City Councilman Remembers Terror of Being Bullied
The heartfelt testimony by Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns about the way he was bullied as a child is getting worldwide attention.
"There must be something wrong with me, I thought. Something I could never let my family or anyone else know," said Burns in a City Council meeting.
More than 1.5 million people have viewed the openly gay politician's tearful account.
INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent said to Burns, "Your speech has gone viral and I'm assuming you're glad about that."
"Absolutely," said Burns.
Burns spoke of what it was like to be the gay son of a tough Texas cowboy, who was recently hospitalized. The two shared a beautiful moment during the dad's recovery.
Burns said in his City Council speech about his dad, "Him squeezing my hand and said 'Joel, I'm so glad you're here today.' "
Burns is alarmed by the rash of recent suicides by young bullying victims. Burns says he knows just how they feel.
Trent asked, "Did you seriously consider suicide?"
"Yes. It was something I had considered."
Burns pointed out that the days of bullying do not last forever and said in his speech, "You will get out of that high school, and you'll never have to deal with those jerks again if you don't want to."
Trent asked, "What is your message to them?"
"It's that if you're in a dark, bad place, you have to know that life does indeed get better. You just have to live long enough to get to that point."
Burns received a standing ovation at the end of his City Council speech.