All posts by kaitlynchris

Support Michael and the Acceptance of Speech

“When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was gay. Because I could draw and my uncle was. I told my mom with teacher streaming down my face, shes like, ” Ben, you’ve liked girls since before pre-k.” Yeah, I guess she was a point, just a bunch of stereotypes all in my head–I remember doing math like, ” Yeah, I’m good at little league.” It’s all just a preconceived idea of what it all meant for those who like the same sex.”

These lyrics come from Macklemore’s song “Same Love.” During the 2014 Nebraska School Activities Association State Speech Tournament, Michael Barth, a student from Gordon-Rushville High School, recited the lyrics above in a number of his poems about gender identity and acceptance. He made a name for himself when he won the Class C1 poetry division and became the State Champion. After his astonishing win, he was selected to perform in a prestigious “Best of the Best” showcase on the Nebraska Educational Television PBS and NRP station. Prior to recording, NSAA director Rhonda Blandford-Green requested that Barth change his award winning program. According to, her reasoning was, “We don’t want to use a showcase for the best of the best to promote personal agendas.”

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Thursdays in India

It was a Thursday.  Just a normal Thursday in Delhi, India until Nido Taniam stepped into a crowded store front.

As the 18 year old son of a local politician from Arunachal Pradesh, Taniam exhibited the lighter complexion of a Northeast Indian. As he entered the store front looking for addresses, Taniam began to be mocked by local shopkeepers about his northeastern features and blonde tipped hair. As a fight erupted, Taniam was beaten by the shopkeepers. Immediately taken away by police, he was arrested and the shopkeepers were fined. Later he  returned and was again beaten. This would be Taniam’s last Thursday; his last Thursday alive.


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