Gay teen bullied for wearing a prom dress is gaining widespread support
via Gordon Correll / Flickr and WVNews

A gay teen taking pictures at his senior prom was ridiculed by a man on Saturday outside of the Harpeth Hotel in downtown Franklin, Tennessee. Dalton Stevens, a senior at Franklin High, was having a photoshoot with his boyfriend, college freshman Jacob Geittman, when they were verbally accosted by a man later identified as Sam Johnson, 46.

Geittman claims that Johnson got into Stevens' face as they were taking photos. This part of the incident was not captured on video.

"This man comes up and he's about an inch away from my boyfriend and he says, 'What are you wearing?' And he's like, 'A dress, why?' And he's like, 'Why are you wearing that? You shouldn't be wearing that,'" Geitmann said according to WVNews.


Stevens said that Johnson then began hurling homophobic slurs at him.

"Slander terms thrown towards me of like 'you look bad,' 'you've got hair on your chest, you shouldn't be wearing a dress,' 'you're not a man,' blah, blah, blah," Stevens said. "The fact that he thought he had the audacity to come tell me what I was supposed to wear, and what I was supposed to do because of his standards."

Did Johnson really think that the young gay couple cared to hear his thoughts on fashion?

In the video, Johnson can be seen trailing the teens with a condescending smirk on his face saying, "You look like an idiot," even though the couple told him to stop.

"I'm sorry, I'm gorgeous," Stevens says in the video. "Are you?" Johnson responded.

Towards the end of the clip, Johnson can be seen taking a swipe at Geittman'ss phone and demanding that he stop filming him. In a later video, Geittman claims that Johnson knocked the phone out of his hand and that he was "pretty obviously drunk."


Stevens decided to wear a dress to prom because he wanted to make a bold statement and because he views clothing as "genderless."

After the video was posted online it quickly went viral after being shared by comedian Kathy Griffin, actor Billy Porter, and musician Richard Marx. Porter's support for the teens is wonderful given his history of making controversial fashion choices. He wore a dress to the Academy Awards two years ago to challenge to the Academy's rigid black-tie dress code.

Griffin took no prisoners in her support for the teens. In her tweet she named Johnson, saying, "It seems like he's dying to be online famous." The video received 9.7 likes and over 4,000 shares.

Griffin's support rallied countless people around the teens.


It didn't take long for Johnson to face consequences for taunting the teenagers with homophobic slurs. On Monday, he lost his job as the CEO of Visuwell, a telemedicine company.

"Visuwell's culture emphasizes respect, kindness, and compassion, especially for those from traditionally marginalized communities, and we maintain a zero-tolerance policy for intolerance of any kind," a statement posted to Twitter reads.

"Mr. Johnson's actions contradicted the high standards we set for ourselves in promoting the health of those who use our platform," the statement continued.

Johnson responded to the incident by claiming that the confrontation was not about the dress, but the "obnoxious, loud behavior by this group of teens." He said he approached them because they were shouting obscenities around families and children.

Johnson's homophobic behavior in front of the teens was disturbing, to say the least. It also showed an incredible lack of self-awareness. Why would anyone behave that way when they know they're being filmed? It's 2021, you're going to go viral in the worst way possible.

Kudos to Kathy Griffin, Billy Porter, and Richard Marx for jumping in and supporting the young couple by using their platform to expose those who threaten the LGBTQ community. Hopefully, this will make people like Johnson think twice before attempting to intimidate teenagers simply for dressing how they want.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Fox 5 / YouTube

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The dog had a collar but there was no owner in sight.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

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