rutgers got national attention.

    Similarly, we get press-induced crime waves – some particularly heinous or noteworthy crime occurs, or merely a random burst (a statistical fluctuation) in the number of crimes per unit time, and the newspaper editors write editorials demanding action. They follow up with lots of stories about the latest crimes. The politicians then demand action since the voters are upset about what they are reading in the newspapers, so the police chief rounds up twice the usual number of suspects and puts on a big show. Then the press goes onto the next big thing and the police chief takes credit for fixing the problem (the number of reported crimes in the press drops), whether what he did was actually effective or not.

    Sorry for sounding cynical, but that’s the reality seen time and time again. If we are very lucky, someone might do something effective on a long-term basis, but unfortunately that tends to be the exception.

  • AndrewW

    Religion is the ONLY institution that teaches homosexuality is wrong. It makes gay people “lesser” human beings. The devaluing of life enables the hatred, bigotry and bullying that is killing our young people.

    Religion did this, religion needs to stop it. Gay Christians need to stand up in their churches and say “enough is enough,” otherwise they, too have the blood of these innocent children on their hands. Their “Christian” hands.

    It’s time for Christians to formally declare that “homosexuality is not wrong.” No Christian denomination has ever done that. Being gay-friendly is just marketing – we need some real courage.

    STOP the teaching/belief that we are wrong and it WILL SAVE LIVES. Isn’t that important?

  • Jai

    “Stopping teen suicides should be , by far , the most important issue other than HIV that gay “leaders” should be concentrated on instead of the same sex marriage nonsense that most gays don’t want and won’t use.”

    Yes Ron, we all should be focused on these suicides but where the hell do you get off saying that we should throw marriage equality out the window?! It’s not nonsense and I’d love to see all the proof you have to shows that “most” gays don’t want marriage or won’t use it.

  • Ron in NY

    Lessee now…they hate gays (us), they hate blacks (Obama), they hate Muslims (all of them). Is there anyone they like? Certainly not themselves. The Bible says, “Love (respect) thy neighbor as thyself.” That is, love/respect others the way you love/respect yourselves. You have to love/respect yourself before you can love/respect anyone.

    Hate is not a family value. It’s not an American value. It’s a Nazi value. Stop the Hate! It’s UnAmerican. You can start by turning off Fox News.

  • maria

    I am ashamed to be living on the same planet with these people. They could be my neighbors. This is like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Where did these people come from? How did they get this way? Is it just the church? What is causing this?

    Innocent people are literally dying because of these idiots.


    As long as the bible demonizes homosexuality Christians will never claim as a majority that homosexuality is natural. The key is to change the young minds. They are the future, the adults who are already programmed are of no concern anymore. We have to let the gay youth of today know that they have it 20x better than yesterday.

    No one is going to teach your children self esteem. Remember self esteem and the will to live is only within that person.

  • Ken S

    It’s too bad that taxpayers don’t get more direct say in how their tax dollars are spent; maybe then some of the civilised folk on the coasts- where there’s money and an iota of social enlightenment- could demand that the government direct the money currently supporting the backwards middle-American yokels to some sort of gay youth emancipation fund, so that these kids could get financial backing to turn their backs on their fly-over redneck towns.

    Barring that, can we sponsor some kind of fuckin’ self-worth curriculum so that young people can get it into their heads that what some dumb ignorant fuck thinks of you is of *no worth?* Because I was bullied plenty through school and I never thought of killing myself. I thought of ventilating the bullies, sure, but never did that either. I knew one thing (among others): that the people giving me a hard time were *stupid.* Because their reasons for giving me a hard time were stupid. And I never ascribed value to the opinions of stupid people. So, can we get the guidance counselors to start telling these kids the truth? “Bullies bully you– whether they’re young or old– because they’re fucking stupid. Some of them are worse than stupid– they’re *bad people.* And there’s no good reason for you to internalize the hatred that bad, stupid people send your way.”

  • B

    No. 46 · REVEMUPMAN wrote, “As long as the bible demonizes homosexuality Christians will never claim as a majority that homosexuality is natural.”

    But the Bible does not demonize homosexuality – the Bible barely mentions it (but some English translations refer to it when the original Hebrew or Greek text was, to say the least, a little vague). It’s some current-day religious nuts who are doing the demonizing, quoting a few passages out of context, misinterpreting them, etc.

  • FluffyInDrag

    There’s also something else that hasn’t really been brought up.
    So many of these young kids are really YOUNG… too young, in my opinion, to be sure of who or what they are. But here they are, picked to death because someone else THINKS they are gay. And what of all the other suicides, every few minutes, that could be the same but not known as such simply because the kid is not gay or does not think they are? They are victimized regardless.
    There’s not a whole lot as minimalizing as having something you identify as be used as an insult… worse, almost, when used against someone who is not that REGARDLESS.

  • kiaba360

    This put me in such a depressing mood, It seems like every week, we hear about another gay teen committing suicide. But I wonder how long these suicides have been going on without the media bringing it to our attention. And I wish that Bi-Racial woman would get off her high-horse, she came across as an arrogant self-righteous bitch. “You can’t reproduce homosexuality. You actually have to recruit for homosexuality. You have to teach someone how to be homosexual.” Tell that to someone who can only become sexually aroused by their own gender. Do I know why I stopped being attracted to women, and now I’m attracted to men? No, but have I accepted my sexual identity and moved on? You damn right lol. I couldn’t believe that I was able to put up with her speech, and it’s ironic that the LGBT supporter at the end summed up her opinion in a short amount of time, while the other 2 had to summarize their entire lives to prove why they have an issue with homosexuality. And both pulled the Christian card, why am I not surprised?

  • kiaba360

    This put me in such a depressing mood, It seems like every week, we hear about another gay teen committing suicide. But I wonder how long these suicides have been going on without the media bringing it to our attention. And I wish that Bi-Racial woman would get off her high-horse, she came across as an arrogant self-righteous bitch. “You can’t reproduce homosexuality. You actually have to recruit for homosexuality. You have to teach someone how to be homosexual.” Tell that to someone who can only become sexually aroused by their own gender. Do I know why I stopped being attracted to women, and now I’m attracted to men? No, but have I accepted my sexual identity and moved on? You damn right I did lol. I couldn’t believe that I was able to put up with her speech, and it’s ironic that the LGBT supporter at the end summed up her opinion in a short amount of time, while the other 2 had to summarize their entire lives to prove why they have an issue with homosexuality. And both pulled the Christian card, why am I not surprised?

  • AndrewW

    @B: Shut up B. The Bible clearly demonizes homosexuality and any efforts to “re-interpret” that are silly. It IS a traditional Christian belief that homosexuality is wrong. Which denominations have fixed that? Which ones have said “Homosexuality is not wrong?”

    Not a single one. If you want to defend religion, get them to grow up and un-wrong us. They did it for slavery.

    We’re waiting.

  • Diz

    Sadly they don’t care. To them it’s just another dead gay guy.

    I wonder what should be done to help more of these teens or if it’s just shitty circumstances they find themselves in. My high school and town was extremely gay friendly and I’ve never been more grateful. I just wish every school was the same.

  • maria

    @No. 48 · B The Bible does not approve of homosexuality. Gays are definitely not the only people demonized in the Bible. According to the Bible, cursing your parents, working on Sabbath, worshipping foreign gods, not being a virgin on your wedding night if you’re a girl etc. are all punishable by death.

    Conservative Christians have had to jettison all of that other stuff as inconvenient, and use gays, evolution and abortion to unify their base and create a Republican army.

    Gays are a convenient enemy–any minority is.

  • DR


    “Shut up”? Nice retort, Andrew. So is calling the efforts to deal with this issue “silly”. Way to insult every GLBT christian everywhere.

    I realize that the only way any religious organization will make you happy is to erase various books from the Bible, but since that’s probably not going to happen in the near future, you’ll simply have to either accept that a number of modern denominations are attempting to do the best they can or continue to complain…knowing you from your postings and personal attacks here and Bilerico, I know you’ll complain and ignore the efforts.

    If I have to choose my wonderful straight Christian friends or venomous and bigoted and ignorant gay folks like yourself, that’s an easy choice. Buy bye, Andrew, I have no time for your negativity and bullshit.

  • J.P.


    STOP this MADNESS.

    AS for the Comments in this VIDEO . I HOPE to HELL every POSSIBLE FUTURE EMPLOyER of the BiRacial woman sees this. SHE’S MAJORING in HUMAN RESOURCES ? Anyone that would HIRE her is a LAWSUIT WAITING to HAPPEN !!!

  • Enron

    Personally, I am slowly beginning to give up on my belief in G0d. If there was one, none of this would be happening. I guess the only time we will get justice is when the Sun exhaust all its energy and the entire Universe fully expands and a black hole suck it all in. Oh, but the cycle will just start all over again.

  • B

    No. 55 · maria wrote, “@No. 48 · B The Bible does not approve of homosexuality. Gays are definitely not the only people demonized in the Bible. According to the Bible, cursing your parents, working on Sabbath, worshipping foreign gods, not being a virgin on your wedding night if you’re a girl etc. are all punishable by death.”

    First, there is so few mention of homosexuality, much less gays, in the Bible that “demonized” is an overstatement. Some of the places where you will find the word “homosexuality” or “homosexual” are current interpretations of words whose meaning is more than a little vague (particularly some of the things Paul wrote, which itself is not all that understandable unless you know the historical situation).

    I might add that the “all punishable by death” stuff is from Leviticus, which was written at the end of the Babylonian exile by returning priests trying to reestablish their authority. The very last sentence indicates that the whole book applies only to Jews (maybe in that time and place). In any case, these priests acted like the present day Taliban and made up harsh punishments for trivialities. The “abomination” statements are mistranslations – the Hebrew word is more like “ritual impurity” as opposed to “moral failing”. They were trying to rein in non-exiled Jews who had been assimilating all too well into the surrounding pagan culture.

    If you don’t know the history, it won’t make sense and you will misinterpret it. That’s not the fault of people living 2000 to 4000 years ago. It is a fault of some present-day Christians who should know better, so blame them, not the Bible. And in case you are too daft to get the point, I was not assuming the Bible was the word of some deity recorded without error, but rather a collection of history (from a particular cultural perspective), myths, and myths woven around history.

    You simply should not blame some ancient book for the idiocy of some people living in the 21st Century.

  • Zen

    That “half black” woman saying LGBT is not a civil rights issue? What a moron. She’s saying gay people should not be exalted because of “what they do in the privacy of their bedroom”….well how about people don’t treat people as less than equal for that very same reason??? Oh, because race is an outward, apparent thing that is a civil rights issue, but because she thinks being gay can be “hidden” (and clearly that is not always the case) that does not give people the right to ask for the same rights as everyone else. If being something you cannot control and for which you experience prejudice (being black) deserves a History Month, so does being gay because that is also something you cannot control and receive prejudice against in some way or another. Again, what a moron.

  • Steph

    I’m so sorry to hear about this young man’s death. The tragic loss of another young person is just appalling. For those who are young and feeling isolated please go watch the “It Gets Better” videos on YouTube and google The Trevor Project for a number to call to talk to someone who knows what you’re going through.

    For those commenting on this article that insist that there are no gay-friendly religious organizations, you are INCORRECT. There are a number of Jewish and Christian religious groups that are gay friendly. Do some research before you label everyone. Sometimes the faith group in which you were raised hurts you so much that’s it’s hard to imagine looking for one that doesn’t. But we are out there if you look for us. Research the reform Jews, the Unitarian Universalists, the Metropolitan Community Churches, and the Episcopal Church. There are others, but those are some to start with.

    Please don’t give up on God just because some of God’s followers are ignorant. I am an Episcopal priest with many gay friends, some of whom are out, partnered gay Episcopal priests and Reform rabbis. I would love to have you in my parish, and would be happy to bless your same-sex union.

  • B

    In No 53, AndrewW wrote, “It IS a traditional Christian belief that homosexuality is wrong. Which denominations have fixed that? Which ones have said ‘Homosexuality is not wrong?’ Not a single one. If you want to defend religion, get them to grow up and un-wrong us.”

    Pure nonsense, aside from a description of an historical belief. The scientific evidence (based on MRI scans) indicates that what “God” believes pretty much tracks what religious people believe ( ), so don’t blame religion if some guy is bigoted – blame the friggin bigot because his belief regarding what “God” wants tracks his own beliefs.

    Also, MCC (and other gay-friendly churches) obviously do not believe that homosexuality is wrong. You can read for an explanation of what the Episcopal church’s consensus is (liberal versus conservative churches). As they point out, “More liberal Christian denominations have already largely accepted homosexuality as simply another normal, natural, and morally neutral sexual orientation. More conservative denominations have retained the historical Christian belief. They condemn all same-sex behavior, regardless of the nature of the relationship.”

    The conservatives are a problem and you should blame them, but it is silly to blame everyone else.

  • Kieran

    In the same way a toothless, illiterate hillbilly living in a ramshackle hut will desperately cling to his racism because he was taught and wants to believe that having white skin automatically makes him superior to anyone black, so it is with your average, not very talented homophobe, who will steadfastly cling to his or her irrational homophobia because he or she was taught and wants to believe that being born a heterosexual automatically confers priviledge within society—and DAMMIT, they want to keep it that way.

  • boo

    Nice that the biracial woman went on about her own experiences with discrimination and instead of using it to show empathy, she uses it to beat others down. Must feel refreshing for the selfish cow to kick someone lower on the totem pole, I wanted to puke at her self-righteous blather.

  • Charles

    I live in Norman and notified Queerty a little over a week ago about the City Council meeting. It was a bit more vitriolic than most. This morning when I woke up and saw the story in the Norman Transcript, I again notified Queerty. Even after having lived here for 18 years, the comments and complete ignorance still managed to be completely devastating. I was, however, thankful for the members of the council who were so eloquent (Hal Ezell the Republican being the surprise of the night). He absolutely schooled the idiots in the audience at great personal cost. I know that it is tedious beyond belief to watch, but I think that it is important to see how the meeting degenerated from a simple proclamation into an absolute mob of bullies and self righteous bigots. I was drained and dazed for days after the meeting and Zach Harrington’s death has just driven home how exhausting it is to put up with the Okie bigots who use their religion to hide behind. I truly believe that religious fanatics are the root of all evil and will be the downfall of modern society. Take time to watch the video of the September 28th city council meeting which is available on the City of Norman website. The proclamation portion of the meeting starts at around the 30 minute mark and lasts for hours. As an aside, the one member of the council who voted against the proclamation has served as the principal of BOTH high schools in Norman……Talk about inclusive. Perhaps his vote against the LGBT history proclamation speaks volumes about why Zach Harrington was so bullied at Norman North High School that he had to drop out.

  • shae

    God…. i live in Oklahoma, about 80 miles away from Norman….its actually a college town and im so suprised to see that people still think like this, it really does break my heart. Im 20 and openly gay and that could have been me…..but im going to change America and i wont give up till i do, im going to teach these people that all we want to do is love……but how the hell do we stop this? im really scared.

  • Alexis Kilgore

    This is so stupid. Those people are so mean and horrible. Gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals don’t choose to get beat to death, they don’t choose to be picked on and tortured mentally, physically, and emotionally. No matter your sexuality you are the same as any straight person. Whoever thinks else wise, your an idiot.

  • Alexandra

    This is insane. Homosexuality is not a choice. Believing in a certain religion IS a choice. This has nothing to do with “special rights”, but equal rights. African Americans have a pride month. They were born that way. And so were homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders, and heterosexuals. I bet of these so-called “Christians” don’t even know the history of their “holy book”.

    That women at the beginning, the “bi-racial” bigot? She is one of the BIGGEST hyprocrites I have seen. “I have suffered discrimination because of the way I look, so I know what it is like”…. No you don’t. You don’t know what it is like to be a gay teen surround by a town that hates you, by family that hates you, by people you are raised to respect and listen to you, telling you that you are an abomination, evil, diseased, and so many more hurtful words.

    This woman should be fighting FOR the rights of gay individuals instead of rallying against them.

    Well, I guess close minded bigoted come in all sizes and colors.

  • sure

    It’s very sad about this young man Zach Harrington, but I feel like this article is a bit misleading about the general tone of the town hall meeting. I’m only at one hour and thirty seven minutes, and I don’t know how much longer it goes on, but so far there seems to be more people speaking in favor of the proclamation then against it.

    I was extremely moved by some of the speakers. Two ministers so far have spoken in favor of it. Older men and women who talk about their friends and kids who are lgbt, a Sarah Palin fan was in favor (that one was surprising), right now I have it paused on a doctor speaking against some of the more hateful people’s statements. Only two of these speakers (so far) have actually been lgbt, the rest are allies. It’s honestly more than I expected from Oklahoma, and while of course there were the crazies in there too, they were far less abundant then I thought they would be. Again I’m very moved and wish that all the eloquent, nice people who spoke at this meeting in Norman wouldn’t get lumped in with the bad ones.

  • Charles

    Keep going….you will be drained by the end of it. There where some wonderful people who spoke in favor of it, but the others were wearing…….

  • sure

    aaaand ten minutes later the majority swings back to idiot douchebags.

  • Dan

    The gay and allied community is just too nice, merciful and forgiving. No other group on the planet is that way. What other group would permit politicians to violate human rights while their young people are killing themselves?

    Odds are eventually the gay and allied community will just snap – like they did during the White Night Riots.

  • nataliesharp

    Eh… I think this article tries a little too hard to equate a town meeting with his death. It is tragic, the meeting was abhorrent in many ways, but isn’t sensationalism a bit tabloid?

  • Alan Chan

    I hope the two haters are happy.

    I live in Los Angeles, CA. Shut up! We are not sinking into the Ocean for another 15 million years.

  • Paul

    Why? Kids are growing up with FAR more role models then I ever had. I blame the way kids are raised, unable to take what life is about to send them. I hate the bigots but they have been here for thousands of years, kids gotta get tougher. Parents (my generation) have been friends instead of parents and we end up with kids that have no ability to cope. Sad!

  • Brian

    This is super long so if you only read one part, read the last paragraph! This is all poorly written, but it’s been tough to sleep tonight and I wanted to get this out.

    I’ve lived in Norman for almost 23 years (I’m 27 now) and I went to Norman North. I’m straight, but I have many friends who fit into different parts of the GLBT community. For a few of them, we grew up together and we were friends long before sexuality was a word we had heard or could comprehend. As we found out more about ourselves nothing changed about our friendships. They (and I mean every single one of my friends in the GLBT community, really) are good people; they are good friends.

    I am so sick and tired of hearing people bash them. I fully realize that I don’t even know the half of it since I don’t live the life of a gay man. I will never be able to fully understand what it’s like, but I do see the way the hate makes my friends feel and it breaks my heart. I just want my friends to be happy, to be able to enjoy the freedoms I have as a straight white male, just as EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE. I was about to type “I’m sorry, it’s the 21st century and it’s long overdue.” But I’m not sorry at all. That is ridiculous and that is wrong. There are absolutely no excuses.

    I’m tired of being nice about it. I was raised to be polite, patient, accepting, but it isn’t working. All this time I was hoping that simple experience with a member of the GLBT community similar to what I’ve had in life would make people realize that gay people are people (crazy, right?) and that the GLBT community varies as much as the straight community (if you can even call it that…) But this is pretty much impossible when you lump everyone into a single category and write off the lot of them. So what am I going to do? I have no clue, but I’m ashamed of Norman right now.

    After talking to people who went to the meeting and reading about it, I’ve had a hard time keeping calm. Dedicating a month to a group of underrepresented, disrespected, yet vital people in a community? What part of that seems like a bad idea? As for the bi-racial woman, I just don’t get it… Why does she think people choose to be gay? After seeing what friends have had to go through mentally and physically, I’m pretty certain very few people would choose that. As for her hate… THAT is a choice. I’ve never met anyone who was taught to be gay, but she is a prime example of someone who was taught to hate.

    For people who think GLBT history month is unfair and there should be straight history month… EVERY MONTH IN HISTORY HAS BEEN STRAIGHT HISTORY MONTH! It’s the same with Black history month vs. white history month. How do people still not get the fact that history has been written largely from the perspective of straight white men? It is unfair… to every person who isn’t a straight white male. (I’m mainly talking about American history here)

    Did I mention I’m ashamed of Norman? Take the first guy in the video as an example this time… He talks about how he tries to make friends with “them.” Is he talking about a pack of wild dogs? Yeah, he would need luck. Wait, he’s talking about a person? I’m going to guess he either has terrible people skills or has already made up his mind about “them.” I’d like to hear more about this destructive lifestyle too. I’m guessing it’s like this, “I don’t like gay people so I’m going to treat them horribly, which will make them depressed. That depression could lead to substance abuse, suicide, any number of bad things, which would make me right! Nevermind the fact that I’m a huge influence on that depression!” If he thinks having a GLBT community is going to ruin Norman, HE can leave. My parents raised a family here and I think I turned out pretty well. I don’t know much, but I’m not an ignorant bigot. I just can’t figure out what people like him are so afraid of. There isn’t a gay menace. There isn’t some sinister conspiracy to convert the children of America. If you believe there is, well, you’re an idiot. GLBT people aren’t aliens; they’re not here to take over Earth. My GLBT friends pretty much hang out like the rest of America, work the same jobs, eat the same food… Wait! Does that mean it already happened???

    Gosh, when I type it all out it just sounds so absurd!

    To wind this all down I’d like to say this: I had met Zach a few times through his sister (who is flat-out wonderful) and my heart goes out to her and the family. He seemed like a very nice kid and she always had GLBT friends, so I know they were close. It blows my mind to know that this is Zach, Nikki’s brother; it barely registers. It’s horrible that it happens at all, but now that it has hit so close to home, what do I do? I’m pissed, as you could probably tell by the preceding paragraphs, and I’m tired of being nice, hoping things will get better with gentle nudges. I’m tired of showing compassion, patience, and love to people who have none. I’m tired of seeing my friends kept down by people who have too much power and want to keep it that way or people who are just so miserable in their lives they want to drag everyone else down too. In an earlier post someone said it doesn’t get better, you just get stronger and while I realize that probably has some weight to it, is that it? Strength is a good thing to have, sure, but isn’t there something I can do? I’m pissed, but I know I still have some optimism somewhere.

  • Carolyn

    It is so sad that so many people are taught to hate rather than love. No wonder why this country is going to shit. People don’t know how to be happy. I don’t care about these people races, religions, or gpas. This IS a civil rights issue. Rights are being denied to citizens. That is that. You wouldn’t want rights denied to you because you have brown hair. It is something you cannot control. There are studies that prove homosexuality is not a choice. So these people, and people like them, need to stop choosing to hate people and start choosing love to love people. I do not want my children growing up being scared of who they are. I want them to know that they can be whomever they want to be. Clearly these people do not care who they effect. God is loving, and God is forgiving. God would not hate someone because they are gay. Rather God would love them.

  • jason

    Gay Inc has been missing in action on the issue of gay suicides. It seems to be more interested in the next single from Lady Gaga.

    As for these hateful townhall meetings, I bet you a lot of those arguing against homosexuality are the type of men who masturbate over lesbians in porn movies. This is why I find lesbianism or female bisexuality so repulsive in the context of straight male appeasement.

  • Max


    What is american government intend to do?

  • Gary

    @tallskin2: I promise, I was born and raised in the US 100%, and I absolutely hate it here. Yes, it is just America that causes all this stuff to happen. I can’t wait to get out of here and go to the UK! America…freedom…sucks. Freedom of speech sucks even more. This is all because our country has allowed itself to sit here idle while people run their useless mouths, all because of freedom. If you tell ONE person, “Hey that’s not nice, you can’t say that, you can’t talk like that in front of these people, you can’t protest hate,” The FIRST thing out of any Americans mouth is, “I have the right to, I have freedom of speech,” and then people continue to run their mouths ONLY to prove they have the power to, to glorify themselves in the fact that they are allowed to stand in front of a gay teen and say, “I hate you, go kill yourself,” and no one can do anything about it. Fuck Freedom of Speech.

  • ousslander

    @Paul: totally agree.
    Also if you look deeper I bet there were other problems and issues in his life.

  • Queer Supremacist

    If a man lies with a woman as he should a man, he has committed an abomination. They should both be put to death.

    Stop the breeders! Gays bash back!




  • Faye

    How very CHRISTIAN of them. Who’s gonna be their next target? This is barbaric. Human sacrifices aint putting a big smile on god’s face.


    @GAYS DIE: I am so sorry about that previous post. I am an ugly, obese, disgusting closet case. I got fucked bareback last night like a dozen times at my favorite cruise area last night and my ass is really hurting. It was tough for me to waddle my 350lb fat body down the stairs of my mothers home to my wretched filthy apartment. I am in a bad mood because my life is so empty and I am such a loser I have to post these anonymous missives on Gay sites, because I am so fucking ugly and my cock is so small that no one will even look at me except in the darkness of a cruise area. And even then I am useless except to be used as a cum bucket…….

  • Benny

    Although it is Christian culture that is ultimately to blame for these suicides, it is also true that these cases are not equal. I distinguish between a 13 year old who is physically tortured at school on a daily basis and whose cries for help are ignored from a case of a 19-year old young adult, who is not a captive audience to homophobes, and who has options available to him. This is a university town, which means there were people his own age that he could hang with. It is inconceivable that a 19 yo in 2010 couldn’t find the Trevor Project online. And failing all else, at 19 he could leave Oklahoma.

  • jorgegunn

    I was stunned about people talking about how the gay community is so corrupt and i just wanted to make the point that its the world in general. My brother is straight, has STD’s is divorced with one kid and having another out of wedlock but he’s a christian and not Gay so its ok right? I really don’t thinks so. How may fill our prisons how many pedophiles that are out on the streets who identify with the heterosexual lifestyle? More than we can count im sure. It saddens me that we allow ourselves to be so ignorant and that we can’t realize that it is us that are responsible for these hate crimes because we allow our children, our schools and our peers to spread their hate with spiked tongues. Once When i was a camp counselor a six year old heard me say “i hate..” her little jaw dropped and she said to me Hate is a four letter word. So if cussing and using gods name in vain is a sin so is your judging and outright hatred for something you obviously don’t understand.

  • jorgegunn

    @Benny: Yes he could leave but it would be the same as being banished.

  • Hilarious

    Of all the articles for people to be thumbing down and debating other people’s opinions and reactions to something shocking this really isn’t the one to do it in.

    I’m a little surprised that even Queerty commenters could be that immature.

  • ewe

    @GAYS DIE: dumb shit who cannot outgrow her fifth grade attitudes.

  • Ron in NY

    @Queer Supremacist: Not many people know this, but the Adam & Eve thing was a misprint. Actually, it was Adam and Yves.

  • staciegirlie

    I’m not so sure all these recent deaths are suicides. I think something suspicious is going on here. Something just doesn’t seem right and someone needs to investigate it further. How are you to know that some of these bullies haven’t committed murder and made it look like a rash of suicides. Kids have access to online social groups and could be planning stuff with their “nationwide” buddies.

    Just saying. I think we need to investigate further instead of a coroner looking over the body for one second before saying, “yep, ok. It was a suicide.”

  • Ken Camp

    Too bad the “bi-racial” bitch gave out her home address:

    Dana Jackson
    2413 Larkhaven Street
    Norman, Oklahoma 73071

  • EM

    Why isn’t the wonderful, succinct down wit’ da people, Mr Obama stepping in now and saying something to reach out to his own nation’s children?

    I mean, he has plenty of time for Israel’s kids and the middle east’s kids, right? Trying to sort their lives out for them. Why isn’t he making a statement about this worrying national trend among his own?

  • prohomo

    @GAYS DIE: Yes, you are. Major loser, you should just die and turn to compost. At least you would then be of some beneficial use.

  • Gojo

    There’s nothing more revolting that a so-called “Christian” who is hateful… they use the name of Jesus to bully other people.


    Why wouldn’t anyone want to celebrate the achievements and contributions made to society by any group? Someone gave you something. Someone made your life better. And they want to spit on that person and forget their existence? No wonder they come off as ignorant and uneducated, they clearly don’t want to know about the great advances being made in this world. Advances that they profit from, no matter how ignorantly and hatefully they turn their backs.

    The pastors in Oklahoma are asleep at the wheel, and the sheep are wolves in wool. Give me a world where the veil of ignorance is lifted, and we can appreciate the good brought to this world by all, even the downtrodden. Those so-called “Christians” can have their so-called “heaven”. May they stew in each other’s evil presence for eternity.


  • Scott

    To Gay people, especially those that feel crappy:

    There is a place for everyone. Turn your anger, hurt, resentment outward into something constructive. You can’t control others but get your positive message out there often enough and the bullshit will eventually die.

    The increased bullshit from bullies such as politicians and asshole classmates is due to the great strides we’ve made in equality. Backlashes are a positive sign we’re on the right track. The news only reports the sensational stuff because they want ratings. There’s a whole other story out there that the media ignores.

    There is hope. It’s easy to destroy. You have to work to build. Love and respect yourself. You are worth it.

  • Dean

    Civil Rights are Civil Rights whether you are gay, straight, male, female, black, white or hispanic. Civil rights are denied us all when one segment of the population if favored over another. Dana Jackson, despite being biracial, still exemplifies the how the black race despises gay people. There is no gay “lifestyle”. There is gay or straight. Straight people have just a destructive life if not even more so than gays than the gentleman proclaims. You can find good and evil in all people, just depends on how you look at things. He claims to be so open minded, yet he demonstrates how truly close minded he is.

  • Colman

    Man, the level of ignorance displayed on this video from the first two speakers, particularly the woman who obviously has a serious lack of invalidation in her life and feels the need to spout off her accomplishments to strangers to get them validated and somehow tie it in with her opinion that we as the gay community shouldn’t feel like a minority disgusts me. It’s not a choice, guys. How many 13 year old children do you know kill themselves over a “choice?” God, these people need to open their eyes and fight for humanity before another precious soul takes their own life.

  • Mary Williams

    That woman is just plain wrong.

  • Brit

    @tallskin2: The difference between the UK and the US is in my experience since I grew up in one place and now live in the other, that while many UK youth were racists when I lived there and a persons sexuality was enough to get you steel combed, in the States there is an underlying sense of everyone being prudes sexually, and yet they all want it, can’t talk about it and become porn addicts or worse in some cases. Even nudity over here is wrong, naked bodies are wrong to look at, it’s insane. Yes, you hit the nail on the head, religion has a lot to do with all of it, it confuses people no end because a lot of their religious leaders are all sex dogs who perv out on sex and sexuality and some in places they shouldn’t be, some are forced to come out, others admit to extra marital affairs, lives are ruined over sex and sexuality. To sum it up, “SMALL MINDEDNESS” and “IGNORANCE” the worst of which are doing it secretly.

  • Cassandra


    I see you are still lying about people:
    “Which denominations have fixed that? Which ones have said “Homosexuality is not wrong?”

    Not a single one. If you want to defend religion, get them to grow up and un-wrong us.”

    The UFMCC, the UCC, and subsets of most other mainstream Christian denominations. The process is underway.

    Your lies endanger gay kids as much as the lies told at the meeting in the video.

    “Religion is the ONLY institution that teaches homosexuality is wrong. It makes gay people “lesser” human beings. The devaluing of life enables the hatred, bigotry and bullying that is killing our young people.

    Religion did this, religion needs to stop it.”

    No, AndrewW, some people from some religions teach that homosexuality is wrong, but, some scientists teach that homosexuality is wrong, and some philosphers and some economists and some politicians and even some gay people teach that homosexuality is wrong.

    You are trying to making religous people lesser human beings, devaluing their lives through hatred, bigotry and bullying.

    “Gay Christians need to stand up in their churches and say “enough is enough,” ”

    We are. Unfortunately, we have fundamentalist atheists like yourself who continually lie about our work, actively promote anti-gay theology, and harass and libel us.

    “otherwise they, too have the blood of these innocent children on their hands.”

    Every time you blame religion, you get blood on your hands, AndrewW. Because when you blame religion, you assert that homophobic theology is accurate, and that confirms for homophobes that they are doing the right thing. Your posts are part of the problem, and your extreme hatred for people of faith only makes it harder for the rest of us.

    “It’s time for Christians to formally declare that “homosexuality is not wrong.” No Christian denomination has ever done that.”

    That is a lie, AndrewW. It is time for you, and atheists in general to formally declare that deception and lying is wrong. You have not even done that here, despite being asked to many times.

    “Being gay-friendly is just marketing – we need some real courage.”

    No, it is a sincere belief, and the fact that you do not recognize the sincerity of it simply indicates that you have no personal experience with sincerity.

    You are part of the problem, AndrewW, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprized if your posts aren’t actually written by a clever fundamentalist homophobe trying to create conflict, minimize the growing authority of gay-accepting theology, and paint all GLBTQ people as rabid haters of religion. After all, your posts live up to the fear-mongering of homophobes who claim that all gays hate God, Christianity, etc.

    “The Bible does not approve of homosexuality.”

    No. Maria, some people interpret parts of the Bible as condemning sexual intimacy between two men, but then, other parts can be interpreted as requiring women to be silent about religious matters.

  • Tim

    Things like this make me embarrassed that I’m from Oklahoma. I moved to California, unfortunately, to get away from a lot of these things. I grew up in a very conservative household and I was depressed, extremely depressed, every day of my life not being able to show people my true self.

    Moving away has definitely alleviated that stress from me and I’m far happier from it.

    My heart goes out to the family of the boy who saw no hope. It truly makes me sad.

  • argyle

    This clip shows the worst of the worst. Especially awful because what had been a positive measure–from a community deep in the heart of red america–was co-opted by the most conservative elements of that community. It was hijacked by aspiring tea-partiers who blasted it out to their friends.

    I encourage people to also listen to the comments of the council members, who voted 7-1 for the measure. In their comments (even the one opponent), many of them said that the hateful aspects of the debate had made them feel even more strongly about the need for the proclamation (even two who had considered to voting against the measure).

    As many people stood up in favor of the measure of against, their remarks just haven’t attained you-tube fame. Three pastors even made remarks in favor of the proclamation.

    These dialogs have to happen, and the bigots are going to be there. But we can beat them. And along the way, we can be there for those who are going to be crushed by their comments.

    You can listen to the council-members’ remarks after the 2:31 point the video:

  • Brandi

    I would like to talk to that “half black half white” woman who thinks she dosnt get recognition, there IS A MONTH FOR BLACKS, THERE IS A DAY FOR MOTHERS, THERE IS A DAY FOR WOMEN, so maybe she should check her calender and see that she does get national recognition for who she is.

  • Ken Camp


    You’re extremely lucky you moved to Los Angeles from Oklahoma.

    There truly are evil places on earth, and Oklahoma is definitely one of them. So many of my friends moved here from other evil hot spots such as Texas and Florida. I was born in Ohio, but was fortunate to have been moved to California when I was a baby. Now Ohio is one of the most evil states in the USA — it probably has the very worst anti-gay laws — all passed by the wonderful voters. Recently there were FOUR SUICIDES all at the same high school in Ohio. I cannot imagine living in such a hell. Recently I met a man at a movie party at my house. Turns out he was also from Ohio, had moved to California 34 years ago. I asked him why. He said, “The people in Ohio were all so evil.” Apparently he could find no one to reach out to there.

    Funny how evil folks like Dana Jackson moved to Noman, Oklahoma from California “because the gays ruined L.A.” while the truly decent people move away from hell holes such as Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Ohio.

    It really is that bad in plenty of places in the USA.

    Ken Camp, Los Angeles

  • The Patriot

    “It was this “toxic” exchange among neighbors, railing against the recognition of queers’ contributions to society, that led Zach to take his own life a week later, his family says.”

    you have got to be kidding me……..Suicide is NEVER the answer.

  • Janine Sotomayor

    My daughter knew this guy from Norman North and is saddened by his passing. My deepest sympathies to the family. Intolerant church freaks are one of my own reasons for switching to a more Buddhist style belief. Coming from a ‘churchy’background, I believed at the time homosexuality was sinful, but was a private matter between the person and the Higher Power, so it was not up to others to persecute as doctrine tells us we are all sinful. I guess I was delusional to think of Norman as a much more progressive place than the small town where I live now (originally from St.Louis). Again, my sympathies to his family. My daughter also left Norman North before graduating, in part due to not being ‘mainstream’. As said, ‘To thine own self be true’.

  • argyle

    That horrible woman is NOT representative of everyone in Norman. We need to support GLBT history month in places like Oklahoma, and to focus on the positive voices. That is where kids most need to hear them because there aren’t enough. A whole lot of people at this meeting spoke in favor.

  • Mark

    This is absolutely disgusting. There’s no tiptoeing around it because the plain truth is that each and every one of these despicable, hypocritical human beings has the blood of Zach Harrington on their hands. I hope they drown in their guilt.

  • L.

    I don’t believe there’s anything afterwards but I can’t help and hope he’s in a better place now anyway.

  • Soctane

    I can’t believe the second speaker said that homosexuality is taught and recruited. Makes it sound like a cult or like…ummmmm, some sects of a certain religion? It isn’t about what you do in your bedroom. And it is not a choice. Nor is it a lifestyle. Or a preference. Homosexuality is simply the way one is biologically oriented in their physical and emotional attraction.

    But isn’t it nice that the woman who is a minister of a faith spoke out in support of same sex families! Cheers to her!

  • Monk

    Sad this kid decided to kill himself,but I doubt it had much to do with the community meeting. Anyone who takes their own life has much deeper issues than simply hearing generically bad things said about a group one identifies with.

  • G. Suvari

    The bi-racial woman who commented should be ashamed of herself. Being a Christian is a lifestyle choice, being gay is not. Being an intolerant, hateful bigot who hides behind her own interpretation of the bible is unacceptable. Please repent!

    Thanks to the

  • Douglas Mason

    To the ‘educated’ bi-racial female: I was 5 years old when I knew I was attracted to the same sex. At that time I did not know what that meant but I am CERTAIN it was NOT from my parents teaching me it or me learning it from anyone. Rethink your masters degree or whatever it is youre going for because you fail.

  • Alecia

    Kudos to the Methodist preacher. It’s refreshing to see the message of non judgment surfacing. And to the half black lady: All you wanted to do was talk about yourself. We don’t care about all your supposed hardships or your 3.5 gpa.

  • JP

    “You have to recruit people to be homosexual, You have to teach someone how to be homosexual” one woman said…. I wasn’t taught to be homosexual, I didn’t get the memo, I have troubles myself how to be… I don’t want to be promoted to a higher level – i just want to be treated the SAME as everyone else! Equal!
    These people are teaching our children to hate… even tho they call themselves christians…. :/

  • john steen

    ?”America” asks non-radical muslims to stand up against radical muslims but does “America” ask that of our own religious ppl/radicals in regards to their treatment of gay people? Which goes exactly to my argument…

    John Steen

  • rhydderch

    c’mon, this is silly. we’re suppose to believe that this man killed himself one week after attending a city council meeting? this is total b.s. this dude killed himself because he’s mentally unstable, that’s the only sort of person who would kill themselves.

  • rhydderch

    This is just another fake media controversy. I’m curious to know what are the overall US suicide rates and if there is an increase in the number of suicides among teens. I guess those answers won’t fit into the current media narrative.

  • Joshy

    @John Steen:

    I love you for this. And you know what? Lets stand up and say: fuck you, hate.
    We’re going to get rid of hate of that very reason.

    Thank you


  • R

    This breaks my heart. I went to college in Norman. I love Norman. I hope this video doesn’t speak for the entire town. There is a lot of love in this town, if you look. It may not be easy to find, but there is strong loving support for GLBT. I had tons of gay friends, lived with 2 gay men for 3 years in Norman. That woman is a disgrace to OU. I was on the Dean’s List too (most of the school is), but it wasn’t was white or straight, so not really a valid point. My thoughts are with this kid and with the town.

  • Carol

    @Rod Man: Love how this woman talks so heatedly about how she does not expect to be exalted because of her race then she goes on and on -ad nauseum- about getting the African American Student of the Year award or some such crap. Disgusting.

  • Rebecca Rainbow

    As I read this I feel that my heart is broken. God doesn’t teach that being gay is preverted in the bible. It’s human mistranslation. Being gay or homosexual is a part of you and how he made you. I know Jesus’ heart breaks when she sees so much hatred coming from his creation towards another because they are different. Attacks like this are from the devil.

  • Rebecca Rainbow

    @JP: they do the opposite what the Lord has commanded he taught us to love and accept everyone. Gay people are that way because that’s how they were made :)

  • swarm

    @John Steen ?”America” asks non-radical muslims to stand up against radical muslims but does “America” ask that of our own religious ppl/radicals in regards to their treatment of gay people? Which goes exactly to my argument…

    A more difficult question is LGBT community asks LGBT youth to be strong but how many post-teen LGBT are actually living out and high profile role model lives?

    It would mean risking your life and livelihood. Will you? ((meaning the collective “you”)?

  • cowboyneok

    The biracial lady is full of shit. Her having a 3.5 GPA says something very disturbing about the standards at the University of Oklahoma.

  • Dan

    Dana Jackson,

    It makes me so sad to hear of someone who claims to know all about “that equality stuff” sound so close minded. By the way, I’d spend an eternity in LA versus a minute with you!

    I am from the liberal east coast and I have never had to experience such deep seeded hate in my life. I am happy to hear that dispite the religiously biased, hate personified, and uneducated opinion of many of the community, the board was still able to pass the proclamation.

    It boggles my mind that any person thinks a gay person would CHOOSE to be tormented. It’s sad to hear of another young man’s life lost due to hate. My heart goes out to his family!

  • monkey hunter

    So some white chick got fucked by a monkey to give birth to that Dana Jackson piece of shit?

  • Philp

    As a young man from Oklahoma, I am completely appalled and ashamed, at times, to call that place home. There is serious ignorance that runs deeper than any one city council meeting can bring light to. Most of these people wouldn’t know reality if it punched them in the face, which is unfortunate. There only defense/scapegoat is God and Southern Baptist propaganda. What I’d like to tell them, is that the same God-fearing-church-going-boys-turned-cops that they’re so proud of, are the same boys who raped me from the time I was four until I was fourteen. Here’s to all the ignorant Oklahomans out there, because karma’s a bigger bitch than I could ever be, and that’s saying something.

  • Jenny

    @Cassandra: You are a NUT JOB.

  • Cassandra


    You apparently cannot refute anything I posted with facts, and that somehow reflects poorly on me?


  • Mark in Dallas

    You should have GetEqual protest. They own the President and they have a way to make people respect us all. You can’t get anything by asking or being polite, you have to bash people in their faces and make them support us. I guess what I am saying is that you have to bully them. You have to tell them how it is and make all of your demands. Yelling is good, too.

    We always let people take advantage of us. GetEqual is write – slap them around a bit. make them look stupid. That’s all we need. Get Active. get Equal. Get Angry. get Results.

    If you are being bullied, call getequal, they will surround your school and force people to love you. They have weapons and great signage.

  • Mark in Dallas

    @Philp: move. oklahoma is full of christians.

  • Jennifer

    @John Steen: I have never in life been truly touched by someones comments; however this was said with so much truth and conviction that I found myself weeping. I am a licensed minister and also am a lesbian. I absolutely hate what is happening within our world and this senseless suicide and killings will continue unless the church can find exceptance. For our sake I hope it is not to late..

  • john steen

    @Jennifer: Thanks a lot, much appreciated. I’ve been really bothered by all of this too. I feel helpless in a way because I truly believe that we must go to the root of all problems for them to truly be solved. This country seems to put band-aids on everything, I mean look at war? “No war to end war will end war, nor ever has” Ervin Laszlo.

  • banjoleejones

    I do not understand how come people treat gay people so badly. There are really only two types of gays: The ones that you can plainly tell that they are gay and the ones where you can not tell that they are gay.

    I am one that you cannot tell that I am gay, and I mention this because there are so many more of us than people realize. It doesn’t really matter if you can tell or not. The point is, people need to grow up and realize what is right and what is wrong.

    I do not feel that I am wrong for loving someone of the same sex. It is what I have known ever since I began to have feelings of love and attraction. They were always for someone of the same sex. My parents are straight and so are my brothers. I am sorry people, but that is the way it is. It was not a choice. I do not think that I was raised differently from my brothers. That is just the way the genes fell.

    I do not go to church although I live a life that shows that I am a good person. I help my elderly neighbor, my parents, do kind things for other people, BUT I do not go to church. Why? It is because church is where I learned that I was supposed to be so different, that I should be hated, and many other negative things about myself and others like me.

    People (straight) please stop and think before you criticize us. You do not have to approve of us, but keep your mouths shut and think before you speak and act.

    If being gay is wrong, then you should still treat us with kindness. That is what your religion asks you to do. If being gay is wrong then God will handle us when our time comes.

    Parents, do not criticize gay people and make remarks that are negative. Your children will hear you, and unfortunately, many of your children will be gay. It is hard to take back all of the ugly things that you have said over the years when all of the sudden it is your child who you find out is gay.

    Also, please remember all of the things that we have in society that are good. Many of those things came from gay people as well. We do not think about those things when we find fault with someone, do we?

    I will continue to live my life as I haved until I die. I will treat others with kindness. It does not matter their age, their color, or their sexual orientation. It is NOT my place to judge. If there is a God, then God will do the judging of myself and others. There is no need to do it here.

    Just remember “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”. Before you open your mouths, THINK. Just think.

  • Ax.

    @tallskin2: It’s because in the UK it is so much more accepted. In America. It’s not. Can I just say what the f*ck? Why can’t it be accepted?

    It’s disgusting that parents teach their kids to hate people for who they love.

    I can understand why people move to the UK for LGBT.

  • Jack

    Well, this is depressing…

  • Patrick


    The media probably isn’t reporting it. This isn’t a new thing over here, the media just doesn’t usually report on it. Gay teens and young adults kill themselves at an alarming rate and did before all this media attention. They’ll continue when the attention dies down. The rate in the UK may be lower, but it’s doubtful that it’s THAT much lower.

  • Patrick


    Gay teens have a statistically significant higher attempted suicide rate. Around 15-30% (seemed to vary significantly both by study and sex of the respondents). Trans teens are near 50%. Teens in general are 2-6%. (Statistics are in the US).

  • Patrick


    Actually her post made more sense than many here. Btw, ad hominem attacks add nothing to a discussion except proof that the attacker has nothing intelligent to say.

  • Preston

    It’s religion. Here in the U.S. we have many religious (stupid) people who use the Bible as their guidebook to life and all of its issues. But they use it selectively though, and only use the parts they want to use. Notice they don’t advocate stoning children or not eating shellfish or wearing clothes made of different materials. Those prohibitions are simply ignored while Leviticus 18:22 is always cited ad infinitum. I’m not saying all religious people are stupid and homophobic, but almost all homophobic people are religious.

    These are extremely ignorant, simplistic, uneducated yokels and hicks who really don’t know any better. Not that their ignorance is any type of excuse at all, it’s absolutely not. Especially when they’re so hypocritical about everyone being God’s a child of God and not being violent towards others… all that gets instantly defenestrated when it comes to gays, and it’s usually always Bible-based. The few who aren’t using the Bible as their cludgeon are either infected with a disease called Hate (why it isn’t in the DSM I don’t know) or are self-loathing closet cases themselves; e.g., Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Paul Crouch, the list goes on and on and on.

    Below I’ve pasted a link and an article that are good to read.

    How Religion Is Killing Our Most Vulnerable Youth

    To: [email protected]
    Sent: Mon, October 18, 2010 6:16:21 AM
    Subject: Re: [usaqueers] How Religion Is Killing Our Most Vulnerable Youth

    Forced Off the Edge of Life’s Road
    by James Nimmo

    (OKLAHOMA CITY) The gay/straight alliance at the University of Central Oklahoma, a medium size state school in Edmond, OK, a bedroom town nearly contiguous with Oklahoma City, had a combination vigil/coming out day event this past Tuesday, October 12, recognizing the recent suicide of Zack Harrington and National Coming Out Day. It was held in a large public park in Edmond.

    I couldn’t stay for all of it but what I did see was a pretty good demonstration of being comfortable with being gay or lesbian. One of the leaders said the number was double over last year. I’d say about 70 people were there, mostly students in their early 20s, with some teenagers and older adults in the mix.

    I’ve known I was gay, though I didn’t know the word, since 4th or 5th grade of elementary school. The dictionary I used talked about “self-pollution”. What a scream. I was afraid it would somehow show up when I had to go to the doctor for a required physical.

    We put way too much emphasis on gender presentation and role playing when kids are too immature to understand their bodies and psychological needs. I think we should look at human development the same way we look at other living organisms that morph from one stage to another with radically different bodies. The outward shape of our human bodies doesn’t change so much, but the inner shape of our minds sure does–or they SHOULD change–doffing the myths and twisted beliefs we’re fed as children as we develop from our own experiences.

    Several of the public speakers at the Norman City Council meeting mentioned religious belief in their objection to the GLBT history month proclamation, making another example of the ignorance many people have about the separation of religious views and civil policies under the First Amendment. This was the meeting attended by Zack Harrington and apparently forced him off the edge of life’s road.

    Civil rights are the guaranteed benefits of being a citizen of this country, they are not subject to examination by a review panel to test if citizens are “worthy”. Civil rights are a birth right, inherent in the social contract between citizen and government.

    Though I am a believer in the right of self-deliverance in the face of inescapable terminal illness, I’m nearly speechless and wordless in the face of the suicides caused by the vehement, venomous vocabulary of religious, flat-earth thinking spewed in public meetings and the media.

    I’m reduced to involuntary head-shaking when trying to understand how the insidious poison of religion infiltrates young minds and dissolves the normal urge to live.

    Religion has always been the mental fog in the road of human progress, from Galileo and Copernicus to stem-cell research to the legal recognition of citizens without regard for their sexual orientation.

    It would appear that until more of us recognize the futility of religion, the false authority and violence it visits on innocent people, we’ll see more GLBT suicides as roadkill on the human highway.

    The link below provides a video of the ill-fated Norman, Oklahoma city council meeting.

    Oklahoma’s Zach Harrington, 19, Kills Himself After Hateful Town Meeting

  • Preston

    (my post was in reply to post #11, re: the difference between the UK and USA).

  • Preston

    @Ken S:

    “It’s too bad that taxpayers don’t get more direct say in how their tax dollars are spent; maybe then some of the civilised folk on the coasts- where there’s money and an iota of social enlightenment- could demand that the government direct the money currently supporting the backwards middle-American yokels to some sort of gay youth emancipation fund, so that these kids could get financial backing to turn their backs on their fly-over redneck towns.”

    Uh… not eveyone who lives in “flyover redneck towns” in middle America is “uncivilized, unenlightened, and backwards yokels”. I’m a radical lefty, militant homosexual/militantly gay, socialist, ultra liberal, etc., and consider myself very educated and rather sophisticated if I may say so… and I live in one of those “uncivilized, unenlightened, and backwards flyover redneck towns”. Your generalizing and assumed geographical superiority is just as bad as when the religious folk and whacko fundies say ALL gay people are bad.

  • Ann

    @tallskin2: who said, “ANOTHER gay teen suicide in the USA???

    I am sure that gay teens here in the UK are not committing suicide at this high rate, so I have to ask what the f*ck is going on in the US??

    why the difference between the UK and USA?

    Is it religion?

    Is it that gay teen suicides are not being reported here in Europe?


    I’m an American ex-pat living in the UK. There ARE gay youth committing suicide in the UK, but in no where near the numbers as it is occurring in the States. Why?

    Because gay rights are far more protected in the UK. Because same-sex civil unions are legal here. Marriage would be better, but in the UK more effort is made to stop gay men and lesbians being second class citizens. The UK has far fewer fundamentalist Christians telling our youth that they will burn in hell just because of who they were born to love.

    I left the States 20 years ago and I would – could – never return to live in a country that seems more and more founded on hate. I’m glad to know (via the internet) that there are still people in America who will stand up for the right of people to love who they were born to love, but unfortunately, they seem to be more and more in the minority with each passing year. It is so sad.

  • shaun

    No person is born HOMOSEXUAL. It is a Personal Choice. What I find sad is all of the people on here so agrily speaking against Christians. Do you all really not notice what you are doing? Is it really a hate Crime to have an opinion or belief? It is a sad day and age that we are living in. But, as a Christian, I rejoice because I know that the Lord is DEFINITELY coming soon.

  • Patrick


    No it’s not a hate crime to have an opinion or belief. How you EXPRESS it, that may be another story.

    And I’m sorry Shaun, but I’m transgender. And I was born this way. My CHOICE was not to live in the closet, full of self-loathing.

    That’s the same CHOICE that most gays have. There are some gays who choose to be gay (though I’m not convinced they aren’t bisexual choosing to be with the same sex).

    But many (not all, but a LOT) of children know as young as 3, 4, or 5 that they ‘like’ the same sex. They may not know what it means at the time, but they sure know it!

    When did you CHOOSE to be STRAIGHT, Shaun? I’m betting you were born that way. Can YOU choose to be gay? Or does the thought gross you out? You don’t have to answer openly, but at least be honest with yourself. If you are, you’ll drop the ‘it’s a choice’ line.

    And finally, would YOU choose to live a life where people tell you you’re wrong, an abomination, a freak (that’s the nice stuff), that you’re going to hell, that you should die. To be told you can’t marry the person you love, because you both happen to be the same gender. To be called a pedophile simply because you’re a gay man who wants to raise children (but no straight man gets that accusation, even though the majority of pedos happen to BE straight). To have people make rude comments when you kiss–not full on make out, but a simple peck, because you’re the same sex? WHY would we CHOOSE this?

  • Cassandra


    “No person is born HOMOSEXUAL. It is a Personal Choice.”
    No, it is not. What you are doing is called lying, Shaun. You are telling lies about other people’s lives, making false claims about their experiences.

    “What I find sad is all of the people on here so agrily speaking against Christians.”

    They are angry because people like you deny the validity of their experiences because of poorly informed guesses people like you make.

    “Do you all really not notice what you are doing?”

    Do you really not notice what you are doing? You are making claims about things you absolutely cannot know. You cannot know whether or not anyone chose to be homosexual unless they tell you, and consistently, GLBTQ people assert that they did not chose. So you just dismiss our testimony about our lives, indicating that you are not interested in the truth, have no respect for us, and are only interested in justifying harming us.

    “Is it really a hate Crime to have an opinion or belief?”
    It is a hate crime to harm others as an expression of your opinion or belief. However, in Christian theology, it is a sin to have a derogatory or demeaning or unjust thought about someone, such as your thought that we are lying about our lives.

    “It is a sad day and age that we are living in.”
    Much of the horror in the world comes from the kinds of behavior you have demonstrated in your post – hate, pride, arrogance, malice, deception.

    Perhaps you should stop contributing to what is wrong in the world and start seeking to create justice and equality, compassion and grace and respect instead.

    “But, as a Christian, I rejoice because I know that the Lord is DEFINITELY coming soon.”

    Given that you endorse injustice and tell lies, and God hates injustice and deceit, perhaps you should hope for more time to repent.

  • prohomo

    @shaun: SHAUN, Jesus loves you. BUT everyone else thinks you’re an asshole. Oh,what makes you think you’re a christian? You sound like a typical, ignorant,deluded, religous fool.

  • Janine Sotomayor

    I would look more thoroughly into the history of Christianity. The organized church has had Jesus’ message so drastically altered that it’s barely recognizable at times. Remember, these are the folks that brought you the Inquisition and Holy Wars. Much of the gospel was written by Paul, who appeared to consider women as second class citizens. Check out information about the Templars; they raise serious questions who and what Jesus actually was and meant-much has been taken out of context. Who really knows? Most of the world’s religions are hundreds of years older than Christianity. Whatever you believe, it’s not one person’s position to judge another.’Get that freakin’ log outta your own eye before you take the speck outta your neighbors’-luv ya-JC

  • freeform

    the video is not just scripted but rather a completely computer generated fake. they didn’t even have enough respect for the audience to fix the audio glitches.

    it is possible we’re dealing with a vicsim like Carl Joseph Hoover-Walker?

  • Patrick

    @freeform: You’re one of those people that screams “SHOPPED” at pictures everyone else knows are real, too, aren’t you?

  • The Raisin Girl

    I really think the people who are all like “well, I had it really tough as a kid and I didn’t commit suicide,” or “he could have just done something else to make himself happy, he didn’t have to die,” are being short-sighted and insensitive. No, Zach Harrington didn’t have to die. Neither did Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Billy Lucas, Tyler Clementi, or any of the other teenagers whose suicides have been reported lately. But you can’t put your own mental state and situation onto someone else and say that they should have handled it better, and you can’t just assume you know everything about someone’s life, no matter how many news articles you read about them.

    As someone who has been on the very brink of killing themselves–suicide note written, tears cried, weapon of choice in hand and ready to go–I can honestly say the only thing that stopped me was that as I mentally said goodbye to everyone I knew and cared about, I suddenly realized that there was ONE person in my life who would miss me as much as I would miss them, who cared and would be hurt and even tormented by losing me. People need that, we need to know that it makes a difference to someone whether we exist or not, even if it’s really ONE person only. And I knew I had that. Maybe Zach Harrington, for whatever reason, didn’t think he did. The fact that his dad seems to have been a supportive and loving parent doesn’t mean that Zach KNEW how his father felt. I guarantee you, when a person kills themselves it’s because they truly believe they have nothing left to live for.

    And you cannot imagine, unless you have been there, how thinking that for even a second can truly destroy a person. I am lucky to be here today, lucky that before I went through with killing myself I was able to stop and think of one single person who cared whether I lived or died, and that no matter how badly my life was going, that person still loved me. If someone else isn’t so lucky, and doesn’t realize there are people who care, I can’t judge them or belittle them as “weaker” than me. I can only have the utmost sympathy and pity for them, and for the people they left behind.

  • Mysterymonster

    Fuck that NIGER! She is a racist fucking BLACK FUCKING NIGRO

  • Patrick

    That is ABSOLUTELY UNCALLED FOR! There is NO need for racial epithets IRRESPECTIVE of her words!

  • MK Defacto

    Exit International.
    More and more good people are deciding to leave this planet while the crazies are here taking over.

    My sister committed suicide in 1986 at he age of 30.
    My mother did the same in 1995.
    4 good friends have done the same since 1990.

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