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An Amazing Openly Gay 14-Year-Old Defends His Teacher

| Filed under: Gay Gay GayInspirationLGBT

Wow. This brought tears to our eyes.

Openly gay teenager, 14-year-old Graeme Taylor, made a speech at a recent school board meeting, defending his his high school teacher, Jay McDowell, in Howell, Michigan.

McDowell was suspended last month for disciplining a student who was making anti-gay remarks in class.

Graeme came to his teacher's defense with this incredible awe-inspiring speech where he revealed problems with bullying and a suicide attempt at age 9.

Watch the inspiring speech (above).

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99 comments to “An Amazing Openly Gay 14-Year-Old Defends His Teacher”

  1. 1

    WOW What a brave young girl God bless the future^

  2. 2

    this kid is very inspiring, I am awed

  3. 3

    Wow, Graeme. If you don't go to University for History/Poli Sci, the progressive movement in this country will lose an amazing voice. I hope you read this, because you were so amazingly brave and eloquent. I wish we also had such a brave person (or maybe we do, but are not given the same attention) to stand up to the lingering, racist, African- American situation, and definately a strong advocate for Native Americans. We've been displacing and ignoring these people from day 1 and they struggle still today. I am part Seneca; the conditions of the reservation they were moved to are dim and ugly. The kindly government, though, felt it was important to preserve the Iroquois natural environment. So here in upstat New York we have about 500 acres of prestine, beautiful, untouched, wooded lands with natural waterfalls and limestone-green pools. They Natives that lived there were moved to open, ugly, tree-less cornfields. Does anyone other than me see the irony in this?

  4. 4

    This is not the whole story that he posted. The teacher told one student to take off the confederate belt and she did. Another student stood up and asked the question "How are the purple shirts your wearing for religous/political reasons any different then wearing a confederate belt?" Being gay was against that childs religion, the the teacher believed that he was right the child was wrong. I think this whole thing got blown out of proportion and think that the confederate belt should have been removed but nothing else should be done. School is for learning not for pusing agendas. I think the girl was brave and a great speech but I also believe Perez should give the whole story, not one biased due to his sexual preference. I am a supportor of LBGT but I think school is nowhere to have this kind of talk. Tolerance should be preached, but that is all.

  5. 5

    This kid is amazing! God Bless the children…they are our future.

  6. 6

    Whoa I'm amazed. So brave of him.

  7. 7

    He is wonderfully kickass :]

  8. 8

    Whoah, what 14 year old has a vocab like THAT! :) Nicely done, boy!

  9. 6one9 says – reply to this


    :) We need more people like “ him “ in this rotten world that we live in!! :)

  10. 10

    He is amazingly charismatic! Wow, I completely agree with LilyDaleGirl. An amazing voice this world CANNOT stand to lose!!

    Please keep fighting and believing, Graeme! You're going to be a big name some day. You have inspired me more than I ever thought 1:43min video ever could!

  11. 11

    Incredibly well spoken for any age! Keep it up!

    Re: Kellee00
    I still don't see the bias here. And that kid doesn't see a difference between hate and tolerance? The confederate flag is used as a symbol of racism, while purple is used as a symbol of gay tolerance.

  12. 12

    Did he say 6 million gay people kill themselves every year? HUH???

  13. 13

    wow. truly inspirational.

  14. 14

    did he just say an estimated 6 million gay people take their lives each year? damn, that's a lot of people! does anyone know if that is accurate? i really don't feel like looking it up myself.

  15. 15

    wait, i'm genuinely and seriously confused….is it a little boy or a little girl? some people are calling her a brave young girl, while others are saying brave boy.

  16. 16

    Re: CJLOVE23 – The population of the world is around 6 billion. It's not unlikely that he's telling the truth…think about all the religions that condemn homosexuality (which is nearly all of them) and all of the cultures in which it is shamed upon to the highest degree.

  17. 17

    Re: Kellee00 – Graeme is not a girl. OBVIOUSLY.

  18. car says – reply to this


    what bravery and poise. good job kiddo

  19. 19

    He's a BOY you morons!

  20. 20

    As a alumni of Howell High, I am very proud that this young person is standing up for what is right. I am sure with the recent suicides, this teacher was trying to make a point.

  21. 21

    wtf 9 yr olds shouldnt nteven know about suicide and that they can take their own lives..kid clearly has psychological problems that have nothin to do with bein gay…

  22. 22

    6 MILLION gay people take their lives every year? a holocaust happens every year??

    i'm sympathetic to the movement but get the facts right, brother.

  23. 23

    I so admire this young person and as an alumni of HHS am very proud

  24. 24

    I had to sign in to leave a comment. Wow what a very intelligent young man he is and very well put.

  25. 25

    Love this kid, he moved my heart and I'm sure the teacher he was supporting was stunned because kids his age rarely are this brave.

  26. 26

    Sadly..My boyfriend left me a year ago. now.I may be in need of someone to love…
    I am young and beautiful,but alone.My friends told me about the site
    Sugardaddy ‘Hunt ~【C~0M】~ and i got curious about it. they met
    their boyfriends there.,It’s the best place to meet an older or a younger boyfriend..
    i cant risk myself..So i got a username sara lady there in order to find a new boyfriend.is it wrong?
    I don’t see how the birthrate is that high, given the fact that the sicks freaks kill babies on a regular basis. Don’t reply to me with “it’s the law” either. Law or not, it’s a sad day for mankind when t

  27. 27

    THis kid will be the one handing himself in a bathroom stall next week and blame the world for his retarded oriface preference.

  28. 28

    Mr. McDowell was one of my favorite and most impressionable teachers at Howell High School.. and I am so disappointed that the school is punishing him for standing up for equal rights for everyone. I am proud of this young man as well as my former teacher for all of this.

  29. 29

    Re: zebra528
    Another HHS person here.
    I am also proud

  30. 30

    Re: Kellee00 – He's a guy… nice.

  31. 31

    Re: andriiiiia – No, people verbally abusing him and discriminating against him is what led to him feeling the need to take his own life. The fact that he was nine just makes it that much worse, and the fact that people were making a nine year old feel like there was no way out is the saddest part of all.

  32. 32

    Re: sexygaga – What the fuck are you talking about????? FREAK! No wonder you are alone.

  33. 33

    Re: suckshitpig – That comment is just wrong on sooo many levels! 1) Are you saying that straight people don't "handle themselves in bathrooms" on a daily basis? That was just a stupid thing to say. And 2) if he were to do that, I don't really think he would be blaming the world for anything… He seems content with who he is and he's not blaming the world for anything, he's blaming certain people of wrong things they did, how is that bad?

  34. 34

    STAND UP AN SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!! God bless that boy for standing up and having the courage to say the truth. I LOve all people!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. 35

    O. M. G. That little boy is going to get invited to the White House. I wish he were my friend :(

  36. 36

    This young man is possibly the Martian Luther King of his generation. Well done.

  37. 37

    I heard that it was 360,000. Nowhere even close to 6 million. But regardless of the statistic that is still 360,000 too many. What this boy did is brave and very commendable. Our youth should take note and become more like this boy.

  38. 38

    I live in MI and Howell would be a TERRIBLE place to be gay! The place is notorious for being narrow-minded and racist. NO THANKS

  39. 39

    Oh my god he is amazing.
    But srsly wtf is this bullshit?! y would a teacher be suspended for telling a homophobe to shut it? terrible

  40. 40

    6 million gay suicides each year? Right….

    other than that, a good message.

  41. 41

    who the fuck knows what suicide is when they're 9?

  42. Tinc says – reply to this


    Rediculous!gay gay gay!

  43. 43

    im ok with everything he said except the made up 6 million gay people kill themselves each year . after he said that huge made up number im thinking how much of the rest of it was a lie to grab some attention.

    i know think it was all made up by his parents or someone telling him what to say

  44. 44


  45. 45

    Re: Myzaree – agreed

  46. 46

    Re: Myzaree – The confederate flag could be worn for several reasons, just because someone wears it does not mean they preach hate. yes the confederate flag can be used to preach hate, but it also has several different means in society nowadays.

  47. 47

    How amazing. Finally a kid who has the balls to stand up. Not a kid who is drunk, on drugs or sleeping around. That is not the way to go. Do something different. I was bullied at work and stood up for myself. This little girl is inspiring. Cheers.

  48. 48

    Re: Kellee00 – It's so easy to hide hate and ignorance behind religion. Where in the bible does it say that being gay is wrong? Also, you say that tolerance should be preached and that's all, well, if your kids came home telling you that they were called the worst things you can imagine, crying because they've been bullied physically and psychologically, would you still stand up for intolerance as you are now? I don't think so.

    And another thing, you're forgetting that the confederacy stood for keeping human beings enslaved how can you even compare that to an act of love, because no matter how you twist and turn it, that's all they're guilty of, loving. Shame on you.

  49. 49

    wow! such a brave kid!

  50. 50

    I am sure Ellen will be giving him a call very soon to guest on her show. He is AWESOME. AMAZING young man.

  51. 51

    His reference to '6 million' was that is the approximate number of Jews killed during the Holocaust. It's somewhat difficult to make out on the audio, but he asks if we can imagine if 6 million gay people committed suicide in this silent holocaust of hate and intolerance.

    The boy is remarkable. His parents should be proud they raised a child who is eloquent and passionate. His community should be proud that he represents a voice of reason and compassionate. He should be proud that he has raised his voice for all to hear and to inspire.

  52. 52

    didn't know Greyson Chance was gay. LOL

  53. 53

    That little abomination should be slapped across the face and made to sit down and shut up. We don't need young upstarts like him in our Christian country.

  54. Twime says – reply to this


    @President Sarah People like you shouldn't have a voice. Hatred and discrimination is not acceptable. If you want to be a good Christian than you should treat all others, regardless of sexual preference, with respect. Religion should not be used as an excuse for bigotry. I think Graeme is amazing! Well done for being brave enough to stand up for what you believe in. This world needs more people like him, people who won't stand for inequality.

  55. deni says – reply to this


    Re: Kellee00 – That's right. I hate when people just automatically jump on the bandwagon without getting the entire story. As soon as I saw this post, I googled and go the full story and Perez should have done the same thing.

  56. Logan says – reply to this


    you know they were banging **allegedly**

  57. deni says – reply to this


    Re: OhJustPickOne – In the Bible, God hates the homosexual act. He finds that same sex intercourse is an abomination and a sin, however you are right, God does not hate people who are gay. God hates the sin. And I think you've misread the post you're responding to. Kelley00 was just making a point of mentioning the entire story. BTW, I'm not against gays or anyone for that matter but let's be realistic…yes, there are gays that love, and there are gays that are just as promiscuous as heterosexuals so it's not at all about "love" all the time.

  58. 58

    Would be nice if you posted the entire story. It hurts your credibility if you don't post all the facts.

  59. 59

    As usual, you only portray what is relevant to YOU. The teacher was disciplined for not allowing his students freedom of speech and NOT because he "defended" a gay student. As Kellee00 already stated, he forced a student out of class because the student had the audacity to say the gay lifestyle was against his religion. That was all that was said. The student was punished and thrown out of class– which is inappropriate. Everyone has a right to their opinion and religion. The only person that did the bullying was the teacher.

  60. 60

    You think he'll do Oprah first or Ellen ?

  61. 61

    WOW 14? This kid should be a defense attorney. I hope my son can conduct himself in this manner when he is 14!!

  62. 62

    What a kid.

  63. 63


  64. 64

    Re: likethepear – all you had to say was "he's a boy…not a girl". You didn't need to disparage anyone.

  65. 65

    Re: citygirl21 – Please don't feed the trolls…

  66. 66

    Re: Kellee00 – The prevailing sentiment, however, is one of racial intolerance.

  67. 67

    I agree, great kid. Little put off by the stats used of course…. but Perez I do expect you to get the story straight; this kid did not attend Howell High School and the teacher was not now nor ever this young man's teacher.

    Also, just an FYI to anyone who thinks they know about Howell. Due to our difficult past, we work harder than most communities to protect and respect everyone.

    No one was 100% right in this mess, just don't crucify the whole town based on rumors and b.s. you heard from someone else.

    Love ya Perez!

  68. 68

    He's so well spoken :3 that was fantastic

  69. 69


  70. 70

    Re: President Sarah – Would you call your child an abomination if he or she was gay ??????

  71. 71

    I don't know the facts of this particular situation, other than one child was ultimately kicked out of the classroom for saying that homosexuality was against his religion. Now, according to the suspended teacher, that child was being very disruptive. I don't know if that's true or not. However, as a parent, I would be PISSED if some teacher kicked my child out of class for simply speaking his beliefs, and if said teacher clearly had a political bias that was the motivation behind the student discipline. I would raise hell. And also, the teacher should have had a more open discussion regarding the differences between a confederate symbol and a purple shirt. Simply kicking the kid out of class — end of discussion, seemed very immature, and not something that a good teacher would do — which is use that opportunity to foster and intelligent debate. I do applaud this young boy in the video, but can I just say what everyone else is thinking: how in the world do you know that you are gay at 14, and how do you know what suicide even is at 9?

  72. 72

    I have never been outspoken about the gay movement, because, I have always felt, sexuality is your own business.
    I am for gay marriage because I think the act of trying to dissuade it is a govt move to not pay extra health insurance. i say if gays want to miserable in marriage like everyone else, let em. Who the hell really is affected by this anyhow?
    I have a ten year old daughter and you bet your ass I hope she is straight, because I hope to never have her go through what this boy has gone through. If she was gay I would love her, protect and walk her down the aisle and whatever else she wanted, because my love is based on her, not on her sexuality. But as Kurt on Glee said, who would choose to be ostracized every single day? I used to think that maybe it was a choice, but I see how stupid that is. A 14 yr old boy (and those who said he was a girl were idiots, because it says it right there) has more guts than most adults I know. He is an inspiration, not just to the gay community, but for people everywhere. I almost cried listening to this boy defend this teacher. I wish everyone I knew was that brave and well spoken, because I would then like a lot more people.

  73. 73

    Deni, your an idiot. If you are that religious, what the hell are you doing on this site?
    Piss off Mutant!

  74. 74

    how could he say it is a "silent Holocaust" ?? i support gay rights and all.. but seriously??

  75. 75


  76. 76


  77. 77

    Re: citygirl21 – Exacltly, I have a child who´s 9 and he is very affected by the fact that he is a little bit chubby not even fat ! but he used to cry because he was bullied by his classmates, and let me tell you he is the best of his class and a very charismatic boy… so I can relate with this story, it can happen, even a little 9 years old boy can feel like there´s no way out, even if he has a very loving and supportive family like my boy has….very sad indeed.

  78. 78

    I hope this doesn't give me to much flack. The US school system is so f*cked up. Can we focuse on actual education? Lose the agenda's and the student/techer/administration idiocy? I am not a racist or a biggot. I'm a Seneca who went to an Historically Black University. BUT, wearing or having the confederate flag mostly does NOT advocate racism. If you do some reading on what led up to the Civil War, you will find that the prime motivation was econmical. The North had more representatives & the South pretty much was getting screwed on government funds and bills & proposals that would help their economy. They truly felt as if they were, in fact, living in a seperate country. That being said, slavery did most certainly play a part! But it's important to remember that the confederate flag represents solidarity & serves as a reminder that they will never again be left out of the political & economic process. But I'm sure there's a shit-load of racist rednecks who wear the flag b/c they are racist idiots. This has basically ruined a symbol of the South's grievances before, during, and after the Belle Epoque era. Those who wear or display the Confederate Flag out of racism or to insult will eventually get their due. Karma's a b*tch.

  79. 79

    Re: andriiiiia – Maybe being gay, not knowing what you are feeling, having nobody to turn to, just might make a child consider suicide, without really knowing it's repercussions or even what it really is. I just watched a special where a 3 year-old girl purposely walked in front of a train. We cannot pretend to know other people's pain.

  80. 80

    INSPIRING kid but, damn, your "reporting" is getting worse by the day!!!! way to get EVERYTHING wrong in your reporting of the story! MORONS!!!

  81. 81

    Bravo Graeme Taylor!
    You are an incredibly courageous young man.
    I wish you the best in your life.

  82. 82

    It's good that he is standing up for what he believes in I am around the same age as him and we need people like this to stand up for their personal beliefs. Even though I am not gay or bi, his speech really inspired me . :)

  83. 83

    There may be 6 million "attempts" but the total suicides in the world does not even come CLOSE to 6 million, much less just gay suicides.

  84. 84

    We need more people in the world like Graeme Taylor.
    It would be a better place.

  85. 85

    At 9 years old this kid doesn't know if hes gay or not. Sit down and shutup.

  86. 86

    Re: angelwolf333 – graeme is one of my friends and everything he said is true. he may have exaggerated that statistic, but that doesn't at all mean that he was lying about anything else. asshole.

  87. 87

    Gay youth are up to six times more likely to attempt suicide than straight teens, and gay teenagers account for up to 30 percent of all teenage suicides in the nation. That's just teens, if you include adults then his statistics are likely.

  88. 88

    What an amazing kid - his parents must be so proud.

    Thank goodness that teacher did what he should have. Teachers put up with so much shit these days. WTF is wrong with the school administration?

  89. 89

    Wow…what a kid! Amazing!

  90. 90

    Re: Black Mamba 1
    you are an idiot.

  91. 91

    Re: Gabriel Garza – its a boy………not a girl

  92. 92

    Re: MarioMonjack – your parents should be ashamed of you for thinking its ok to write hateful things on the internet where many ppl can see them. If you're against gay rights that's fine voice your opinion all you like, but do it in a civilized way. Otherwise you end up sounding just as stupid and ignorant as your comments just made you appear.

  93. 93

    i go to HHS. and it sucks. Im bi. and i admire this teacher. and i believe that this techer diserves his job back. What this kid did was brave. ♥

  94. 94

    He is only a boy and he has gone through so much. His parents should be very proud of him. I'm sure he will have an amazing future.

  95. 95

    Re: Kellee00 – Actually, the whole story (being as I live 20 mins away from Howell, MI) is that Howell is the capital for the KKK in Michigan. Actually, there's a whole bunch of them there!! Obviously in such an area as Howell, a Confederate belt buckle is very inappropriate and represents more than it would/could elsewhere. Schools have to be sensitive to offending anyone and in this case, the Confederate belt buckle acts more of a suppressor and the purple shirts represent hope and support.

  96. 96


  97. 97


  98. 98


  99. 99

    oh it is a boy……