18 Oct

Joel Burns tells gay teens “it gets better”

Dear The McGlynn,
I’ve found myself crying in public more often than I could have imagined over the past week.  

What made me cry? The suicides of gay kids (or kids perceived to be gay) and their struggles — and the heartbreaking stories inspired by the “It Gets Better” campaign launched by Dan Savage to stop those suicides.

You might have already seen the powerful “It Gets Better” story told by Joel Burns, a member of the Ft. Worth City Council in Texas. Since a video of Joel’s poignant city council testimony was posted on Wednesday, more than 1.6 million Americans have watched it and shared it with their friends. And now, many more will see it today after messages like this one from Courage, the Trevor Project, MoveOn and the Victory Fund.

Please take a moment to watch Joel’s story now — and join us in thanking him for his courage in expressing his personal story to the world. Along with thousands of other people, your signature will be presented to Joel Burns on behalf of the Courage community:

Tears burst forth when we’re angry or sorry or compassionate or mourning or simply incapable of expressing what’s in our soul.

Friday night, I spoke in Stockton, California. I choked up as I tried to relate some of the testimony from the Prop 8 trial — testimony from an old and famous book that informed millions of Americans that gay people were inferior. The passage I cited sounded funny at first, but then I cried. That passage has been with me my whole life, never out in the open until it was in open court.

That’s what Joel Burns did. He said what was in his heart and locked in his soul, never released until he publicly testified, connecting his story with the teens who killed themselves because they were made to feel like they were less than human beings.

Joel said he may face repercussions for being honest about his story. Will you join us in showing Joel that he faces not repercussions but support for his courage? Just click here to watch Joel’s amazing testimony and  then sign our community card thanking him:

Thank you for showing your support for Joel. If we all raise our voices together, lives will be saved.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign Institute

P.S. Joel’s story is just one of many ways you can help spread the word about bullying and teen suicide. If you’re looking for a helpful list of resources and organizations working to help solve the problem, click here:

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