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04/24/2009

Maybe Pete's 'gay lives are junk' filter blocked the messages?

by Jeremy Hooper

On Monday we told you how Peter LaBarbera was lashing out against 17-year-old James Neiley because the openly gay Vermont teen had Neileythe "nerve" to speak out in favor of his life and the equal treatment thereof. And we also told you how Peter was requesting that readers send in messages to young James, that he said he would publicly post at a later time.

Well so far, Pete hasn't posted any of those messages. However, if the emails that have been CCed to us are any indication, we certainly understand why an anti-gay activist would prefer to deny rather than publicize them. Here are just a few:

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Now, if these had been angry missives calling for Pete's head, they surely would have been posted in half the time it takes to say "lickety-split." But since reasoned dissension is less acknowledge by the organized anti-gay movement than even our partnerships, there is no reason to assume that Mr. LaBarbera will ever let his own readership see the daylight of these words. The only emails he cares to preserve for the public record are the ones that either condemn this bright young man to a Beelzebub's backyard BBQ or the ones wherein a gay person's perfectly understandable rage manifests itself in a heated display of angry, preferably profanity-filled prose.

Well Pete's readers may never see these emails. However, we have already made sure that James will. And for us, as a site that truly wishes to protect gay kids, that's all that really matters at the end of the day.

*More on James' story: Queer Town: James Neiley Comes to L.A. [LA Weekly]

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Your thoughts

Thank You Jeremy for posting these letters.

I have communicated with Peter LaBarbera for over the past 3 years and I have always spoken to him with respect (which a lot time he didn't even deserve it). One of the things I always pointed out to him was how demonizing it was of him to only post angry letters from other pro-gay readers on his site just so he can make himself out to be the victim.

When he wrote about James Neiley - it made me so angry that I was going to write him about it but I was to upset (not only did he attack a child but at the same time he was decrying GLSEN's Day of Silence - this man clearly doesn’t understand irony).

So I'm really glad that your reader took the challenge and did an amazing job.

Posted by: Alonzo | Apr 24, 2009 1:15:29 PM

Peter Labarbera is an execrable human being. There's nothing more to add to that.

Posted by: Bruno | Apr 24, 2009 4:47:24 PM

James Neiley is a genuine *mensch (* "A person of integrity and honor) and a treasure trove of hope for future gay leadership.
As he notes, he has had support from his family, teachers and gay programs in Vermont. However, not all families, schools or religeous groups and states provide equal rights for gays. Until then, we can not rest... We should take the time to Thank, and support those organizations fighting for gay rights... as well as"Thank" James, for being there for himself and others at this pivitol time in gay history.

Posted by: jerry Pritikin | Apr 25, 2009 9:30:51 AM

I did not get to write my letter to James but I have to say that I was so proud of him when I watched the video that was posted. I also wrote a respectful note to Peter L. asking why he would try to humiliate this young man by posting that video on his site. I truly believe that Peter L is nothing more then a bully and obviously he thinks that gay people are the ones that he is above and can always try to knock down. It is sad and angering at the same time that there is a man out there of his caliber.

Posted by: Lynn | Apr 25, 2009 10:31:13 PM

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