Playboy Club’s Benanti, Easy A’s Royal and Emmy Winner Gold Show Support for Mt. Dora “It Gets Better” Petition

6 Sep

Florida’s Mount Dora High School has been getting a lot of extra attention in the past few weeks. Last month. One of their teachers, Jerry Buell took to his Facebook page after seeing a news story about marriage equality in New York. His status update said that he “nearly threw up” upon hearing about the state’s decision to allow gays and lesbians to marry.

Buell was immediately suspended and then upon threat of a lawsuit, he was reinstated by the school district citing first amendment rights. Since then, students have come forward to describe the atmosphere in his classroom, which was less-than welcoming for LGBT and students.

The Playboy Club's Laura Benanti (photo by John Russo/NBC)

In the interest of letting LGBT students at Mt. Dora H.S. know they are supported in their academic environment, a Change.org petition was started to request Mr. Buell’s colleagues to put together an “It Gets Better” video.

Since the petition was launched late last week, it has garnered some exciting and well-known support. Tony Award Winner Laura Benanti, star of the upcoming NBC series, The Playboy Club tweeted the petition out to her followers. Emmy Winner Judy Gold, Broadway’s Ann Harada and Seth Rudetsky are among the signers as well as Tammy Aaberg  the mother of 15 year-old Justin Aaberg, who took his own life after years of anti-gay bullying. Other supporters include at least two of Mr. Buell’s colleagues at Mount Dora High School.

Another petitioner of note is Bert V. Royal. Royal was the screenwriter of last year’s hit comedy, Easy A. He commented on the petition:

 I am a 33 year old gay man from Florida. I wrote the movie ‘Easy A’ which came out last year and lightly addressed how schools turns a blind eye toward gay bashing. Which is why I never made it to my senior year. (Or even my sophomore year.)

Now, I live happily in Los Angeles with my partner, my child and three dogs.

Trust me. It does get better.

(Remember kids: one day, you’ll be able to talk about it. Maybe even write a movie about it.)

The petition can be found at: http://www.change.org/petitions/mt-dora-hs-show-lgbt-students-it-gets-better.

Please check out Laura Benanti’s “It Gets Better” video!

2 Responses to “Playboy Club’s Benanti, Easy A’s Royal and Emmy Winner Gold Show Support for Mt. Dora “It Gets Better” Petition”

  1. Mary Beth Grybowski September 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Laura Benanti grew up in the town where I now live. I thought she was a wonderful actress from the moment that I saw her in In the Next Room (aka The Vibrator Play). To know that she is someone that speaks up for LGBT rights when she does not need to (she is straight) makes me admire her even more.

    Go Kinnelon, NJ. We love you Laura Benanti. Best of luck in The Playboy Club.
    The series premier was great. Glad to see we will now be seeing you weekly.
    Mary Beth

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Playboy winner | Unusualgamblin - September 21, 2011

    […] Playboy Club’s Benanti, Easy A’s Royal and Emmy Winner Gold …20 hours ago … Tony Award Winner Laura Benanti, star of the upcoming NBC series, The Playboy Club tweeted the petition out to her followers. Emmy Winner … […]

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