Via CNN, Via the Internet, Fort Worth Council Member Joel Burns's "It Gets Better" Bullying Speech Now an Inspirational Message
By now, no doubt, you've seen Fort Worth council member Joel Burns's speech to the council on Tuesday, in which he told the victims of bullying that, yes, life may seem "unbearable" at times, but that "it gets better." At which point Burns, born and raised in Crowley, recounted the violence he encountered as a skinny, awkward, gay 13-year-old. The YouTube video's been seen some 508,000 times since Burns posted it to his YouTube page and the official Fort Worth website Wednesday. It's all anyone in the office has been talking about today. It follows for those who haven't seen it. Or for those who need to see it again.
A Friend of Unfair Park sends a follow-up: a CNN piece that recycles Chris Hawes's story on WFAA-Channel 8 last night. That too follows. Burns was also just on CNN himself discussing the video and its impact. As it turns out, even he has a hard time listening to it, especially the part in which he recounts his own childhood. We've tried talking to Burns; understandably, the councilman has been a bit busy in recent days.
As we mentioned earlier this week, the Dallas Independent School District is considering its own new bullying policy. And the Dallas Voice also notes that Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance is holding a rally in Lake Cliff Park today to "draw attention to the problem of gay teen suicide and to opportunities in the next session of the legislature to end school bullying."