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What a great story! For once, I'm proud of a tiny slice of American culture.

Posted by sweet kid | April 2, 2007 12:34 PM

My favorite chunk:

Still, seventh grade was not easy. “We heard kids across the street yelling ‘homo’ as he waited for the school bus,” Mr. O’Connor says. Zach says classmates tossed pencils at him and constantly mocked him. “One kid followed me class to class calling me ‘faggot,’ ” he says. “After a month I turned and punched him in the face. He got quiet and walked away. I said, ‘You got beat up by a faggot.’ ”
Posted by Eli Sanders | April 2, 2007 1:00 PM

"that the ongoing pogrom against gays"

So people, right now, in this country, are going out in mobs and killing gays and destroying gay communities? Huh. Wonder why that's not on the news.

I mean, I don't want to mess with your education from the Dan Savage School of Hyperbolic Rationalization, but it just doesn't seem like the right word to use, much less on this week of all the weeks of the year. One gay guy getting murdered is tragic, but it's not a pogrom. Call me when rampaging Russians are burning down the Castro.

Posted by dw | April 2, 2007 1:15 PM

how nice. also, dw @ #3, i agree that pogrom is right out of the School of Hyberbolic Rationalization textbook. but it really did feel like open season back in february-march.

Posted by josh | April 2, 2007 1:27 PM

Uh, It's nice that the parents were supportive, but what's with the focus on sports? He didn't want to toss the football, couldn't remember the rules of sports, and *gasp* even after coming out wasn't interested in sports? Is there some sort of anti-sports homo gene that the New York Times knows about? I'll have to break the bad news to my straight friends who have no interest in sports...the NYT says you're gay! And his friends were girls and timid boys - this is telling? c'mon, really, it's a heart-warming story about the family, but it could have been written without the author clinging to cliches like a life raft.

Posted by switzerblog | April 2, 2007 2:16 PM

but then it wouldn't have been a new york times article, switzerblog @ #5.

Posted by josh | April 2, 2007 2:21 PM

Lucky kid! I'm envious.

Posted by monkey | April 2, 2007 3:49 PM

I think it's great that the parents asked him why he didn't come out in fifth grade. I really love this progress. I came out at 16 in small town New Mexico and had a pretty good reception. I think it's amazing that this kid came out at 14 with full parental support. I'm hoping that in another ten years, kids will be coming out in fifth grade and spend middle school being catty and putting together drag routines.

Posted by Gitai | April 2, 2007 4:17 PM

@5: Not all girlish boys and boyish girls grow up to be gay . . . but a lot of us do.

Posted by Cate | April 2, 2007 4:21 PM

@9: No argument - I'm just saying it's hardly a reliable belweather, and the article could've been written (and would have been stronger) without that nugget's frequent appearance. It annoys me that in writing an article about progress in our nation's views about gay kids, the author proceeds to cling to a meaningless cliche.

Meanwhile, this fine paper's Big Gay Editor is enjoying a beer at opening day...I'm just sayin'.

Posted by switzerblog | April 2, 2007 4:47 PM

I think that it is terrific that he was able to come out so young. I pretty much came out at 21, but not a "deal with me or not" until 37. It has been 10 years and I have yet to meet an Ann Coulter-like bitch. She should be ashamed.

Posted by lawrence clark | April 3, 2007 4:08 AM

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