Tossed from Music Group, Gay Teen Gets Support on Social Media

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday October 1, 2020

Gabriel B.
Gabriel B.  (Source:Screencap/KETV)

An Omaha teenager shared how he was summarily booted from his church's music group for being gay, only to then find himself swamped with messages of love and support, local news channel KETV reports.

The teen, identified only as Gabriel B., played piano at worship services. He had worn a rainbow-themed T-shirt emblazoned with the message "True to You" to a rehearsal at the church.

"The elders of the church found out that I was wearing Pride gear," Gabriel recounted in an on-air interview. His ejection from the church's music group was swift; "They told me since I'm a leader they wouldn't want me promoting things that they're against."

Gabriel's mother was "shocked," the news report said, because the church in question - which was not identified at the request of Gabriel and his family - had billed itself as "inclusive."

Once Gabriel's mother posted at Facebook about the teen being expelled from the group the story swiftly went viral - and the response the family got was overwhelmingly positive.

The story caught the attention of Drag Queen Story Hour of Nebraska, which encouraged its followers to send Gabriel uplifting postcards, care of a local LGBTQ organization. "Let's shower Gabriel with ALL the love!" a post from the group said.


Thank you again for all the love you've sent Gabriel. We just dropped off another batch of notes and he is...Posted by Drag Queen Story Hour Nebraska on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

This post was noticed in turn by Frank Roark, the owner of a printing company in Lincoln, the town where the church is reportedly located. Roark printed up 500 cards, the news report said, bearing messages such as a quote from openly LGBTQ singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge, who said, "Love is never wrong."

Roark posted on the Facebook page for his company, Goldenrod Printing & Mail LLC, "We hope he finds a church that treats him well."

It was great to meet Gabriel mask to mask. We hope he finds a church that treats him well.

We do still have postcards...Posted by Goldenrod Printing & Mail, LLC on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Saying that "It just put a wide smile on my face knowing that there were people out there who really cared about me," Gabriel told KETV, going on to add, "When the bad comes, the good comes too."

KETV reported that although they had asked the church for a comment, the church declined.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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