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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It Gets Better: Gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns

Posted by on Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Watch it.

 

Comments (71) RSS

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1
More, more, more council members like this! What a great person.
Posted by bpinsea on October 13, 2010 at 11:20 AM · Report this
2
Sometimes it worth crying at work
Posted by hawkorhandsaw on October 13, 2010 at 11:29 AM · Report this
3
...crying at work.
Posted by Timothy http://www.moreperfect.org on October 13, 2010 at 11:37 AM · Report this
4
Wow. Chills and tears. In Texas even.
Posted by Glad to have worn waterproof mascara on October 13, 2010 at 11:37 AM · Report this
5
This guy - this gay guy - was elected in Fort Worth, Texas? And received a standing ovation for his story? Maybe Texas isn't as far back in the Stone Age as I thought.
Posted by Schweighsr on October 13, 2010 at 11:41 AM · Report this
6
Wow, gay-friendly wisdom from deep in the heart of Texas. So much for Dan Savage and the Stranger staff's heralding the "Urban Archipelago" of the blue states.
Posted by Crock on October 13, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Noadi 7
This made me bawl like a baby. I hope he doesn't receive any political fallout from this because the people of Texas need a guy like this.
Posted by Noadi http://noadi.net on October 13, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Loveschild 8
Life is precious and should never be taken away, it is a gift from the Creator and as such we must care for it, I believe that's something we all can agree in. But instead of placing blame on the people usually on their target list it would be wise to take a look at judges like the recent arbitrary decisions like that of judge Virginia, that in no way help mend the fences to avoid a hostile environment and one focused on sexualizing the youth and thinking that a minors mind is on par with that of an adult.
Posted by Loveschild http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/responding_to_haiti_earthquake/ on October 13, 2010 at 11:47 AM · Report this
9
Support openly gay candidates for public office. We need more people like Joel Burns to tell our stories in city councils, in state legislatures and in Congress.
Posted by Denis on October 13, 2010 at 11:50 AM · Report this
10
I would like to suggest to all sloggers that they please only respond to commenters with actual capacity for human compassion and empathy, and ignore trolls who can't leave their pet bigotries aside even in the face of such inspirational bravery.

This guy has balls of steel, to be out and in public service where he is. He gives special hope to gay kids in the South that even there, things are changing for the better.
Posted by Lynx on October 13, 2010 at 11:54 AM · Report this
11
Me four, crying at work.

Boys do cry. And that's a good thing.
Posted by Prettybetsy on October 13, 2010 at 11:56 AM · Report this
angel in indy 12
As if I wasn't weepy enough today, with watching the Chilean miners being pulled out of the ground one by one, now I see this amazing man tell (most of) his story. What a great, unproductive day at work!
Posted by angel in indy on October 13, 2010 at 11:56 AM · Report this
13
LIKE BUTTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by ThomasHyde on October 13, 2010 at 12:03 PM · Report this
14
Love love love this guy. I'm going to send this video to my county council members and ask that they make a similar public statement condemning the homophobia that is driving kids to suicide.
Posted by Katy http://www.whateverkaty.blogspot.com on October 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Zergling Supermodel 15
Speechless... Now that's a real mensch.
Posted by Zergling Supermodel on October 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM · Report this
16
Teary now!
Posted by Jamie in Pittsburgh http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/strawberry.limonade?ref=name on October 13, 2010 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Principessa Diannessa 17
Friend him on Facebook at www.facebook.org/joelburns1. I also sent him a personal message that he has my vote for President whenever he is ready to run. He is AMAZING.
Posted by Principessa Diannessa on October 13, 2010 at 12:14 PM · Report this
Principessa Diannessa 18
He has my vote whenever he decides to run for President. Friend him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/joelburns1
Posted by Principessa Diannessa on October 13, 2010 at 12:15 PM · Report this
despicable me 19
You are my hero today, Joel Burns. Rock on dude!
Posted by despicable me on October 13, 2010 at 12:22 PM · Report this
20
We're lucky to have him in DFW.

Posted by DallasMark on October 13, 2010 at 12:28 PM · Report this
21
Fort Worth is lucky to have a council member like Joel. (this coming from a native Fort Worthian who volunteered for his campaign)
Posted by mktyson on October 13, 2010 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Cory 22
Really beautiful video. I cried too.
Posted by Cory on October 13, 2010 at 12:36 PM · Report this
merry 23
Can't see videos from work but I'll check it out when I get home.. Already cried this morning watching the miners come up (hi @12!), I'll bookend my day with happy tears - 'cause how often do you get to do that??

Yes, even in Texas -- See, this is why I'm an optimist. WE ARE ON THE SIDE OF GOOD - and GOOD will always win out over BAD. Sometimes the arc is awfully long, so long that one human being can't see it all -- but I'm firmly convinced that the world is evolving towards equality and enlightenment and away from prejudice, bigotry and fear. (Hi Loveschill!)
Posted by merry on October 13, 2010 at 12:38 PM · Report this
24
Lordy, how wonderful. Here's an article on this by a friend of ten years, with a picture of dear Joel with his husband (whom one is sure has since thought better of the chin wedge).
http://www.dallasvoice.com/joel-burns-be…
Posted by gloomy gus on October 13, 2010 at 12:39 PM · Report this
MR. Language Person 25
I listened to this on the way home (on my phone, didn't watch), and I lost it. That doesn't happen often.
Posted by MR. Language Person on October 13, 2010 at 12:54 PM · Report this
26
@14 - That is a fantastic idea, and one I will do as well.

A resolution called One Baton Rouge came up before our Metro Council earlier this year. The resolution basically would have encouraged businesses to not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation. No law, mind you, just encouragement.

Well, the pastors of a bunch of conservative churches took out a full page ad in the paper decrying the resolution as going against biblical pricipals and encouraging Metro Council to vote against it. The council person who planned to introduce the resolution pulled it, because he knew it wouldn't pass and thought it would damage him politically.

I'm sending this to our council so they can see what courage looks like.
Posted by Sheryl on October 13, 2010 at 12:58 PM · Report this
27
Great Great Video.
Posted by clearlyhere http://clearlyhere.livejournal.com on October 13, 2010 at 1:01 PM · Report this
28
District9@fortworthgov.org

Just sent him a note of support. Good man.
Posted by remarkablyadept on October 13, 2010 at 1:15 PM · Report this
29
I'm so, so proud of Joel. My heart swells. It's great to see his powerful words get national recognition. Yes, "even in Texas," queer folks can happily live, thrive, and get elected, and we do it on purpose! Sure, there are bigoted assholes. But sadly, as we've come to know, those exist everywhere, not just in particular swaths of the States.

Joel, thanks for speaking openly and honestly and setting an example for people all over the country to follow: we're here, we're queer, we're in red states, and it gets better when we make it better.
Posted by spinsterfarm on October 13, 2010 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Southern Gentleman 30
@8 Loveschild, assuming you read down this far, please stop talking about the preciousness of life. As long as you keep lying about having lost someone close to you in a pathetic attempt to garner sympathy any comments you make about life and love will be empty and meaningless.
Posted by Southern Gentleman http://just-write.contentquake.com on October 13, 2010 at 1:17 PM · Report this
kim in portland 31
That was beautiful. And, I'm a sook, the tears are flowing freely. Bless you Mr. Joel Burns.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on October 13, 2010 at 1:28 PM · Report this
32
Made me cry. Growing up in Wyoming, I could have used someone like this speak to me like that when I was growing up. We need really good role models like this, in places like this, not just the coasts.
Posted by mjwright2519 on October 13, 2010 at 1:55 PM · Report this
33
CRYING! Good crying. Thanks for posting this. It was work watching the whole thing. You made my heart ache in a good way.
Posted by audrey on October 13, 2010 at 1:56 PM · Report this
34
Typo. I meant it was WORTH watching the whole thing
Posted by audrey on October 13, 2010 at 1:57 PM · Report this
BrandonC 35
Amazing. I love this man and want to work for him.
Posted by BrandonC on October 13, 2010 at 2:18 PM · Report this
switzerblog 36
@8. I know we're not supposed to feed the trolls, but I just must.

Loveschild, fuck you. Fuck your thoughts, and fuck your feelings. Fuck the things you believe and fuck the lies you tell. Fuck your opinions, fuck your views on sexuality, fuck your views on children, and fuck your views on healing divisions. Fuck your insistence that healing divisions can only happen if people agree with you. Fuck your god. Fuck your holy book. Fuck everything that you stand for. Fuck your continued appearance in these comments, fuck your shitty timing, and fuck your user account. Fuck you.

Just fuck you.
Posted by switzerblog on October 13, 2010 at 2:28 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 37
@36 - Seconded.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on October 13, 2010 at 2:42 PM · Report this
38
One of the best "It Get's Better" so far. Crying in sorrow for his pain, and in happiness that he is still alive and can share in courage and love with others. I'm sending this to my homophobic brothers right now. Hopefully some dialogue will open up.
Posted by orlando on October 13, 2010 at 2:56 PM · Report this
39
Amazing. I love Texas, but it's also where this sort of thing is most needed. Good on ya, Councilman. Extremely courageous.
Posted by hereiswheremynamegoes on October 13, 2010 at 2:59 PM · Report this
D310 40
@36, "Here Here!!"
Posted by D310 on October 13, 2010 at 3:27 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 41
@36..i told that child exactly that about a year ( or was it two ? .times flies in horseshit land)..but she just doesn't get it..but i hope you felt better getting that off your breastices.i know i did.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on October 13, 2010 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Jaydog5280 42
I'd watched this earlier today from JMG's link, and the tears practically shot from my eyes. I'm so happy to see it was added to IGBP. One of the best I've seen so far.
Posted by Jaydog5280 on October 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Jaydog5280 43
@ 36: FUCK YES!
Posted by Jaydog5280 on October 13, 2010 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Sandiai 44
Crying too. I love him.

Hey, LC's back!
Posted by Sandiai on October 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM · Report this
45
wow... just wow I am so wracked with emotion over that I don't even know what to say. Bless Joel for standing up in public and saying what he said. You are a beautiful, brilliant man and I hope your words make a difference!!
Much love to you, from a Straight, Australian, Gay Ally!
Posted by Apocalypstick on October 13, 2010 at 5:03 PM · Report this
emma's bee 46
Crying here in the reddest corner of Ohio. That was just truly, truly amazing. Thank you, Joel Burns, for your courage and compassion.
Posted by emma's bee on October 13, 2010 at 5:11 PM · Report this
switzerblog 47
@37, 40, 41, 43 - thanks. and @41 - betcher ass it felt good. :)
Posted by switzerblog on October 13, 2010 at 5:28 PM · Report this
48
This is messed up. Why dont the say Asher was just bullied. I know for a fact Asher hated queers. Dont use him as an example to make you fags feel better. Now he will forever be associated with fags. If your ashamed to be gay then dont choose to be.
Posted by america the brave on October 13, 2010 at 5:45 PM · Report this
49
Steers and queers
Posted by texass on October 13, 2010 at 5:48 PM · Report this
50
What an amazing speech, I'm in tears, thanks to Joel for such a wonderful message!
Posted by Sunhawk on October 13, 2010 at 5:49 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 51
@24 - maybe that's what a "pudding-cup beard" is?
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on October 13, 2010 at 5:54 PM · Report this
52
@36 Ok don't feed the trolls. But go you!
Posted by capricorn44 on October 13, 2010 at 6:07 PM · Report this
53
@51 a-HA!! Thank you.
Posted by gloomy gus on October 13, 2010 at 6:19 PM · Report this
Canuck 54
@36 Just made a resolution not to feed the witch, so thank you for saying it for me.

Wow. That was amazing. Just sent him an email of support, cool of him to include that, and also to tell kids to phone him. What a great guy.
Posted by Canuck on October 13, 2010 at 6:48 PM · Report this
55
A very touching speech. I'm glad to know that some people put aside their bigotries and voted a man as brave as him to office. I too don't want to see him out of office for his efforts to save teen lives. As a teen who contemplated suicide at one point, I totally know what he means. Personally, I fear coming out in my school, because some of my close friends would certainly react badly.
Posted by chickenwaffle on October 13, 2010 at 8:43 PM · Report this
Joe from Oz 56
I'm not really much of a crier, but this one made me weep big time. Excellent video, and an excellent man.
Posted by Joe from Oz on October 13, 2010 at 9:54 PM · Report this
BEG 57
I don't suppose there's a transcript around anywhere for this clip? From your comments, sounds like he did an amazing job on his.

Would love to drop this clip in the laps of the Saline School Board, actually.
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on October 13, 2010 at 10:31 PM · Report this
Canuck 58
@55 Sorry to hear that, chickenwaffle (now you have me really curious about the name!) Hopefully you'll be able, as Dan says from time to time, go to a big college and find some like-minded people. Good luck!
Posted by Canuck on October 13, 2010 at 10:33 PM · Report this
OuterCow 59
@55: They may initially react badly, but if they're truly your friends, and worthy of being your friends, they'll come around. It gets better, buddy. Now where are my damn tissues!?
Posted by OuterCow on October 14, 2010 at 12:44 AM · Report this
60
You know, this was astounding and moving for me for obvious reasons. I was raised in Texas and to see a gay man, a fellow Texan be out and willing to stand up and tell his story within the framework of his job as a politician makes me enormously proud. And almost makes up for all the times living in Virginia I've had to cringe at some of the more neanderthal attitudes that have come out of my home state. But you know what else moved me beyond this? The guy off-camera who gently encourages him when he wells up with emotion. I love this guy's voice, his deep Texas accent. I've heard that drawl a million times from male relatives and neighbors growing up. The Texas accent is often lampooned for being stupid or short-sighted. The fact that I'm hearing it from a real person who is gently encouraging someone to tell their story about being gay makes me as proud as Joel's telling his story.

A good day to be a displaced Texan.
Posted by skyweaver on October 14, 2010 at 4:57 AM · Report this
61
You know, this was astounding and moving for me for obvious reasons. I was raised in Texas and to see a gay man, a fellow Texan be out and willing to stand up and tell his story within the framework of his job as a politician makes me enormously proud. And almost makes up for all the times living in Virginia I've had to cringe at some of the more neanderthal attitudes that have come out of my home state. But you know what else moved me beyond this? The guy off-camera who gently encourages him when he wells up with emotion. I love this guy's voice, his deep Texas accent. I've heard that drawl a million times from male relatives and neighbors growing up. The Texas accent is often lampooned for being stupid or short-sighted. The fact that I'm hearing it from a real person who is gently encouraging someone to tell their story about being gay makes me as proud as Joel's telling his story.

A good day to be a displaced Texan.
Posted by skyweaver on October 14, 2010 at 4:58 AM · Report this
62
Gays in City Council?

THEY"RE EVERYWHERE!

Let's keep it that way. b^^d

Except get some more to the Federal level.
Posted by blah on October 14, 2010 at 8:15 AM · Report this
63
Thanks for starting this movement Dan.
Posted by naptownchick on October 14, 2010 at 9:29 AM · Report this
64
Thanks for starting this movement Dan.
Posted by naptownchick on October 14, 2010 at 9:31 AM · Report this
65
simply beautiful. kudos to him for reaching out to the youth and loving out loud.
Posted by kiliki on October 14, 2010 at 10:36 AM · Report this
66
I tried to be his friend but he's had "too many friend requests" according to FB. Dang! He's my hero.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on October 14, 2010 at 10:25 PM · Report this
67
I heard one miner's wife found out he was cheating when his mistress showed up to greet him when he was pulled out! Bet he wishes he was still down there where it was safe!!
Danny, can't we get loveschild banned?
Posted by beecharmer on October 15, 2010 at 12:18 AM · Report this
68
I lived in Texas for two years and I can say that almost all of the Texans I met were warm, caring and extremely generous people. I daresay even many whose politics you may not agree with are good people who would never condone bullying. I think Texans are misunderestimated here in Seattle...
Posted by pffft on October 15, 2010 at 1:08 PM · Report this
69
As the mom of two teen and preteen boys who are embarking on their own journeys toward manhood, this is great to see. (and heartbreaking when i think about the moms and dads of the kids whose stories he presented; close to the same age as mine). I do think that gay teen suicide is just one aspect of a problem facing all young men in our society (young white men account for more than half of ALL suicides); but those kids need the love and support, and i'm happy that more messages of acceptance are breaking through. As a Texan by choice, it's also great to see that message coming from my beloved adopted home state which, for the rest of y'alls information, is way more diverse than usually portrayed and is home to the biggest US city with a gay mayor (Houston).
Posted by TexasMom on October 15, 2010 at 9:02 PM · Report this
70
The next time anybody criticizes Pride Day by asking what we have to be proud of, send them this speech.

It may seem that there is a rash of suicides right now, but most of us know this has been going on for years. The difference now is that parents are not begging the cops to keep silent about the reasons for what happened so we are seeing press accounts that previously would never have been made.

As a gay guy, I have to say that Joel Burns is clearly a hero, but the other heroes of this piece are the voters of the 9th City Council District in Ft. Worth -- most of whom I would bet you are straight. He would not have been in the position to do what he did if it were not for their willingness to look to somebody from the gay and lesbian community for leadership.

Oh, and Pffft? My parents had the same attitude you do. I just called them to say, again, Thanks.
Posted by ChrisDC on October 17, 2010 at 8:02 AM · Report this
71
Mr. Burns, when you came to rescue of the 7-white gay men in the paddy waggon at the Rainbow Lounge did you not see the 9-Hispanics in the same paddy wagon. There is nothing wrong with sticking up for a minority group. This is in no way critizing the gay community that should not have their rights violated, but why did Burns cherry pick one minority or another. Don't Hispanics deserve to be treated fairly. Mexicans are human too, and you apparently don't get it. I would love to hear you explanation.
Posted by gay against hypocrit on September 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM · Report this

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