People in Huntsville speaking out against LGBTQ bullying


People in Huntsville are raising awareness about bullying in the LGBTQ community. This comes after the recent death of 15-year-old Nigel Shelby who attended Huntsville High School.

Today, members of Tennessee Valley Rocket City Pride took time at their Easter Drag Brunch to touch on the topic of bullying.

Rocket City Pride performer, Caila Malone, said, “I remember being called terrible words even when I was in elementary school before I knew what they meant.”

Studies show that compared to other students, people in the LGBTQ community are more likely to experience violence in school. In Alabama, there is no law protecting LGBTQ students.

“These bullies have to be held accountable, and until our state legislation shows that they have to do that, they’re able to run a muck and do whatever they want,” said Malone.

Anti-bullying supporters suggest that students seek out help and use the resources available in Huntsville.

According to Rocket City Pride, CARE Services hosts a weekly youth group of LGBT+ teens on Tuesday. GLSEN Greater Huntsville provides resources and training for schools to support LGBT+ students. 

Another group, The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT+ youth and has done so for more than 20 years. Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director, says, “We know how challenging coming out can be at any age, especially in environments that may include risk factors for increased rates of discrimination, rejection, and bullying. We hear from LGBTQ young people who have thoughts of suicide, or feel unsafe or unloved at school or home – just for being who they are. We encourage adults who interact with youth to learn more about LGBTQ competent suicide prevention and risk detection, and to remind LGBTQ youth that they are never alone, that their lives
have value, and are loved.” Their 24/7 crisis line is 866-488-7386, and thay also provide text and chat help.

If you need help, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The lifeline is available 24 hours a day.

Rocket City Pride performer, Zonnell Glamoure, said, “It really does get better. I mean, we stand here as full grown adults proud of what we do.”

After the show, Rocket City Pride collected over $800 to donate to the GoFundMe page to help pay for Nigel Shelby’s funeral. 

As of Monday evening, the GoFundMe page had raised over $17,000.

They will also be taking up donations at the Drag Queen Bingo event Tuesday night at Straight to Ale.

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