28th Annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade today

It only gets better

That’s this year’s theme of the Pride parade which features Honorary Grand Marshal, Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns and VIP guest, rugby star Ben Cohen. The parade is followed by the festival at Lee Park featuring live music and speakers. And it’s looking like the perfect day for a parade. Happy Pride.

DEETS: Parade starts at 2 p.m. $5 for festival. For details, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Light a Fire tonight at The Mac

Time to light a fire under people

When a group of friends came together to take a stance against bullying, Light a Fire was born. Now they hope to encourage many others to continue to raise awareness and educate on the issue. Fort Worth councilman Joel Burns guest speaks along with Dottie Griffith, Mike Rawlings and more at the Light a Fire inaugural event, with donations given to Youth First Texas.

DEETS: The MAC, 3120 McKinney Ave. 6:30 p.m. $25. The-Mac.org. Search “light a fire” on Facebook.

—  Rich Lopez

Dallas Morning News Names Joel Burns Finalist For “Texan Of The Year”

The Dallas Morning News has named openly gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns as a finalist for their annual Texan Of The Year award. Burns gained national attention for his heartfelt and heartbreaking “It Gets Better” message delivered from his seat during a city council meeting in October.

From an editorial in today’s paper:

Joel Burns was the picture of courage. Fort Worth’s openly gay City Council member had privately carried the pain of anti-gay bullying he suffered while growing up in nearby Crowley. Even his parents didn’t know the depths of his despair – until they found out in a very public way this fall.

In the opening moments of a City Council meeting, Burns used his microphone to reflect on a half-dozen teenagers who ended their lives rather than endure another minute of harassment. And he tearfully talked about his torment. “When someone like him who is so laid back speaks out so passionately, you know it really matters to him,” said state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth.

Burns’ appeal has inspired anti-bullying legislation in Texas, an outgrowth that could well save young lives. Burns has appeared on national and international radio and TV shows and received thousands of supportive e-mails and voicemails. Some are emotional and graphic testimonies from youngsters who said they were on the verge of suicide until they heard Burns speak. For his uncommon, selfless courage to spare others, Burns is a finalist for 2010 Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year.

Our congratulations to Councilman Burns!

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Victory Fund Supports Fort Worth’s Burns

JOEL BURNS X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMThe Victory Fund made its first endorsement for 2011 — getting behind
the reelection effort of Joel Burns, the gay Fort Worth city councilman
who in October made an impassioned speech in council chambers on LGBT
youth suicides.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Texas Radio Host Attacks Joel Burns

The day after openly gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns made his now-famously impassioned speech about bullying and gay suicides, local radio host Chris Krok launched a vile and homophobic attack on Burns that is just now getting wider attention. “Stop lying, you don’t have a ‘husband.'” Etc, etc.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Burns to appear on Tyler TV station


After being contacted by representatives with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, KETK television station, the NBC affiliate in Tyler, on Thursday, Oct. 28, agreed to remove from its  website an eight-minute segment, which the station broadcast on Wednesday, Oct. 27, on the number of LGBT people President Barack Obama has appointed in his administration.

The segment ended with the program host asking viewers, “Will the acceptance of homosexuality be the downfall of this country?”
GLAAD representatives said the Tyler TV station has also agreed to have openly gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns appear on its newscasts on Friday, Oct. 29.

According to a statement from GLAAD, Burns will appear on KETK newscasts Friday “to discuss why potentially harmful questions like Maier’s should not be asked — and certainly not broadcast over public airwaves — in the first place.”

The segment and the question to listeners apparently originated, however with radio host Garth Meier on KTBB 92.1 FM, which shares content with KETK, and Meier has yet to respond to the media watchdog group, GLAAD officials said.

Later on Thursday, though, KTBB 92.1 FM President Paul L. Gleise did issue an apology, saying, in part, that the question was “unfortunate in its wording and unfortunate in the perception that it created among a large number of thoughtful individuals. The question … is poorly worded at best and inappropriate altogether at worst. For that, we apologize.”

For complete coverage and updates, go online to DallasVoice.com/Instant-Tea.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 29, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

Watch: Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns and Husband J.D. Angle on ‘The Last Word’


Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns and his husband J.D. Angle appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell to talk about Burns' viral speech about bullying. Angle says he didn't know that Joel had even written the speech till just before he delivered it. Angle also says that he hadn't heard Joel's bullying story in 17 years of marriage.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Thomas Roberts Interviews Openly Gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

TX: Joel Burns, gay councilman, gives emotional testimony against bullying


Burns began by showing photographs and names; suicide after suicide of young teenage boys who are dead because of bullying about their perceived homosexuality.

His voice thick with emotion, Burns told their stories:

Asher Brown, a 13-year-old Cypress, Texas boy who shot himself.

Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old Minnesota boy who hung himself.

Seth Walsh, 13, whose mother found him hanging by a rope from a tree at their California home. Doctors couldn’t save him.

And then, Council member Burns talked about what happened to him when he was 13… years before he came out as a gay man.

“I was cornered after school by some older kids who roughed me up. They said that I was a fag, and that I should die and go to Hell where I belonged,” Burns said, adding that he had never told anyone before that moment that he had considered taking his own life.

Hat tip, GayPolitics.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright