Teacher's suspension stands

Gay teen appears on 'Ellen Show'


The Howell school district won't reverse a teacher's one-day unpaid suspension for kicking a boy out of class because the student said he didn't "accept gays."

Howell schools Superintendent Ronald Wilson said in a release Nov. 17 that Jay McDowell violated the student's right to free speech on Oct. 20. Wilson says the high school teacher also "violated board policy" in dismissing the student "who disagreed with him."

McDowell says he was explaining the difference between the Confederate flag and the gay pride rainbow flag when the student made his statement. McDowell has filed a complaint against the district.

An Ann Arbor Pioneer student, 14-year-old Graeme Taylor, gained media attention for his vocal support of McDowell at a Nov. 9 school board meeting. A video of Taylor's passionate defense of McDowell went viral on the internet, attracting the attention of the producers at the "Ellen Degeneres Show" who invited him to appear on the show Nov. 22.

"I went through some very tough times learning to accept myself, but once I did, I realized just what a beautiful thing that is," he told DeGeneres.

He said he began to tell his friends he was gay when he was 13 years old.

"We are all better for having you in the world," DeGeneres told Taylor.

She also presented him with a $10,000 scholarship from Tonic.

"Everybody has a voice and some people are kind of scared to go out there and share it. But, when you do, it just becomes a wonderful thing," he said.

  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: Pride Source Votes
Schauer Says LGBTs Valued, Needed In His Administration

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and running mate Lisa Brown sat down with BTL publishers Jan Stevenson and Susan Horowitz prior to the Michigan Democratic Convention for a wide-ranging conversation about their campaign, what a SchauerBrown administration would be like for the LGBT community and who would be included. They addressed LGBT civil rights, health issues, senior care, marriage equality and how both of them have come to be such vocal allies of the LGBT community. Here is a recap of Schauer's words on these concerns.

View More Pride Source Votes
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!