Militant Journalism

Community defends grade schooler’s pro-LGBTQ shirt

Ali Chaney is a quiet 8th grader from Copperas Cove Tx. who “came out” two years ago. Recently, she made national news when she wore a t-shirt to her grade school and was called into the principal’s office and bullied by a gang of administrators. Ali’s mother, Cassie Watson, left her job to bring her another shirt; when she arrived she realized Ali  was too upset to remain in the hostile school environment.

When told that other mothers in Copperas Cove, the Texas town where Ali lives, had commented that Cassie “raised her daughter right,” Cassie told Liberation News: “I’m trying each day. She for sure didn’t come with a ‘how to’ guide. But I love her tremendously and will always fight for her and teach her to fight for herself.

“She has been taught love and acceptance, not hate and bigotry. She is an exceptional young lady with so much courage.”

Copperas Cove mothers Hornelos and GaudierTwo Copperas Cove mothers, Gina Hornelos and her friend, Gaudier, think it is necessary to put out messages against bigotry.

“I’m a mom and I’m a grandmom and it should be equal opportunity for sex, race, creed and religion,” said Gina Hornelos.

“I believe it was wrong and everyone has the right to freedom of speech,” she added.

This writer could not find a city resident who did not want to take a stand against bigotry.

“They do have the right to have a gay rights parade and to chose who they want to be with. No one one should condemn another for who they love, for their race or creed. There’s only one to judge us and that’s Jesus Christ himself,” interjected Gaudier in downtown Copperas Cove.

Ed, the town's go-to person“I was a set builder working in theater for many years. My best friend is gay out in Washington D.C., and works with an AIDS Foundation there. My wife’s best friend growing up is gay. As far as the gay lifestyle we have no problem with it,” commented Ed who is a local and was introduced to this writer as a go-to person regarding going-ons in Copperas Cove.

Zavion West“Her actions are good. She didn’t do anything wrong….I accept it and do have gay friends that I know of. This was not anything to be kicked out of school for,” said Zavion West.

Zavion’s friend who was a bit more camera shy said “I know her … she didn’t do anything wrong.”

Others in Copperas Cove illustrated these views further describing the double standard provided to those who promote hate speech.

“I think it’s crazy how Trump gets to say anything that come out his [expletive] and people seem to vote for him, but when a little girl from 8th grade wanted to wear a gay pride t-shirt they want to get on her,” said Joe, a 25 year old Black gay man from Copperas Cove.

“I appreciate their support. It’s shocking how much support I received,” Ali Chaney told Liberation News. “I’ve been open for about 2 years now. I didn’t have a problem when I got the shirt.”

Ali hopes that more changes are on the horizon, “So kids can express themselves and who they are without fear.”

Cassie Watson has since filed a formal complaint against the administrators.

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