A gay Hawaiian father has posted a moving video pleading for acceptance in the wake of the ongoing bullying of his two sons because of his sexuality.
Joshua Alameda Franklin says he created the clip, which has gone viral, to highlight the impact of bigotry on children.
“It is really serious. I wanted to share this really personal problem in my life in an effort to possibly create awareness in our communities and what this potentially does to our children if people don’t step up and say that it’s not okay,” he explained.
In the video, 10-year-old Alae’a recounted an incident in which he was attacked and left with a black eye.
“I was bullied because people would ask me about my father, if he was gay and I would say ‘Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with that,'” said Alae’a. “I tried to walk away from this kid, he jumped on me and he slammed my face to a pole and gave me a black eye.”
The boy went on to say that he’s been called “gay, stupid, retard.”
Nine-year-old Poha also appeared in the video to talk about the bullying he’s faced, including being choked and slapped to the ground.
Franklin told KITV4 that after having to previously change his son’s school because of the bullying, he is now considering home-schooling the boys.
“The school is telling the perpetrators that are doing this to my children that they need to tolerate us, and they’re using the word tolerance or tolerate in a way where it’s very exclusive,” Franklin told the news station.
“So, basically what’s being stated is that they’re not willing to tell the kids that are doing this to my children, ‘Hey, you know what, there’s nothing wrong with being gay.'”