The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) removed its LGBTQ youth resource page after a Republican challenging Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in next year’s election complained that tax dollars were being used to “promote transgender sexual policies.” Continue reading “GOP Candidate Claims Victory For Having Suicide Hotline Webpage Removed”
In this week’s podcast:
• Two gay men were shot in Miami for kissing goodnight
• A new study shows men in same-sex marriages experience less stress than their straight peers
• Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh went after Pete Buttigieg’s marriage but Pete clapped back
• New report shows LGBTQ youth consider suicide even more than we thought
• And new music from Bridesmen
All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report
The family of a 15-year-old in Louisville, Kentucky, is suing the teen’s former private school for expelling her after seeing a photo showing her celebrating her birthday with a rainbow sweater and rainbow birthday cake.
The parents of Kayla Kenney are suing private Christian school Whitefield Academy for “breach of contract, emotional distress, and defamation.”
Georgia Connally, the attorney who filed the lawsuit in Jefferson County Circuit Court, told local news station WDRB, “They made an assumption about a child’s sexual identity based on a birthday cake and a sweatshirt.”
Connally shares that, while Kayla identifies as LGBTQ, she wasn’t openly gay at the time of the expulsion.
But, Connally notes the lawsuit isn’t about LGBTQ discrimination.
“This lawsuit is about whether or not (the school) followed their own rules when they chose to expel Kayla, and they didn’t,” she said. “They skipped a whole bunch of (disciplinary) steps and went straight to plan Z, in my book, which is expelling a 15-year-old based on a photo.”
The letter sent to Kayla’s parents informing them of the expulsion read, in part, “The administration has been made aware of a recent picture posted on social which demonstrates a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs.”
The school went on to state, “We made it clear that any promotion, celebration or any other actions and attitudes that are counter to Whitefield’s philosophy would not be tolerated.”
Kayla reportedly filed an appeal asking to meet with the school administrators, but they declined the request.
Once the story attracted national attention, the school issued a statement to the press saying Kayla had previous student violations that were part of the decision to expel her from school.
“Inaccurate media reports are circling stating that the student in question was expelled from our school solely for a social media post,” the statement read. “In fact, she has unfortunately violated our student code of conduct numerous times over the past two years. In the fall, we met with the student to give her a final chance to begin to adhere to our code of conduct. Unfortunately, she did not live up to the agreement, and therefore, has been expelled.”
Connally takes issue with the school addressing the conflict with the media which, by her reading, not only outed the teen but constitutes breach of contract.
The lawyer notes that while the school is a private, religious entity, “There’s no religious exception for defamation, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
“If those things were done, then they’re just as liable as a public entity would be,” she added.
Whitefield Academy has not responded to calls or emails about the lawsuit.
Here’s the initial report about the expulsion from the local CBS News affiliate:
In a unanimous vote, the five members of the Federal Communications Commission approved plans to establish a three-digit phone number for suicide prevention.
The new three-digit number – 988 – will make it easier for those in crisis to reach suicide prevention experts and help reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.
“988 has an echo of the 911 number we all know as an emergency number,” Chairman Ajit Pai said at the commission’s meeting. “And we believe that this three-digit number dedicated for this purpose will help ease access to crisis services, it will reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health conditions, and ultimately it will save lives.”
A report by the FCC released in August called for specialized services for LGBTQ youth, veterans, and other populations at high risk.
Based on a survey of more than 34,000 respondents, a 2019 study by The Trevor Project found 39 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the previous twelve months.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2017 suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34.
CNN reports the proposal calls for an 18-month timeline which will give phone companies time to implement the 988 number. The time period also allows for public comment on whether it will take more time to do so or if it can be done earlier.
Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project, said in a press release, “The Trevor Project applauds the FCC for unanimously approving the proposal to adopt 988 as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.”
“Shortening the Lifeline number to three digits, along with transferring calls to those who can best serve high-risk populations like LGBTQ youth — who are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers — will save lives,” added Briton. “It is critically important that this proposal is implemented as swiftly as possible and that all Lifeline counselors are provided with LGBTQ cultural competency training to best serve LGBTQ youth in crisis.”
Until the new phone number is up and running, those in crisis can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386.
Since the premiere of the Roseanne reboot (now sans Roseanne Barr and retooled as The Connors), Darlene’s (Sara Gilbert) son Mark (Ames McNamara) has been dropping hints about his sexuality while being openly gender non-conforming.
[warning: spoilers ahead]
In this week’s episode, titled “A Kiss Is Just a Kiss,” Mark comes out as gay to his parents after kissing a boy at school.
Darlene gets a call from the principal that a meeting is in order because a photo of Mark and his friend Austin kissing had made its way onto social media.
When asked if Austin is Mark’s boyfriend, Mark explains the kiss happened in an excited moment after the two boys found out personal pizzas were being served for lunch.
Sharing that it had been the first kiss between the two, Mark tells his mom that Austin “only told me he was gay last week.”
But during the pow-wow in the principal’s office, Austin’s grandmother adamantly denies her grandchild is gay. And to Mark’s surprise, Austin agrees with his grandmother.
When Mark’s dad David (Johnny Galecki) tells the grandmother that Mark doesn’t lie, the grandmother shoots back, “Who are you going to believe? My kid or the boy with the nail polish?”
Darlene doesn’t hold back, telling the grandmother, “Maybe you don’t want to accept the fact that your grandkid might be gay, but you scaring him into denying…it’s just going to ruin his life.”
Later that evening, Darlene and David find Mark in his room, dejected as he removes his nail polish.
“You told me I shouldn’t hide who I am, and look what happened,” says Mark. “My life would be so much easier if I wasn’t gay.”
And that’s when Darlene delivers the goods.
“This is not your problem – it’s their problem,” explains Darlene. “Austin’s a jerk for turning on you, and his grandma’s a jerk for not caring how much she’s hurting the two of you. You should be mad, and you should stay mad ‘cause you’re amazing and everybody else sucks.”
And David jumps in with, “I think the hard part is that you know who you are at a very early age – and that’s great – but until the other kids catch up, it might be a little lonely.”
The scene ends with a family hug and Mark announcing, “I love myself! I’m glad I’m gay! Now leave me alone!”
The message is an important one for young LGBTQs and their parents to hear and see.
The Trevor Project, the national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people, reports that LGB youth who are rejected by their families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to those who are accepted by their families.
Forty percent of transgender people say they have attempted suicide with 92 percent of those individuals reporting their suicide attempts were before the age of 25.
Good for the team at The Connors for giving the TV audience a clear, positive portrayal of coming out.
The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Some news items you may have missed:
• Woofy Instastud Alex Abramov (above) is ready for the weekend #TGIF
• “Kill The Gays” Pastor Kevin Swanson ripped the new live-action box office bonanza that is Beauty and the Beast on his radio show recently. Swanson went on a tear ranting that not only is there a gay character, but the flick promotes “inter-species breeding.” #SRSLY
• Fox News is so excited about the “Mother of All Bombs” dropping on ISIS, they turned it into a music video. I kid you not…
• There are whispers that SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy might be considering retirement soon. That would shift the Supreme Court to a solid 5 conservative judges, and open the door to bad things for LGBTs.
• Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 99 into law this week, extending protections to LGBTQ youth in child welfare and juvenile detention facilities. AB 99 requires foster parents to be trained on working with LGBTQ youth, and requires state and local agencies and facilities to treat a child in accordance with their gender identity.
• Beach weather is coming, which means it’s time to pull it up, kids. For your viewing pleasure, here are some tips for bumping up the booty, courtesy of trainer Mike Espinosa: