Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns is getting national and international exposure and kudos for his moving speech earlier this week.


Reader comments are predominantly positive on web sites that carried the story.

A reader at The Stranger commented: “This guy — this gay guy — was elected in Fort Worth, Texas? And received a standing ovation for his story? Maybe Texas isn’t as far back in the Stone Ages as I thought.”


“Finally, a Texas politician with some character and humanity,” another reader said at the Huffington Post.

“Something on YouTube finally made me cry in a good way,” someone wrote at Blogtown.

But comments at our own major daily aren’t so lovey-dovey. “I can clearly see by the comments that Texas is…all heart,” someone said with sarcasm fairly oozing between the lines.


  1. There’s always plenty of derp and bigotry on just about any internet forum. Thankfully there are usually some rational folks there as well to balance out the nutob faction.
    Of course, none of the jackasses criticizing Burns from the safety of the internet will ever do anything as courageous or meaningful in their entire, sad lives.

  2. Joel’s courageous speech made me sorry — for the first time in my memory — that I had missed a city council meeting.

  3. I have just cried my eyes out. My faith in humanity,not an unknown entitity, has been restored through this brave and courageous man. How can anyone callt hemselves religious if they have hate towards their fellow man in such abundance. I hope now they will look in to their conscious and see that hate being made out of man-made religion will ruin this World forever..
    Joel is a hero, to stand up against all odds to say what was in his heart.

  4. After weeks of campaign ads on the airwaves, it’s refreshing to hear politician speak from the heart. I’ve seen a lot of backlash over the issue of gay bullying, the worst being homophobic people claiming that this just some attempt by the media to exploit suicide to further the so-called “gay agenda”. And you know what? If you want to say that all suicide and bullying matters, not just against LGBT people, you know what? I agree. People are picked on for race, body size, religion, or maybe they’re just a nerd. Or even their sexual orientation. Nobody should feel entitled to victimize somebody because of any of these reasons. It may have gotten better for Joel Burns, but at last somebody has called out the last effects that those kind of childhood experiences can leave. If more people like Joel Burns speak up in the future, hopefully more people will have the courage to tell the world who they really are.

    In a month where insults are flung at each other to win elections (and we wonder why kids think it’s ok to do it to other kids), it’s refreshing to hear something so life-affirming.