I don’t know why this stuff ends up in the New York Times Style Section.
The 600 people gathered here last Friday for a $10,000-a-table charity event — the GLSEN Respect Awards, dedicated to fighting bullying in schools — came largely from the movie and television industries, and you can’t impress Hollywood with celebrities.
But then a skinny, soft-spoken 16-year-old from rural Tennessee took the stage. Forks dropped, followed by jaws, as Andrew Lawless spoke about being terrorized at school because of his sexuality. Last winter, he walked into a school bathroom, where two boys shouted gay slurs and slammed him into the walls. “Then I was dragged into a bathroom stall, where my safety was taken from me,” he said.
He took a gulp of air. “I became a victim of sexual assault.”