9-Year-Old Told To Leave “My Little Pony” Backpack At Home Because It Triggers Bullying: Today In Gay

my little pony grayson bruce.jpgA 9-year-old boy in North Carolina was  punched, pushed and called names for bringing a My Little Pony lunchbag to school. But when the boy, Grayson Bruce, went to the principal, he was told to leave the sack at home because it was “trigger for bullying.”

When administrators declared the bag “created a disruption in the classroom,” Grayson’s mom, Noreen Bruce, objected, remarking that “saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. It’s flawed logic.”

Thankfully there has been a huge public outpouring of support for Grayson—even Glenn Beck appeared on his radio show with a My Little Pony doll. The school says the incident is being investigated but no action has been taken yet.

Last month, an 11-year-old attempted suicide after experiencing relentless bullying for being a fan of My Little Pony, and faces possible brain damage as a result.

In other bizarre bullying news, a profile piece about a gay high-schooler was removed from the Sheridan High School yearbook in Little Rock, Arkansas, because, administrators say, it would lead to him getting bullied. Taylor Ellis is out to his classmates but says prrincipal Rodney Williams told him the profile was too personal: “Mr. Williams said people would bully me,” Ellis recounts. “But everybody already knows that I’m gay so it wouldn’t be any different.”

HRC president Chad Griffin—who was born in Arkansas and attended elementary school in Sheridan—wrote a letter to school administrators, encouraging them to reverse the decision. “It would be unconscionable to release the yearbook with the omission of Taylor’s well-deserved profile,” he wrote. “If not resolved immediately, this act of discriminatory censorship will send a dangerous message to all LGBT students in Sheridan, across Arkansas and around the nation that they are second-class citizens and their lives are not equally valid.”

A Facebook page, Supporting Taylor Ellis, has garnered more than 800 likes so far.

HIV AIDSThe first known case of female-to-female HIV transmission between a lesbian couple has been documented, federal health officials report.  Testing indicated that the virus strain in both women was nearly identical, all but proving one had infected the other.

The New York Times writes:

The women in the new case, both in their 40s, lived in Houston when the transmission took place in 2012. The infected partner had been on treatment for H.I.V. from early 2009 to late 2010 but had stopped taking the drugs. The women reported having sex during their periods and using insertive sex toys, sometimes so roughly that bleeding occurred.

The newly infected woman reported no other sex partners for six months before infection; she tested negative on an H.I.V. antibody test when she sold blood plasma in March 2012. Antibody tests can have a “window period,” usually one to three months, during which a newly infected person can test negative because antibodies to the virus have not yet formed.

Ten days later, the woman went to a hospital emergency room with flulike symptoms that sometimes indicate an early H.I.V. infection. She again was negative on an antibody test, and was given antibiotics on the assumption that she had a cold or the flu. Eighteen days later, again at a blood plasma center, she tested positive.


London-Pride-dragLondon Pride is a costly affair, so this year organizers are raising money via a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfunder..co.uk.

It costs more than $1 million to put on a decent Pride and, with corporate sponsors hard to come by, planners hope the British LGBT community will feel it has “a personal stake in Pride’s success.” They hope to garner $41,000 in crowdfunded donations. In 2012, London Pride was significantly downgraded when the coffers came up short.

In return for their contributions, donors will be given prizes based on their level of participation, including the right to walk in the parade.

“We think it’s a great way for people to support an event that supports the gay community and get something back,” London Pride co-organizer Stephen Ward told Gay Star News. “It’s important that the main element of Pride is free to participate in.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.