Bullied Gay Teen Becomes An Activist

The Columbus Dispatch
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July 30, 2012
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Zach King says that when he goes back to high school next month, he won’t be scared.

Bullied since second grade, the openly gay 16-year-old was harassed and taunted for acting “ girly,” having long hair and being different at Unioto High School in Chillicothe.It came to a head in October when he was severely beaten in his third-period class by another student, and it was captured on video.

That’s when King and his mom, Becky Collins, went from victims to activists.Since the attack, they’ve told their story to groups of teens and adults, most recently at the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio’s biennial conference yesterday in the Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square.

As part of a panel discussion called “It’s Getting Better,” they talked about what can be done to prevent and react to bullying and harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.