WATCH: Randy Roberts Potts on Joy Behar

Randy Roberts Potts

Oral Roberts’ grandson Randy Roberts Potts, who lives in Dallas and spoke to Dallas Voice last summer, appeared on Joy Behar last night. He spoke to CNN anchor Don Lemon, who is also gay. The video is below.

Since speaking to Dallas Voice last year, Potts has been writing and has become a speaker appearing around the country, talking about coming out in an evangelical family. Last fall, he made an “It Gets Better” video that was included in the bestselling book of the same title.

In this interview, he said that when he visited his grandfather about six months before he died, he the evangelist apparently knew his grandson was gay and that meeting was his way of telling him that he loved him, “no matter what.”

When Lemon, 45, came out publicly earlier this year, he said that he’d been out to CNN colleagues for a long time.

—  David Taffet

UPDATE: Rangers may film ‘It Gets Better’ video

We just received an email from John Blake, executive vice president of communications for the Texas Rangers, responding to our inquiry Wednesday about the possibility of the team recording an “It Gets Better” video. FYI, the petition at Change.org calling for the Rangers to do so is now up to 2,394 signatures.

“The Rangers have received the correspondence and we are currently considering our options and the timing on any initiatives,” Blake said in his email.

We called Blake to try to get more out of him.

“It’s late in the season and everything, and it’s just a matter of timing and that kind of thing,” Blake said, adding that the team is in the midst of a pennant race. “We’ve received the correspondence [emailed petitions] and we’re just considering the best way to add the whole bullying initiative. We’ve discussed it internally and that’s where we’re at. I think it’s fair to say we’re seriously looking at our options.”

Asked whether the organization has set any kind of a timeframe for a decision, Blake said: “I think it will be sooner rather than later.”

In other words, keep those signatures coming!

—  John Wright

Rangers ‘It Gets Better’ petition gains steam

A while back we mentioned that online petitions had been launched at Change.org calling for both the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys to record “It Gets Better” videos.

At the time, the Rangers petition had only 124 signatures, but thanks in part to Equality Texas, which shared the link on Facebook earlier today, it’s now up to more than 1,700. (For those who are keeping track, that’s about 1,000 fewer than a recently-gone-viral petition at Change.org calling for Sesame Street‘s Bert and Ernie to wed. )

The Cowboys petition isn’t faring so well, languishing at only 57 signatures. Still, that’s better than the three people who’ve signed a petition — launched since our previous report — calling for the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks to record an “It Gets Better” video. (It would help if the folks starting these petitions would at least include the team logo.) We were unable to find any petition related to the Dallas Stars.

Anyhow, we’ve put a message in to John Blake, the Rangers’ executive vice president of communications, to find out whether the Rangers are aware of the petition or plan to record an “It Gets Better” video.

Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Tampa Bay Rays will become the ninth Major League Baseball team to film an “It Gets Better” video later this month. (And, by the way, those teams include the one with the very best record in the league, my Philadelphia Phillies.)

—  John Wright

WATCH: Joel Burns, 12-year-old Sam Maden discuss Red Sox ‘It Gets Better’ video on CNN

Eight months removed from his viral speech, the gay Fort Worth councilman made yet another appearance on CNN last week — this time to talk about 12-year-old Sam Maden’s successful petition to get the Boston Red Sox to film an “It Gets Better” video. Watch the segment below.

“I’m proud of Sam and I think that his bold action is yet another example of people joining in this conversation about teenage bullying and suicide,” Burns said. “All of our kids’ lives have worth and even the children have a role in participating in that conversation. I’m so very glad that he did this.”

Also, Theatermania reports that Burns will guest-star June 25 in an off-Broadway production of My Big Gay Italian Wedding, at St. Luke’s Theatre in New York. Burns will officiate the marriage ceremony at the end of the play.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Youth First Texas’ ‘You’re Not Alone’ project, a peer-to-peer version of ‘It Gets Better’

When members of Youth First Texas went to Austin in March to lobby for anti-bullying legislation, they did a better job of explaining the importance of such laws than any of the adults who were there. They were able to look senators and representatives in the eye and tell them personal experiences about having been bullied. Some of the youth told lawmakers they had attempted suicide, something that wouldn’t have happened if schools took bullying more seriously.

Walking back from the Capitol to a local church that was hosting lunch, the YFT members had an idea to make videos about their experiences. First, they sent copies to State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who shared them with other members of the Education Committee. But the videos also had another purpose — saving lives. While the “It Gets Better” videos are mostly adults telling teens they’ll get through their bad experiences in high school, YFT’s “You’re Not Alone” videos contain messages from LGBT youth to LGBT youth.

Watch the first set of videos from YFT’s “You’re Not Alone” project after the jump.

—  David Taffet

Apple employees join It Gets Better effort

Ok. So the the “It Gets Better” videos aren’t new, and there are a ton of them out there.

But this one — from Apple and featuring Apple employees — is new to me, and it is, I think, one of the most touching I have seen.

—  admin

Dan Savage comes to the Kessler tonight

The guy behind Savage Love and the “It Gets Better” campaign is coming to Dallas. Just like the poster says.

We wonder how he’ll approach this speaking engagement. Can he balance the sex talk from his podcast and syndicated column with the supportive message against bullying? Or is it one over the other? Personally, I’m just kinda hoping for anecdotes about his work for This American Life. Especially this piece.

 

 

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: ‘It Gets Better’ — even in Texas

Looks like some local folks are among those who’ve put together videos for writer Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project on YouTube. The project, launched in response to the recent rash of suicides by gay teens, is aimed at LGBT youth and features adults explaining that no matter how bad things may seem, they really do get better. Those who’ve recorded messages for the project include Resource Center Dallas’ Rafael McDonnell and Bret Camp, and the Rev. Stephen Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth. Do you know of other local folks who’ve recorded these? If so, feel free to put the link in the comments.

—  John Wright