It might seem easy to write off gay Dallas-based musician and YouTuber Brandon Hilton as a joke. After all, Hilton’s first several posts on Twitter today consisted mainly of skin care tips (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But then Hilton fired off the below piece about gay teen suicide, letting us know he’s more than just “an attention whore and failed MySpace celebrity,” as one closetedhomophobic critic claims. Now then, with his permission, here’s the full text of Hilton’s extended Tweet:
It breaks my heart to hear about all the recent suicides! 4 boys dead in 3 weeks!
Life is not always sunshine and roses… for anyone. not even for me! we all have dark moments, and we all have pasts that we may or may not ever want to talk about. I was planning to save mine for a biography one day, but that was a selfish publicity idea for later on in my career when the glam died down. I think the need to share my story comes now at a crucial time when kids are confused and lonely, and knowing that one of MY FANS could take his/her own life because they feel alone simply breaks my heart. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
You may not be gay, you may not know if you are gay, you may not even know anyone gay, but if you suspect someone you know is, dont attack them. please talk to them, especially kids! you have a reason and a purpose in life, and you are FABULOUS!
In elementary school I was never the popular kid, I had a few friends who stuck by me, and still do to this day. It was rough being short and different and shy. I hung out with girls more than guys, and I didnt really identify with anyone else around me. I knew I was different. In middle school a name emerged, the boys started calling me GAY. so I started researching to find out what it was, sure enough the name fit and I owned it, I didnt tell them they were right about me, I kept it hidden until high school, then they came up with a new word for me…. FAGGOT, I hated that word, it pissed me off just to hear it. It was such a hard road through high school, my 10th grade year I decided that I was going to come out and tell everyone who I really was, so I did. It got worse and almost everyone turned on me, I didnt know what to do, so I had a genius idea to threaten them all. this idea got me expelled from high school for the entire year my 10th grade year of school. It was one of the lowest points of my life.
After the news broke my friends slimmed down to pretty much 2 people. only 2 that I felt I could trust, connect with and tell anything to. about a week after being expelled, I realized how bad I had fucked up my life and I felt hopeless. I had family I could talk to and I had 2 friends I could talk to, but I didnt feel like I could talk to them. I decided that my life wasnt worth living if I couldnt be like everyone else and be normal, so I tried to kill myself. and again, and once again, over the course of 2 months. this landed me in a psychiatric hospital under 24 hour surveillance for 2 weeks. It saved my life. In the hospital I met people who were like me, and who identified as gay and who were ok with it. the counselors helped me understand that I was normal and no different from anyone else except for being slightly more fabulous.
I left that hospital with a will to live, and a will to survive and change the minds of everyone who ever put me down. Its been a long road since then, but I can honestly say looking back, and seeing now that I more than achieved my goal, I developed a drive to succeed and ambition, and though my dreams were high, I’m achieving them.
I went back to high school the next year with a new look and a new way of living, words rolled off me like water resistant couches and new friends came in droves, I’m not saying that anyone should go through any of this to find themselves, but I think finding yourself is the biggest way you can change your life. not everyone is born to be an actor, or a singer, or a model, let alone all three. but EVERYONE is born with a purpose in life, and your goal is to find it and fucking rock it!
Being openly gay has been the biggest restriction on my career, and has kept me from already coming out on top of my goals, but I found ways around the doors that closed in front of me, I climbed in through the windows. I’ve accomplished so much in my life in only 23 years that most people will never do or see or have the opportunity to do. I’m thankful that my life was spared and I was able to do the things I have, and I want to give back that inspiration and that wisdom to others to spare them, YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS, you can do so much more than you’ll ever think you’re capable of, you just have to go for it. every dream, goal or wish is achievable no matter how insane people may think it is. if you fall, pick yourself up and try again. you cant fall forever!
My family didnt always support me, they thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to do all the things I’m doing now, but that didnt stop me. I went out on my own and I kicked down the doors and the barriers and I fought and worked my ass off to make this dream a reality. just imagine what you can do when you believe. I believe in all of you, I believe in everyone. gay, straight, bisexual, black, white and yellow, you have a purpose and a meaning in life.
I havent lived the peachy perfect life that people seem to think I did, I have an extremely rocky and rough past, but all of it molded me into the amazing person I am today. I dont say that in a cocky way, I say it in a confident way. everyone is amazing in their own way, you have to find your beauty and you have to rock it! because EVERYONE is beautiful!
Stephen Colbert appeared before Congress today to discuss illegal immigrants in the farming community, and he did so the politicized character made famous on his Comedy Central Show, The Colbert Report.
"It is an honor and a privilege, Congresswoman [Zoe Lofgren] asked me to share vast experience spending one day as a migrant farm worker. I am happy to use my celebrity to draw attention to this important, complicated issue," said Colbert before the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration.
He went on: "[Farm work] was really, really hard… It turns out — and I did not know this — most soil is at ground level." Colbert's comments were humorous, yes, and has some people criticizing Colbert for turning the Capitol into a media circus. But isn't that the point?
“America’s farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables. Now the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables and if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you’ll see that many Americans have already started," said the comedian, who once appeared as the closeted gay teacher Chuck Noblet on Strangers with Candy and has joined the United Farm Workers of America's "Take Our Jobs" campaign, which sheds like on the plight of migrant farmers in America.
Of course, as Colbert pointed out, we need fruits and vegetables: "Unfortunately, my doctor has informed me that they are a necessary source of roughage. As evidence, I would like to submit a video of my colonoscopy into the congressional record."
"Who will take that job?" remains Colbert's underlying, rib-tickling question. Not everyone thought he was funny.
"Maybe amnesty supporters should spend less time watching Comedy Central and more time considering all the real jobs that are out there that require hard labor and don't involve sitting behind a desk," snipped Iowa Rep. Steve King at the hearings, and fellow GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz tweeted this week, "The Dems have called him [Colbert] as an expert witness. What a joke."
Rep. John Conyers Jr., meanwhile, compared all the attention to that surrounding Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings. "That's a haunting remembrance," said the Michigan Democrat. That sounds like a ringing endorsement of Colbert's appearance!
Despite being a "hot-button" issue in Washington, many Americans, particularly Colbert's young audience, aren't paying enough attention to the nooks and crannies of immigration reform. It's an idea, one without specifics or human faces.
Colbert, for all his sly smiles and dry wit, wants to raise awareness of illegal existence in the United States, and perhaps change some minds on the process of legalizing undocumented workers.
No matter which way someone leans on the topic, Colbert's appearance will definitely — and has already — sparked civil discourse, a cornerstone of any democratic nation. While the "media circus" aspect of Colbert's entertainment credentials deserves examination, the real focus should be on the funny man's message, one that addresses not only immigration, but also the essential importance of public debate.
Here's video of Colbert's opening statements today:
We’ve officially received the first of what undoubtedly will be several non-heat-related post-Pride complaints. After all, you can’t please everyone all the time. This one comes from Kit Elliott, who says he wants to lodge a “formal complaint” against Dallas Pride for alleged anti-Republican “hate” in the form of comments made by the MC prior to the start of the parade. “It must stop and it has to stop,” Elliot writes. Here’s his full e-mail, which we’ve forwarded to Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild:
I would like to lodge a formal complaint against the Dallas Pride Parade for their words and actions do not match their message. While the leaders have their own beliefs, they need to keep their message of hate to themselves. I showed up to the parade around 1:30 pm, and the first sentence out of the MC’s mouth was an anti-Republican statement — a “we hate Republicans joke.” This is offensive to the GLBT Republican community who believe in human rights and fiscal responsibility. I believe that you should infiltrate the community with those who accept us and change the mindset from within instead of “fighting” and excluding this group from an otherwise excluding world. Can you imagine being GAY and growing up with the discrimination that gays get and flocking to a community that accepts you just to feel that discrimination again from within the community. It must stop and has to stop! I will NOT tolerate a community of hate and discrimination, and Dallas Voice and the parade planners should NOT tolerate this either.
Please forward this on to the parade planners for next year.