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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
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Posted to: Graeme Taylor

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  • Carley

    In regards to the comments stating that well all have freedom of speech, let me ask you this:
    If the student had said “I don’t support blacks”, would you feel the same way?
    Any sort of bigotry is wrong, and some things – whether you feel that way or not – should simply not be said in a classroom.

  • Nindy

    Very inspiring…!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/TheManyShadesofGay?feature=mhum JJ

    WOW! This kid is awesome! Kudos to him for being such a brave little soul. I wish I’d had the courage he has when I was his age. For the record I knew I was gay since the age of 3 but I also knew that my folks and their friends spoke so negatively about them that I lived my youth in fear of coming out. Fortunately, the next generation isn’t so afraid. Let’s hope kids like this one can help abolish homophobia and bigotry.

  • Alex

    To Hannah who says that she thinks that he exagerrated when he said that 6 million gay teens commit suicide I just want to say that I don’t know what the statistics are exactly. However you have to understand that the fight for equal rights is not limited to the United States alone. There are gay people born throughout the entire planet so yes it’s possible that the suicide rate he mentioned is correct. Remember that there are a handful of countries where being gay can get you imprisoned for life and in some countries even get you the death penalty. If I were a teenager living in those countries, with no way out of the situation, I’d probably want to kill myself too.

  • marq

    “a silent holocaust out there”, well said. GLBT are in the thick of it. Kudos to Jim Carrey for his resolute stance for humanity. Teenage suicide is off the charts for straight kids too, because the abstinence only forced religion sells kids on such a negative body self-image. Hate and intolerance is so sad.

  • B

    What an absolutely amazing kid. And I use the term “kid” because of his age. His maturity is beyond his years. He is eloquent, he has courage and he has character. It is a shame in the year 2010 there are so many people who judge others because they are different. Being gay, black, white, asian, vegetarian, or anything else people have found the time to judge should not affect your life. If you live your life honestly and with character then someone being gay or having a different color of skin should not bother you. Our differences make the world go round. Someone who is gay does not effect my life. Someone who is black does not affect my life. We are all people made by our Creator and Ellen is right, we should all be kind to one another.

  • sussy

    a very smart boy not any 14 year old can think so mature

  • faith

    i believe in freedom of speech, without putting down other people. you can’t kick someone out of class just because they do not agree with something. had that kid said something derogatory then, sure kicking him out of the classroom can be justified.

    this isn’t a civil rights movement, all that is being denied to gays is marriage. it’s not up to par with the injustices that were committed to african americans, or other religions and races. i don’t understand why people have to walk around justifying their sexual preference. that is something so private!

    i believe in the sanctity of marriage, and if a gay couple has been together for a long time and they want to get married, they should be allowed. but why crucify people who just saythey don’t believe in it? if you’re saying mean things to people, then mean treatment back is warranted. but its just like carrie prejean. all that girl said is no offense she doesn’t believe in it. all of a sudden perez hilton started calling her a bitch, it lost her the crown etc. so what if she had naked pictures later…it’s not like she said she didn’t believe in premarital sex and making her a hypocrite.

  • b

    why can’t people be this progressive about starvation in the world, healthcare, etc? i just find it odd that a 14 year old child, barely out of puberty(if he has even entered it at all) can be so sure of their sexuality…before they’ve even been in a serious relationship. its not right in ANY way to be made fun of, but i don’t think alitle kid should run around saying im gay im gay or im straight im straight. sexuality is so forced on young kids these days, its pervasive in the media(when you look at say miley cyrus who acts like she’s 30 for example). of course its still a parents job to guard their kids, but because sexuality is so available, kids feel forced to make a decision about sexuality and being sexualized early on. the norm these days have become 16 and pregnant, or 3 year old beauty queens, and that’s because people condone these kinds of behaviors. yeah we live in the 21st century but thta doesn’t mean more and more concessions should be made. if this kid was older and more experienced, more power to him for speaking up. he contemplated suicide at 9? what the HELL, does a 9 year old know? or a 14 year old? they’re still playing outside thinking others have cooties at 9 or going to the mall at 14. that’s why child labor laws were passed, the marriage age was raised, the army enlisting age was raised, etc. TO GIVE TIME FOR KIDS TO BE KIDS!!!

  • faith

    @faith:

    i made my comment before i watched the video. so derogatory remarks were made. but if anyone seeks to join me in intellectual debate, lets assume there was no harrassing.

  • Marieme

    I love this young man. I’d be so proud to have him in the family. He was so composed and articulate making that speech. Bravo!

  • Meg

    @LaTanya:

    Would it not be justified to kick a student out for saying they are against black people, asian, jewish ect? I don’t think so, so the same rules should apply when it come to someones sexuality.

  • Jonathan

    Wow, this kid is amazing.I’m gay and at 14 I couldn’t even admit my sexuality to myself.This kid is worth 100 of you people with the gall even now to act like something is wrong with him.Freedom of speech is one thing, discrimination is another.

  • Sabrina

    What you people, who are saying that youth isn’t innocent anymore, forget is that it isn’t only about sexuality, it’s about LOVE. And 14 year old boys do fall in love!

  • Sabrina

    I’d love to have a son like this :-)!

  • bbutton

    @LaTanya:
    I agree with you. I wonder what support the school might have given the teacher had the situation escalated to a point of outright abuse, verbal or physical.

  • cece

    I think its great that he knows who he is at such an early age! Atleast he doesnt have to hide it like ricky martin did. I can’t imagine how that much be to hid who you are for sooo long. This boy is doing a good thing letting kids know that its ok to come out and feel good in your own skin. The world my not accept you but as long as you can except and be happy with who you are then you know your making a difference. Some ppl on this board say they dont want a gay child I would love to have one and I would accept my children and love them equally. I would also teach my child that its ok be love either a boy or a girl as long as they are happy!!!

  • lucy

    @LaTanya:

    not giving support, understanding or tolerance is just another form of harassment.
    and we’ve no idea the tone in which this person remarked that he doesn’t accept gay people.

  • R.

    to Sabrina- Honey ,grow up , there’s no such thing as love at 14 ..it’s lust or maximum like ..how can you know if you’re gay or not w/o being in a serious relationship..and serious relationships are not about the period of time a couple stays together (2 yrs +)..it’s about the capability to have your priorities straight and being mature about things like trust and faith..
    and 14 years old boys and girls are NOT capable of handling that ..therefore they CANNOT know whether they are gay or not at such a young age

  • David G. Mills

    This kid is not an expert. Where does this kid get his “facts”, claiming 6,000,000 (6 million) gays kill themselves every year.

    6 million Jews were killed by the NAZIS, that was a holocaust..
    Please don’t try to call any amount of gays killing themselves as ANY KIND of holocaust.

    His numbers are wrong. calling gay suicides a “silent holocaust” is wrong also.

  • reallyseriously

    What people are missing here is that this boy does not even go to the same school where the incident happened. He was not in the class or have any affiliation with the district. I think this is a gross attempt for his 15 minutes in the spotlight. The student who was removed from class was not gay bashing. He simply said that it was against his religion. Take 5 minutes and research this story before you comment. You may be surprised at what actually happened.

  • Dave

    WTG Graeme!!! We need young people with intellegece and fortitude to stand up and speak. We did not have the luxury when I was that age. He is smart, articulate, very well educated on the facts and not afraid. It’s time we the people became just that…people…equal…and non-threatening!

  • psychic

    HE’S TOO SMART TO BE GAY!!!!!HAHAHAHHAHAH

  • faithful

    First of all the kid who was kicked out for simply stating his opinion that he cannot accept the gay lifestyle was wrong. He did not use any slurs. He simply said that he cannot accept gays. Yet, he was kicked out and bullied by a teacher just for believing in something natural as opposed to unnatural. Gays are a bunch of hypocrites who claim to be against bullying but do it to others for choosing not to accept their perverted lifestyle. I hope that teacher gets fired. I am a teacher myself and you know what, , i am a person who is against PEOPLE WHO COMMIT SODOMY and believe in Marriage between men and women. I DONT ACCEPT GAYS. ITS UNNATURAL ABNORMAL AND EVERY RELIGIOUS BOOK SENT BY GOD SEES THOSE ACTIONS AS CAPITAL SINS AND ILLEGAL! It goes against the laws of nature and the LAWS OF GOD…What now…BRING IT BITCHES….

  • remy

    Wow, some of you people are morons. Have you ever stepped into a high school (yes, 14 year olds are in high school) in the past ten years? 14 year olds aren’t playing outside and being ~*innocent. They get crushes and *gasp* think about sex! Stop looking through rose-coloured glasses. Just because you were an innocent 14 year old doesn’t mean the kids of today are like that.

  • British Latin American

    Exactly!

  • http://mitchj.info Mitch

    He sees incredibly mature for his age.

  • !!!!!

    LOL little fa- ggot funny hahaha

  • liam

    @LaTanya: it’s not the same. there’s a difference between expressing your opinion freely and when your actions hurt others. Voltaire taught that ‘my freedom ends where yours begins’, if his opinion is of preconceived nature and prejudice and are hurting someone else, he should keep it to himself. Prejudice is ignorance.

  • Travis

    @LaTanya: But it is considered a hate crime, and that is where the line is drawn. Same reason schools don’t allow the “N” word to fly, it applies here.

  • Chris

    @FREEspeech: Free Speech law does not apply in public schools below college level. Know your information before you post some ridiculously stupid comment.

  • walterpc

    @KNut:

    KNut, I don’t know what school you went to, but this behavior very definitely DID take place. A person doesn’t have to be out of the closet for homophobic comments to hurt them. If you have followed the various comment Graeme Taylor has made you know that he didn’t come out of the closet until he was 13, yet he attempted suicide at age 9. When you are an LGBT child in school, you are very much aware of the hateful and hurtful attitudes that surround you from a very early age.

  • becca

    Amazing kid! Let him be an example to us all!

  • L

    To y’all who keep commenting on how y’all were innocent back in the old days when you were 14. Well frankly I don’t care how it was back then and neither do the rest, because reminiscing a past time will do you no good. So please wake up, time has changed it’s 2010, people and their behavior are not the same, the youth is more sexual these days, therefore other measures must be taken to prevent discrimination of any kind.

    Kudos to kiddo!

  • Ly

    @FREEspeech: Freedom of speech??Kids are killing themselves because of the intolerance of some parts of your community and all you can think of is freedom of speech?
    Don’t agree with gay people??You don’t have to “agree with gay people”,anymore than you have to agree with straight people.They are normal people,like everybody else.Do you have to agree with someone for being white,or tall,or thin or having red hair or green eyes??
    I can’t believe that I have to tell this to any adult!I thought we were all taught to respect other people,but that’s clearly not your case.

  • robjac

    When I was merely 9 years old a neighbor boy of about 13, the brother of my “girl friend”, gave me a blow job. I remember the incident, but not the sensation. It made me aware of those whose sexual desires were not like others. I retained no animus toward the boy,despite his somewhat aggressive behavior toward me; he had undressed me and fondled me in front of his sister. I, in complete incomprehension of what as happening, simply allowed matters to proceed. In later reflection, I realized that he must have been born with this orientation. I went on to screw his sister as often as I could, even at that young age. Now, some seven decades later, as father and grandfather, I recognize that young Graeme Taylor, knows what my then girlfriend’s brother, must also known about himself. It seems far healthier that he knows and acknowledge this about himself, avoiding the potential of taking advantage of a younger boy as he goes about discovering himself.

  • Ed

    Glad to hear a young man, brave telling the world his truth. Forget about what people are…its stupid. This makes wars!! We can end war if we simply accept we are ALL Gods creation.

  • J. Kirk

    Great kid. Brave, unafraid to talk, this is what being human is about-truth. Stand up for yourself, who U are as few will. Forget war, hate, stupid attitudes as they are obsolete.

  • PeterSmith

    @KNut: RE your commnet: ” Back when I was 14 … you had no clue if the kid next to you was gay or not. Therefore this behavior didn’t take place.”… “let kids BE kids”

    Sure, but when you are 13 (or younger!!) and trying to cope with the stress of feelings that you know are not acceptable by your parents or freinds what are you supposed to do? If you had experinced this first hand you might think differently. To reinforce this should only be an “Adult” problem IS half the problem!!!

  • baudot

    @fgrd: No progress was ever made by people “giving it up”. And “less violence and craziness than there is today”? Have you forgotten about slavery? About genocide? How far back do you mean when you say “back in the day”? Before humans existed? The oppression of minorities has been going on since the beginning of civilization. Truthfully, despite all the horrors going on in the world today, I am glad that I live in this time because people care about human rights and tolerance. There’s always people fighting for their own and other’s rights. The abolition of slavery didn’t happen with people giving up. Neither did women’s right to vote, nor the legalization of gay marriage anywhere. So saying something like “give it up” shows a lot of ignorance on your part.

  • baudot

    @fgrd: No progress was ever made by people “giving it up”. And “less violence and craziness than there is today”? Have you forgotten about slavery? About genocide? How far back do you mean when you say “back in the day”? Before humans existed? The oppression of minorities has been going on since the beginning of civilization. Truthfully, despite all the horrors going on in the world today, I am glad that I live in this time because people care about human rights and tolerance. There’s always people fighting for their own and other’s rights. The abolition of slavery didn’t happen with people giving up. Neither did women’s right to vote, nor the legalization of gay marriage anywhere. Saying something like “give it up” shows a lot of ignorance on your part.

  • Kirk

    I assume that “back when you were 14 y.o”., nobody had a clue, period. Who knew if the kid next to you was gay or not?…probably the kid next to you. But if that kid next to you was gay, who were they going to talk to? Probably not you because you sound like you didn’t want to hear those kinds of things. Back in the day…those things may not have happened but those kids were still gay. They just weren’t empowered to reveal their true identities and were therefore sentenced to living in the shadows. Let kids be kids, even if they come to school “dressed in trannys”. I doubt there are any parents, gay or straight, who would encourage their kindergarten aged child to go to school dressed that way since it obviously can cause hurt but should they be denied that because of kids like this?

  • Kirk

    @KNut: I assume that “back when you were 14 y.o”., nobody had a clue, period. Who knew if the kid next to you was gay or not?…probably the kid next to you. But if that kid next to you was gay, who were they going to talk to? Probably not you because you sound like you didn’t want to hear those kinds of things. Back in the day…those things may not have happened but those kids were still gay. They just weren’t empowered to reveal their true identities and were therefore sentenced to living in the shadows. Let kids be kids, even if they come to school “dressed in trannys”. I doubt there are any parents, gay or straight, who would encourage their kindergarten aged child to go to school dressed that way since it obviously can cause hurt but should they be denied that because of kids like this?

  • Kirk

    @KNut: I assume that “back when you were 14 y.o”., nobody had a clue, period. Who knew if the kid next to you was gay or not?…probably the kid next to you. But if that kid next to you was gay, who were they going to talk to? Probably not you because you sound like you didn’t want to hear those kinds of things. Back in the day…those things may not have happened but those kids were still gay. They just weren’t empowered to reveal their true identities and were therefore sentenced to living in the shadows. Let kids be kids, even if they come to school “dressed in trannys”. I doubt there are any parents, gay or straight, who would encourage their kindergarten aged child to go to school dressed that way since it obviously can cause hurt but should they be denied that because of kids like this?

  • Kirk

    @LaTanya: and I guess they should be able to wear sheets over their heads and Swastikas on their arms as long as nobody is hung from a tree or sent to a concentration camp also?

  • Kirk

    @KNut: She was treated like a kid…what were her girlfriend’s names? Who did she go to prom with? Was she free to ask out who she wanted or was she dating boys because it was truly NOT accepted “back when you were 14?

  • Kirk

    @ll: I hope your children won’t be gay also…I would feel sorry for them for their obvious lack of support from their parent.

  • Kirk

    @fgrd: I believe Jesus is the one who said, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone….Oh, stoning people!…yeah, your right, much less violence then than now.

  • Kirk

    @Kyli: Oh, my, god…if kids should “just be kids then we need to get rid of school dances/proms. How in the hell did you go from gay to pedophile?

  • Kirk

    @KNut: I’m sure there weren’t any pregnant kids when you were in school either.