Rally Against Anti-Gay Bullying

Boise Weekly City Desk Jody May-Chang

By Jody May-Chang
Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Nov. 18, 2010

About 300 braved the cold night air Nov. 16 on the steps of the Statehouse for a rally and candlelight vigil to draw attention to the increasing epidemic of youth suicide brought brought on by anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender bullying in schools in Idaho and across the nation.

Casey Dempsey said he witnesses bullying “almost every day” at Centennial High.

“One day I was in the hall minding my own business and someone spat on me. There is nothing worse in my mind than feeling worthless and being spat on,” said Dempsey. “One day you are straight and everyone thinks you’re the coolest person, the next you’re not straight and they stop talking to you and all of a sudden you’re getting bullied by people who you were friends with just days before.”

BSU student Justin Baxter described the years of bullying and taunting he endured in both middle and high school in Sandpoint, Idaho. Walking home one day after a bullying incident in his gym class locker-room, Baxter was struck in the head with a glass bottle. He fell unconscious to the grown breaking his nose as his attackers kicked him.

“People do no understand what it is like to be in that kind of darkness,” said Baxter. Continue reading

Matthew Shepard Observance in Boise Sat. Oct. 9

Matthew Shepard Hate Crime In the early morning hours of October 7, 1998 Matthew Shepard was savagely beaten and tortured for no other reason than he was gay. Left naked out in a field and tied to a fence, 21 year-old Matthew endured the cold Laramie Wyoming night until he was found the next day. Matthew was taken to the hospital where he died 5 days later.

Matthew has become a national symbol of anti-gay bullying and hate crime violence in our country. This 12th anniversary of his death is even more somber and poignant with the recent five gay youth suicides as a result of anti-gay bullying and homophobia.

Please join us as we gather to remember Matthew, grieve and re-energize our fight for equality in his name. Saturday October 9, 2010 3:00 PM at the Idaho Anne Frank Memorial. I will be speaking with a great line up of other community leaders.