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#HONY: #Gay Teen Receives Inspiring #Support on #Facebook Page

A photo of a gay teenager which was removed from Facebook page Humans of New York has been shared more than 62,000 times and received as many as 650,000 likes since it was reposted on Friday. The caption – a quote from the teen – reads: "I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me."
"I'm homosexual and I'm afraid about what my future will be and that people won't like me."
Posted by Humans of New York on Friday, July 3, 2015
The photo, shot by Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton, was taken down almost immediately after going up on Friday. There isn’t a lot of information about what exactly happened to the photo, but Stanton, who has taken over 5,000 portraits of strangers on the streets of New York City for the Facebook page, posted: "Seems that Facebook removed the young man’s brave statement...I’m hoping it was a mistake. It is currently still on Instagram and I’m trying to figure out how to get it back up."

The photo could still be seen on Instagram and was reposted on Facebook, who blamed a bug with technical infrastructure for the photo not being displayed properly. I’m willing to believe that it was a genuine mistake, but what’s more important here, I think, isn't whether or not the photo was removed on purpose, but the reaction that it has generated from the Facebook community. The teen has received an avalanche of support from fans of the Humans of New York page. Former Secretary of State and Democratic president hopeful Hillary Clinton was among thousands of people who sent inspiring messages of support to the teen: "Prediction from a grown-up – Your future is going to be amazing. You will surprise yourself with what you’re capable of and the incredible things you go on to do. Find the people who love and believe in you – there will be lots of them." –H

Another top commenter was talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who changed the conversation about homosexuality when she publicly came out on her sitcom Ellen in 1997. The media coverage stunted DeGeneres’ professional career – Ellen was cancelled in 1998 – and left her mired in depression. But now Ellen has her own daytime talk show, has become the first openly gay or lesbian person to host the Academy Awards, and – in a signpost of how far society has changed – is a spokesperson for J C Penney, the same department store that pulled its advertising from the Ellen show 15 years ago. Ellen can reassure the teen as well as anyone, then, that his future doesn’t have to frighten him just because he is gay.

Google images

Other messages of support came from members of the LGBT community who can relate to the boy. Ben Gamache wrote: "I’m homosexual too, little man. My future is bright and I am loved. Most importantly, I love ME and wouldn’t change a thing about myself. The same can and will absolutely hold true for you."

Patrick Dunn added: "So, to this kid, I say DON’T WORRY, and BE PATIENT. The world is different, now. There are still groups like the one I went to, except they’re in schools and they’re changing EVERYTHING...Be brave. Hang in there. You are not alone. We are here, and so are you."  

The Humans of New York post came exactly one week after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling to legalise same-sex marriage nationwide in the US.

This weekend, millions watched as Team USA’s Abby Wambach made a beeline for her wife, Sarah Huffman, after a stunning 5–2 victory against Japan in the World Cup Final. Wambach, the lead international scorer within both men’s and women’s football, celebrated a double victory with Huffman as they embraced in the stand. An image of the couple kissing was shared on social media with the hashtag #LoveWins. Wambach and USA teammate Megan Rapinoe are both active members of Athlete Ally, which advocates an end to homophobia and transphobia in sport.

Let’s hope that the teen is strengthened by this extraordinary display of solidarity from both the gay and straight community – we’re all humans, after all. #LoveWins

Aaron Waterhouse
Aaron is a recent English graduate from Durham University who is now working as a content writer intern. An enthusiastic traveller, he hopes to become a journalist and report from around the world. Follow him @AaronAtSMF

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#HONY: #Gay Teen Receives Inspiring #Support on #Facebook Page Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, July 11, 2015 Rating: 5

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