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I've been talking to Tully Satre (view his blog here
, which I have added to my blog links on the side), the 16 year old high school gay rights activist.
He founded an advocacy group, Equality Fauquier/Culpeper
, in Virginia and is its Executive Director. He is helping to start The Voice Project (www.voiceproject.org, the site is down until March) and is also working with Equality Virginia
Tully is a great guy and an awesome advocate… With him in Virginia and with me here in North Carolina, you can bet we’ll have at least these two states covered when it comes to LGBT advocacy by youth! Tully is doing a lot though… Executive Director of an advocacy group at 16 years old… wish I was there, I’m still at the Board of Directors level, lol.
Everybody check out his blog and take notice of what this guy is doing... maybe him and I will end up working together at the same LGBT advocacy group in the future, you never know. Like me, his focus of advocacy and activism is on LGBT youth, the most vulnerable population within the LGBT community.
Here is an excerpt from a post on Tully's blog
countless GLBT/Q youth trapped in their very own homes, in their very own lives. There are
countless GLBT/Q youth thrown out on the streets - everyday - in our community. I used to visit a local teenager who had been thrown out of his house - because he told his parents he was gay.
Brian* lived on a bench in front of a common building in Warrenton, (Fauquier County), Virginia. I haven't seen him since August.
Brian was a junior at Fauquier High School (FHS) in Warrenton. He had shaggy brown hair, glasses, and loved the color black. He was gay, and his parents kicked him out at age 17. Brian tried countless times to commit suicide, but luckily he never succeeded. He never got his diploma. Brian is among the 30% of GLBT/Q youth who drop out of High School.
I heard he found a home and is living with friends near the border of Maryland. He has a job and is making a living on his own - but not the living he could have made with the support of his parents, or the completion of High School.
FHS does not have a Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) - in fact - no public school in Fauquier County has a GSA. Brian had no one to turn to. I received countless reports from students at FHS who claimed that such efforts to create a GSA were not successful, and that in fear of retribution they did not take it to the ACLU. Another teen attending a different school in Fauquier County reported that he was forced by his parents to pretend to be straight, or he would be kicked out of his house. Other reports indicated drug use among local GLBT/Q teens that have had no peer support. All reports from teens, and friends of teens, who had been struggling with drug-related issues because of the societal pressure on their sexual orientation have recovered. However, they continue to struggle with an everyday addiction. With this, I realize two things:
1.) GLBT/Q Youth need our help. The leading cause of death for gay youth is suicide.
E-mail me if you have questions on how to help our GLBT/Q youth tully 'at' efcva 'dot' org. (You can contact me as well at matt 'at' matthillnc 'dot' com, ~MH
2.) I am one of the luckiest kids alive.
I have compassionate, loving parents who have taught me to accept others as well as myself for who we are, and what we were born to be. (Ditto. ~MH
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