The night before last I was doing my normal nocturnal trawl around the web when I stumbled on a video called “Coming out, abuse, being gay, depression”. It had been posted on the 12th of February by an 18 year old guy called Austin Gates who lives in Atlanta.
It was a heartbreaking story of how his Christian mother was dragging him (beaten, bruised and bleeding) to church and how she had been physically assaulting him since she found out he was gay.
I noticed that the video had only been seen by about 40 people which I thought was appalling. I posted it to a group I’m involved with on Facebook which deals with teen bullying and suicide. The group’s admins then made it a main feature on their page and posted links of it to other mainstream gay groups on Facebook.
Today I looked at the video and saw it had nearly 8000 views and that people all over the world were sending messages of love and support to this kid who, unsurprisingly, seems rather taken aback by it all.
The admin of the Facebook group sent me a private message saying it was largely down to me that the video had gone viral.
Having spent so much of my time lately still facing off some Christian freak posting pious hatred on one of Jamey Rodemeyer’s videos, it served to remind me that the internet is a powerful force for good and that it can save lives as well as destroy them.
The only thing now is that I feel I should apologize to poor Austin for making his Email account practically unreadable for him.
However I would rather that was the case than the alternative which would have possibly led to his featuring on that Facebook group in another capacity altogether.