San Francisco 49er cornerback Chris Culliver found himself in a world of controversy ahead of this weekend's Super Bowl after saying that he would not embrace an openly gay teammate.
Culliver said earlier this week in a radio interview that he wasn't down with that “sweet stuff” when asked about the possibility of having of gay teammate.
The 49ers quickly released an apology on behalf of Culliver and, according to ESPN, Culliver himself apologized to reporters yesterday.
Twenty-three gay and lesbian officers shared their personal stories of coming out in an "It Gets Better" video as part of a global movement to help young people struggling with their sexuality and gender identity.
The video was shown for the first time to the public Wednesday at the Phillip Rush Center.
The video includes an introduction by Chief George Turner, who says he is an LGBT ally and honored to support the "It Gets Better" project.
"All teenagers go through an awkward phase but it can be especially daunting if you are someone who is unsure of your sexuality and where your life may be headed. As a police force we will stand up for you, no one deserves to be bullied for any reason," Turner says.
The Atlanta Police Department will host the first viewing of its "It Gets Better" video on Dec. 12 at the Phillip Rush Center.
The video will be shown at 6:30 p.m. and features 23 gay and lesbian officers.
From a press release:
The Atlanta Police 'It Gets Better Video' showcases LGBT personnel from many ranks, including a deputy chief, a captain, several lieutenants, sergeants and officers. They talk about coming out, the difficulties of growing up ‘different’ and their ability to overcome it. Chief George Turner provides an introduction to the video.
City Talk, a public access TV show focusing on Atlanta's government, aired a segment recently about the LGBT officers in the Atlanta Police Department.
Officer Brian Sharp, the first male LGBT liaison for the APD, discusses the department's role to build bridges between the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and the APD.
Sharp also points out that the APD has made an "It Gets Better Video" and a community screening is planned for December. Sharp states in his interview the video would also be shared on APD's Facebook page and Twitter account. The video will be made public either Thursday or Friday, according to an APD spokesperson.
Author, journalist and “It Gets Better” campaign founder Dan Savage has released a new initiative this week meant to draw attention to straight allies that have helped progress the LGBT equality movement in recent victories in Washington state, Minnesota, Maryland and Maine.
The new website, called Straight Up Thanks, highlights photos and stories of straight allies submitted by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends and family.
From the site's description:
Schools around the country will participate in “Mix It Up At Lunch Day” on Oct. 30. Students are encouraged to talk to other students they would not normally connect with during the day to make new friends outside of their comfort zone.
Originally organized by the Southern Poverty Law Center to combat bullying in school, the day is now the target of a planned protest by the American Family Association, which calls the day a “program designed specifically by SPCL to establish the acceptance of homosexuality into public schools, including elementary and junior high schools.”
The AMA is urging parents to keep their children home on “Mix It Up” day and is also calling on parents to contact their child's school if it is listed as one of the official participants.
Fort Worth City Councilmember Joel Burns, who drew national media attention when his story of surviving bullying went viral, is headed to Atlanta later this month to support "Breaking Through," a project from local filmmaker Cindy Abel.
Burns will be on hand for a Sept. 27 fundraiser for the film, which tells the personal stories of openly gay elected officials around the country. Details of the event are TBA.
"Joel is coming because he knows 'Breaking Through' will bring hope: to teens who, like he once did, are wondering if life will have purpose and [if they should] commit suicide, and to adults, who conclude their career choices will be limited if they’re openly gay," Abel said in an email announcing the fundraiser.