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Openly Gay Teen Graeme Taylor Speaks Out for Equality

Openly Gay Teen Graeme Taylor Speaks Out for Equality

Graeme Taylor is all smiles as he chats with Ellen DeGeneres on a new episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The 14-year-old openly gay student spoke out in support of his teacher, Jay McDowell, a high school economics teacher in Michigan who was suspended without pay for a day after an incident in his classroom. Jay removed a student from his class after the student said that he did not accept gays.

Graeme spoke in Jay‘s defense at a school board meeting, saying, “I’ve been in classrooms where children have said the worst things – the kinds of things that drove me to a suicide attempt when I was only 9 years old.”

“These are the things that hurt a lot,” Graeme added. “There is a silent holocaust out there, in which an estimated 6 million gay people every year kill themselves.”

Graeme Taylor on Ellen DeGeneres

Watch Graeme‘s school board meeting speech inside…

Graeme Taylor on Jay McDowell
Just Jared on Facebook
Posted to: Graeme Taylor

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  • LaTanya

    I support gays and their equal rights! But I have a problem with the teacher kicking the other student out just because he doesn’t support gays. As long as there was no bullying or curse words I think everyone should be able to speak their mind.

  • haha

    he is great

  • http://@meltingsunsets Laura

    What a brave kid! It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have this feeling or any other feeling, it’s your right to express it. Good for him and everyone else taking a brave step to coming out and being yourself.

    It’s a very touchy subject, whose right, whose wrong…very.

  • hannah

    I know this kid’s head and heart are in the right place but…

    “….in which an estimated 6 million gay people every year kill themselves”

    That’s obviously an extreme overestimation.

  • Erika

    hannah, how do you know that? It might be true. check it out, before you say that

  • Sabrina

    Great boy! And his teacher was absolutely right to kick the other student out for saying that he doesn’t accept gays! STOP this hatred!

  • KNut

    It is sad to see there is no innocence with youth anymore. Back when I was 14 years old, who knew what being gay/lesbian was all about and you had no clue if the kid next to you was gay or not. Therefore this behavior didn’t take place. Before long we’ll see kindergartners coming to school dressed as trannys. I don’t have anything against gays or lesbians. My point is, let kids BE kids, and bullying should not be tolerated in general whether you are gay, fat, skinny, white, black, etc!

  • Ben Stiller

    A brave young man to confess and tell the people that he is a gay; I do not see anything wrong with them. In fact, they are a jolly person, talented and so nice and easy to go along with. Though it may be hard for some parents to accept what their children are, let us accept them and love them for what they are, they need affection and acceptance only a parent can give.

  • ColdChicken

    Whatever, I support my gays! That kid is so eloquent and articulate. When I was 14 I was a dumb @$$

  • Iffy Miffy

    @KNut: Oh spare us that bs. You mean to say a 14 year old boy who is straight isn’t obsessing about girls at that age?! Of course he is. It’s the same with straight girls. So what precisely is wrong with a gay boy of that age who is aware of his preference?! I am sick of this double standard. And be sure that kids even then knew that they were gay or lesbian, only that it was even worse to come out!
    Anyway, I think he meant 6 mil world wide which makes for an interesting question. Considering we know what the penalty is in some Muslim countries or how harsh attitudes are in other underdeveloped ones, I must admit the number could be quite high. I think 6mil is an inflated number but then how about 10 000 a year? That is definitely a real possibility and that is already way, way, way too much. One is too many. It’s a long, long road ahead of us in rectifying this.

  • cece

    You cant stop hate but ppl can learn to keep comments and their personal views to themselves! Everyone is not going to like everyone but the least we can do is have respect for everyone, because when it comes down to it we are all human

  • emma

    Me too, I never knew what was gay/lesbian when I was 14 or older, is too bad kids are not innocent anymore, they grow up mentally too fast, are too aware of everything..I am so glad I never lost my innocence nd still in my 20+ I don’t know it all and do not want to. This world is getting worse by the minute.

  • lilfel

    Good for him for being brave and bringing more light to the situation. however i am curious to know the circumstances surrounding the other boy being kicked out of the class. freedom of speech is a given right to everyone (unfortunately sometimes) and everyone is entitled to their opinion. If the kid had said he didnt support christians, interracial relationships, etc would he have been kicked out still. We are a country who disagree but just because someone doesnt believe or think like you does not mean they are to be punished for it. Now if you tell me the kid was kicked out because he was being obnoxious and loud and that was one of the things he stated heck yeah i understand. Unfortunately people forget that rights go both ways and beliefs go both ways not just the way that benefits ourselves.

  • Meghan

    What an absolutely amazing kid. He is incredibly inspiring and mature. We need more people like him in our world. Equality for ALL!

  • http://@meltingsunsets Laura

    As more things are coming into light, kids these days are more aware of the things around them, it seems like more kids are coming out and having more opinions about themselves and those around them. It just has to do with the time you grew up in even if it was the 90s or now. More things are in the news than ever before now so I wouldn’t be surprised that kids are more informed than five years ago. The internet, TV, movies, they all change with a fever faster than anyone could imagine. You just don’t know who is changing along or faster than you.

    Knowledge is power, for sure. I rather kids now more aware of their surroundings and people talking more about important issues than keeping it all quiet because they don’t want to cause a fight or be singled out. Speak, people will hear you.

  • sunny

    This is a prime example of why I believe some people are born gay and can not choose another lifestyle. Would a 14 year old just decide he wanted to be gay and live a life full of turmoil? There are those that dabble in both being bi-sexual but I belive truly gay people can not choose this life and my heart and prayers go out to them for acceptance and love from their families. Now the bi-sexuals, or those young girls and guys experimenting, make a choice, you can’t have it all and your bound to hurt someone somewhere along the line. Hooray for that teacher that removed the other child from class!

  • lokju

    i dont belive it gays are sick!!!

  • FREEspeech

    The teacher should have been suspended. Whatever happened to free speech?

    Let’s not get tangled in all this and in the process give UP OUR RIGHTS!

    I don’t agree with bullying of any type, whether you’re gay or straight, but just because you don’t agree with gays does not mean you should be kicked out of class.

    And I’m pretty sure that number is highly exaggerated.

    Oh, and lets not forget the others who are bullied for reasons beyond their sexual orientation!

  • KNut

    @Iffy Miffy: No spare me Iffy Miffy. One of my best friends throughout jr and sr high came out her freshman year in college. She knew she was gay in jr high, but she acted like a kid, and I treated her as a friend because she was one and still is 20+ years later. She didn’t have a traumatic childhood because everyone accepted her and had many friends. Being gay or not was something we as kids didn’t really think about at all. She was treated like everyone – just a kid.

  • http://@meltingsunsets Laura

    @sunny: I agree.

  • ll

    strange boy.
    i hope my children wont be gay.

  • xiz

    OMG! Gay people are not born straight. They do not became gay
    The question here is coming out of the closet with 14 years! That’s completely fair once straight boys at this age are already thinking about girls and going through changes about sexuality.

  • JJ

    Shut up, @ll and @lokju !! You 2 are so closed-minded and rude. At least Graeme actually has the confidence to speak out about problems. I’m so disgusted that some people on this earth are allowed to say these things. Now go hate on someone your own age!

  • hannah


    Well seeing as how 6 million people don’t even commit suicide in a year (the average per year is 11.3 suicide deaths per 100000 people), i’d say yes, he made an overestimation.

  • fgrd

    he is openly gay bc everyone says its ok to be today. back in the day (which also there happened to be less violence and craziness than there is today…) he would have just shut up and married a woman.
    the reason why hate crimes exist and are more problematic today.
    give it up, bullying and hate against minorities will never go away. Ask Jesus.

  • to Rhonda

    @ 11/22/2010 at 3:36 pm

    as usual, Rhonda, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. i honestly doubt that you even graduated from high school. now pay attention, little girl, gays and lesbians do not suddenly wake up one day and discover who and what they are. most of them know their are gay/lesbian in early childhood, some as young as 6 or 7. what is sad is that these people have to deal with racist homophobic idiots like yourself.

  • xiz

    When you say you didnt think about being gay/lesbian when 14, Im sure you did think about boys and sexual life! And your friend only had a normal childhood because she had to hide it from friends, or at least it made quite a difference.

    And why can’t a gay boy be treated as a kid? He still is!

  • Kyli

    Knut, I agree with you. What the hell is going on with the youth? Whn I was a kid everyone was a kid, nothing against gays but can childern just be kids without mixing sexuality at such a young age. It’s like everywhere I look children are being forced into a sexual lifestyle. Very strange, talk about the new world order.., welcome to it , pedophiles dream come true. Sad….sad world we live in

  • haha

    this kid is still a white male and will be afforded more opportunities in the world because of it. he will be welcomed in other countries, treated better and given more freedoms. the gay community hates being the back of the line but this is how the majority of the world is treated. teachers should stand up for all children regardless of ethnicity, religion and sexual preference.

  • haha

    this kid is still a white male and will be afforded more opportunities in the world because of it. he will be welcomed in other countries, treated better and given more freedoms. the gay community hates being the back of the line but this is how the majority of the world is treated. teachers should stand up for all children regardless of ethnicity, religion and sexual preference.

  • lmao

    That’s a 14 year old???????????????!! you gotta be kiddin me! no wonder he is a,,,,,,,,,nevermind.

    when I was growing up 14 year old boys had deep voices and chin hair. wtf

  • KNut

    @Iffy Miffy: Also Graeme says it is himself – you should accept someone for their content of character – not who they love. If you don’t know their preference, and accept them as a friend, that’s great! If you end the friendship based on who they love, yes, that’s wrong.

  • bleh

    so gays are allowed to whine and complain today for their rights but straight religious people aren’t anymore? seems unfair to me. and no I dont mean the people doing the hating are in any way shape or form religious, because they are not , but come on…..they can have their opinions/preferences too! Its getting out of hand.

  • KNut

    @Kyli: That’s exactly what I’m trying to say Kyli! I’d be saying the same thing if we were talking about a 14 year-old girl who got pregnant from a hetrosexual relationship! Kids shouldn’t have to deal with these issues.

  • Jim

    I have one question….

    Even if the 6 million was an overestimation……What if the number was as small as 5,000 gay kids commit suicide per year? Is that acceptable? 3,000 people died in 911 and we started a war that has cost 100′s of BILLIONS of dollars! Why are ewe not starting a war on hatred be it for Gays, Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans, need I go on?????

    I don’t know if you believe in a higher power or not, that is truly your choice, but the priorities that we Americans have in the area of treating each other equally is SINFUL! Personally, my God is one of love, justice and equality for ALL PEOPLE!

    If you can honestly and fairly expresses an opposite opinion, then I would welcome to hear it! I bet you can’t!

    The founding fathers stated it beautifully….ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL! While they may have interpreted it strictly as “MEN”, I think we should have evolved enough to include all humans.

    (Stepping down from my soap-box!)

  • Ford

    Hate is ever so more prominent today because of gossip websites like this exist. These websites here like justjared fuel teen hatred. take a look around on an everyday basis, if you don’t believe me….

  • fardous

    gay at this age ?

    sure he will go to helll

  • LH

    @Jim: So now our country should declare civil war because of hatred of Gays, etc.? Sorry Jim, but there are laws for those issues called hate crimes. That is also insulting to compare this to 9/11.

  • xiz

    It’s not about getting pregnant or a std. He has a gay orientation, and for that, age really doesnt matter.
    He’s not sexually active just because he’s gay. Do you deny that 14 yo straight kids think about sex/relationships, inevitably? So why can’t he?

    I agree it’s to early to think about sex life, but that should be considered for all kids! Don’t you think there’s a difference between a 14yo pregnant girl and a 14yo boy who just assumes he is gay-oriented?

  • megg

    We can’t define people in their ages. Because age is just a number, Someone can be fourteen but in soul, brain and emotions he can be 20 and knows who he is and who he wanna be in future. This little guy is my hero, and whether he will change his mind that he’s gay in future or not, he said very important words that a lot of adults would be not brave enough. That’s all.

  • KNut

    @xiz: I must be a lot older than some on here. When I was 14 I didn’t think about having sex. Those were the days when everybody blushed and didn’t say a word during sex ed class. Now my kids come home reporting the questions that kids are asking during sex ed class. BJs and entering the back door (to put it nicely) are some of the questions being asked today. I was clueless to those subjects in my day. Remember the days when you could NOT get into an R rated movie unless you were of age? I’m not a Holy Roller, but we are letting kids grow up to fast these days.

  • JK

    6 million gays kill themselves a year? Give me a break, that’s so false. This kid’s stupid and needs to start paying attention at school. If he wants to be inspirational and campaign for equal rights, he should calm down and do actual research instead of Perez Hilton-ing it up throwing ill-informed claims everywhere in half-assed attempts at riling people up.

  • Jenn

    I think 14 is way too young to determine your sexuality.

  • ilsmagwtw

    I know and love Graeme, and people need to lay off– it’s not the fact that he’s openly gay, or the fact that he is on Ellen, but the fact that he, at 14 years old stood up in front of a panel of people who disagreed with him and stood up for what he believed in– that is what makes his story uniquely special. So lay off– if you had half the guts as he did, you wouldn’t be spewing your homophobic hate over the internet, but instead fighting for what you believe in.

  • AJ

    @Sabrina: I’m a gay guy, I’m 16, but I don’t think it would be right for a teacher to kick a student out for an honest opinion, he should’ve got told off, but kicked out? That’s madness.

  • Nic

    What a cool kid, not because he is gay, but because he seems so happy and brave, and smart, good for him!

  • Eyes w!de shut!!

    Ohhh jesus christ, what is wrong with you people?? Men+women= procreation, same sex= destruction. Being gay is 100% wrong, gross. I’d rather have my fvcking kid born without an arm rather than growing up to be gay. Im gonna puke ahgghhh

  • laverdadduele

    Gays need to get over themselves and stop the paranoia. Even the slightest remark is called bullying and everyone makes a big deal about it. If someone laughs and you and you jump from a bridge, then you’re a pathetic loser. Grow some thick skin and cojones, be happy with who you are and forget about what others say, ’cause people are always gonna talk.

  • w11

    It’s amazing that people feel that the kid should not have been kicked out for using homophobic slurs, but if he had used racial slurs you wouldn’t encounter someone that would think it’s okay…unless they were racist, that is. A teacher has a responsibility to keep order in a class room if someone is causing a disturbance in the class room then that kid should be asked to leave. If you are using homophobic slurs/racial slurs/attacking someone’s religion or sexuality or color, that is causing a disturbance. The teacher was right.

    The only thing “sad” is that we as a society still think it’s okay to discriminate against gays/lesbians. And to all those saying 14 is too young, how do you know? You are not this kid. If you knew at 14 that you were straight, then why can’t this kid know at 14 that he’s gay?

  • elisha

    @FREEspeech: Free speech ? So the teacher should have let this kid say whatever he wanted because of free speech ? What if this kid was saying the same thing but toward black people, jews, asians ? If so he would have been kicked out. No difference here.
    You can’t justify everything coming out your mouth by free speech. Some people don’t seem to get this.