WATCH: Houston LGBT equality group plans protest near Asher Brown’s school

An LGBT equality group is organizing a protest and vigil on Tuesday afternoon near Hamilton Middle School, where gay 13-year-old Asher Brown was “bullied to death.”

According to the Facebook page, the event is being organized by the Foundation for Family and Marriage Equality, which is described on its own page as a “Houston social justice organization committed to equality for families headed by GLBTQ couples.”

From KTRK in Houston:

The demonstration is set to begin at 3pm across the street from Hamilton Middle School. That is the time that school lets out. Organizers of this event are calling it an anti-bully human rights demonstration and while it will highlight the case of Asher who was a student at Hamilton, the event will address the larger trend that we have seen across the country.

Sadly in September alone nine teens committed suicide across the U.S. because they say they were in some form or fashion bullied at school. Organizers and advocates say schools need programs in place and that states need to pass laws to protect kids like Asher and prevent further tragedy.

“Everybody was feeling really bad about this what has happened to Asher Brown and I think people were just kind of tired of it,” said rally organizer Barry Ouellette. “We wanted to get out and do something about it and make sure that action is taken.”

—  John Wright

P-Town Holds LGBT Youth Suicide Vigil

Last night JMG reader Scott emailed us these cell-cam photos of Provincetown’s vigil for LGBT youth. Don’t forget tonight’s vigil in NYC, mentioned two posts below this one.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Tomorrow In NYC’s Washington Square: Glowstick Vigil For LGBT Youth

Sunday at 9pm thousands will gather in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park for a You-Are-Loved vigil for LGBT youth. (No candles, open flames are strictly forbidden.) Facebook event page:

The vigil will start promptly at 9:00pm in Washington Square Park underneath the arch. Please bring your own glowstick if you have one as there will be a limited amount available. We will have at least 1,000 glowsticks to provide. The event will culminate in a chalking session in honor of the 2nd annual “You-Are-Loved Chalk Messaging Project.” This project is meant to provide uplifting messages as well as shed light on the amount of bullying, harassment, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts that disproportionately affect queer youth.

Confirmed guests include the Trevor Project, Ali Forney Center, GLAAD, and Heritage of Pride. I will attend and document the event for JMG. Now where does one buy a glowstick in NYC?

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Rewards for info on Lisa Stone’s disappearance

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the disappearance of Lisa Stone, a lesbian from Dallas who’s been missing since early June. To submit a tip to Crime Stoppers, call 877-373-8477 or go here.

In addition, Stone’s longtime friend Tina Wiley says a separate $5,000 reward is being offered by an anonymous source for info leading to Stone’s safe return, as well as the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for her disappearance. For information about the second reward, e-mail

About 75 people reportedly attended another vigil Aug. 6 outside the northeast Dallas home Stone shared with her partner. Relying heavily on Facebook, Stone’s friends have done a remarkable job of keeping her disappearance in the news, as the Dallas Observer, White Rock Lake Weekly and Mesquite News all reported on the vigil.

Above is a video featuring scenes from vigils outside Stone’s home. The video, posted by Wiley, is fittingly set in part to the Williams Brothers’ “Can’t Cry Hard Enough,” which was featured in “Brokeback Mountain.”

With police reporting no new information in the case, the outlook of Stone’s friends is perhaps best summed up by Tammye Markle in the White Rock Lake Weekly: “Our first hope and prayer is that Lisa will come back to us. However, it has been two months and the reality is that the chances of that happening are slim.”

—  John Wright

Holocaust vigil for LGBT victims


On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Equality March Texas organized a vigil to remember LGBT Holocaust victims.


The vigil began at the Highland Park fountain and proceeded down Oak Lawn Avenue to the Legacy of Love monument.

—  David Taffet

Vigil remembers two murdered teens and one Houston hate crime victim

Lighting candles at vigil
Participants light candles during Sunday night’s vigil on Cedar Springs.

About 100 people gathered at the Crossroads on Sunday night to remember two teens murdered and another attacked in three separate attacks that occurred over the last two weeks.

Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, 19, was raped, stabbed, burned and dismembered in Puerto Rico.

Jason Mattison Jr., an openly gay 15-year-old sophomore at the Vivian T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy in Baltimore was found dead last week at his aunt’s house. He had been raped, gagged with a pillowcase and stabbed repeatedly in the head and throat. Then his body was shoved into an upstairs closet at the house.

In Houston, Jayron Martin, 16, was chased down after school and beaten with a metal pipe while eight classmates stood around and watched. He had talked to his principal and the school bus driver about threats repeatedly made against him but neither did anything to intervene. A neighbor who saw someone getting beaten up got his shotgun and broke up the attack. The bus driver has been suspended but the principal has not been.

Bob McCranie organized the rally with help from members of Equality March Texas. Speakers included Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle from Brite Divinity School, Jesse Garcia, Chastity Kirven, McCranie and Beau Heyen. Elizabeth Pax led the group in protest songs.

After the vigil, the group walked with lighted candles from the Crossroads to the monument at Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn Avenue and back.

—  David Taffet