The New Gay Youth Revolution

By Butler, Erik | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), April 10, 2001 | Go to article overview

The New Gay Youth Revolution

Butler, Erik, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

In looking at the state of gay and lesbians teens in 2001, it would be impossible to ignore the surge of high school violence and abuse that has culminated in shoot-outs on campuses from Columbine to Santana High. Tormenting already tormented teenagers with homophobic slurs (which were targeted at Charles Andrew Williams, allegedly responsible for the shooting at California's Santana High in March) is often part of the norm where adolescent cruelty is a life passage. As Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, wrote in a 1998 Advocate perspective, "The cycle of violence starts early--in the nursery rhymes kids learn to recite; in the classrooms, where students hear antigay comments 26 times a day on average and where teachers do nothing an astounding 97% of the time." Fortunately, many of the gay teens we talked to are finding their way through these stormy years. Some are even falling in love, breaking up, coming out, and teaching others how to make the world a better place for all teenagers. Here are their stories ...

George Loomis 19 YEARS OLD * FRESNO, CALIF.

A gay teen takes on a school district for failing to protect him from harassment

By Sabrina McIntosh

GEORGE LOOMIS WAS SITTING in his high school Spanish class one day when his teacher commented on his eating. "Only two kinds of men wear earrings, pirates and faggots, and there isn't any water around here," the teacher said. The comment was the start of Loomis's nightmare. Singled out as gay, he was harassed by his fellow students. Worse still, he contends, the administration at his high school in Visalia, Calif., did nothing to stop the harassment. Eventually he was told he would have to leave the school and enter a tutoring program. Suddenly, the former student council member was forced to give up the last months of his senior year and with it his chance to enter his dream school, the University of California, Berkeley, which was looking for' a diploma from a high School and not a special program.

In January, Loomis took action. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. he filed suit against the Visalia Unified School District. Loomis is seeking unspecified damages from the district for failing to stop the harassment, "George was very brave in coming for. ward and putting the Spotlight on not only his school but schools around the country," says Robert Kim, staff attorney with the ACLU in San Francisco, "He is a real catalyst and a hero."

Loomis, 19, now lives in Fresno, just an hour away from Visalia, and is attending California State University, Fresno. His boyfriend, Aaron Jura, has been standing by him as he takes his battle to the courts. The suit and the attendant publicity have taken a toll on Loomis, who has little contact with his family. He is also constantly under threat of physical attack. `I'm still facing harassment from people, even strangers who have heard about the lawsuit," he says, "My car has been vandalized, I've had to move a few times. I've had to quit jobs." Still, he remains upbeat about his case and his own future. The soft-spoken Loomis sat down with The Advocate to discuss his case and the experience of being a gay youth today.

When did you realize you were gay?

I've always known I was gay, but I didn't always act on it, At 6 years old all of my friends were girls. I became more confident with my sexuality as I grew older.

How did you come to terms with it?

I was trained when I was young to think that being gay was wrong and an abomination, but I've come to terms with who I am and to realize that there's nothing wrong with being gay. Being gay is a part of you. It's not accepted by a lot of people. and I've had a lot of struggles with being gay, I've endured a lot of harassment because of it, Through all of it I've remained confident in being gay.

What role models did you turn to while establishing your gay identity? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The New Gay Youth Revolution


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.