It’s rare when a city council member from Fort Worth, Texas makes national news, but that’s exactly what happened when Joel Burns recently gave a powerful speech imploring gay teenagers to stand strong in the face of bullying.
At a Fort Worth council meeting on Tuesday, Joel Burns, who is openly gay, talked about a number of recent suicides of gay teens due to bullying. Burns had a simple message for them: “it gets better.”
In the speech, Joel Burns talked about all the difficulties growing up gay in Texas.
“One day when I was in the ninth grade….I was cornered by some older kids who roughed me up.”
“They said that I was a faggot, and that I should die and go to hell where I belonged.”
Joel Burns’ speech does offer hope.
“Yes high school was difficult, coming out was painful but life got so much better for me,” he said. “Things will get easier. Please stick around to make those happy moments for yourself.”[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvFYHkvF_0o]