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Mon Mar 4, 2019, 04:22 AM

Gay teen shunned by parents starts college fund for others

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) A Florida teen who raised tens of thousands of dollars for college after his parents ostracized him for being gay now wants to pay it forward.

Seth Owen's story was widely shared after his biology teacher took to the crowdfunding site GoFundMe that raised $140,000. He also got a $25,000 check on Ellen DeGeneres' TV talk show.

Georgetown University offered the Jacksonville valedictorian a full-ride scholarship, and he told WTLV he used the windfall to start a nonprofit group to help other teenagers in similar circumstances.

The organization Unbroken Horizons Scholarship Foundation will be awarding three scholarships this summer.

Owen's parents kicked him out a year ago following disagreements over his sexuality and an ultimatum: attend their Southern Baptist church or leave.

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Reply Gay teen shunned by parents starts college fund for others (Original post)
TexasTowelie Mar 2019 OP
pnwmom Mar 2019 #1
SunSeeker Mar 2019 #2
Raster Mar 2019 #3
SunSeeker Mar 2019 #4

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 05:30 AM

1. Students and adults who work with them need to know that there is a special exception

to the FAFSA requirement that lets students like this young man apply for student aid without their parents' cooperation.

Usually, parental info (and cooperation) is required till a student is 24, but not in the cases of documented abuse or homelessness.

The one to make the decision about eligibility is the Financial Aid Administrator at the individual college(s).


Under Federal law, only your FAA has the authority to decide whether or not you must provide parental information on your FAFSA.

Your FAA may ask you to provide documentation to verify your situation. Gather as much written evidence of your situation as you can. Written evidence may include court or law enforcement documents, letters from a clergy member, school counselor or social worker, and/or any other relevant data that explains your special circumstance.

After carefully reviewing your circumstances, your FAA will decide if you must provide parental information or if your circumstances allow you to proceed without providing parental data.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 05:42 AM

2. How could parents be so cruel to their own child?

He deserves so much better. The video about the boy at this link made me tear up: https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/out-toxic-home-life-forces-gay-teen-to-move-risk-college-scholarship/77-575574935

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 06:40 AM

3. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case...

...I've known LGBTQ kids that had been ostracized, evicted, physically assaulted, threatened with murder, etc. because of their sexuality. IMHO, the deep evangelicals are the worst. There are reasons why LGBTQ kids are most at risk for suicide, and one of the main reasons is a lack of familial empathy and support.

I donated to Seth's fund, and I am thrilled to see he's been given a full scholarship to Georgetown and doubly thrilled to see him pay it forward. Good on Seth!

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Response to Raster (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 4, 2019, 07:13 AM

4. Oh I know. I still don't understand it.

I am a parent of a 15 year old and I can't imagine how a parent could be so cruel to their own child.

When my son was around 13 years old, I overheard him joking around with a friend over something goofy his friend did, and he said "that's so gay." Later, I had a long talk with my son about how wrong that was, even if his friend wasn't gay. and how hurtful that is to someone who is actually gay. I then told him there was nothing wrong with being gay and that I would love him just the same, whether he was gay or not.

I also told him gay people are just like everyone else and can lead full, normal lives, get married and have kids. That took him by surprise. He asked how gay men can have kids and I aaid by adoption or through a surrogate. He then said there was a gay boy in his class, but he would never make fun of him and promised to never joke like that again.

I wonder if these evangelicals even realize that their gay son can have a full, happy life as a gay man, that he doesn't need them to "save" him from his gayness. Do you think their ignorance of that drives them to threaten their gay child with ostracism or horrific "conversation therapy"?

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