Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011 Page: 13 of 68
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DIFFERENCE, From Previous Page
he was homeless just because, of his sexual ori-
entation. He said that he didn't want to kill
himself, but he didn't know what else to do.
The comment was left in the morning on
Sept. 21. It only took 30 minutes for someone
to respond to A.J.'s post, recommending that
he call the Trevor Project. But it took another
eight hours for someone to proactively do
something about it.
McCrory, after reading and responding to
A.J.'s comment, emailed Cohen's manager, Jill
Tipping, confirming that both she and Cohen
had read that post and responded to A.J. with
suicide hotline numbers and contact informa-
tion for different organizations that could help.
Feeling that more needed to be done, Mc-
Crory added A.J. as a friend on Facebook,
started emailing him with reassuring messages
and exchanging phone numbers with the
After feeling out A.J.'s situation a little more,
McCrory discovered that the teen had been liv-
ing on a park bench for two days with no food
after an altercation with his father,
"I left Colorado to go to Michigan to get in
touch with my family there;:" A.J. explained.
"That kinda went south, m.> I came back to live
with my father and things were fine."
But the next day his father started question-
ing A.J.'s orientation. While A.J. had been out
to his friends, he hadn't yet come out to his
family and wasn't sure how they would take
it. While he figured they would react nega-
tively, he said, "I didn't expect it to go as far as
After that, AJ's father told him to leave.
McCrory said he did contact the Trevor Proj-
ect, and while they were friendly and helpful,
ultimately they could do nothing for A.J. im-
They provided some more contact informa-
tion for organizations and crisis intervention
programs in A.J.'s area — and that was the end
McCrory said he tried all the contacts that
were given to him but had little to show for it.
Most numbers led to voice mailboxes and the
one immediate crisis line he contacted could
only help by advising he call the police.
At this time it was starting to rain where A.J.
was, and McCrory was running out of options.
Finally, using his hotel points, McCrory
booked a room for A.J. at a Marriott Hotel and,
after discussing A.J.'s situation with the man-
ager, was given the room for free as well as two
meal vouchers so A.J. could eat that night and
the next morning.
With cab services refusing credit card num-
bers over the phone and the police being short
staffed, McCrory's cousin used her credit card
to have a driving service fetch A.J.
The next day McCrory tried to contact the
LGBT community center in Colorado, but
never got through to anyone. In a moment of
clarity, it occurred to him that most towns had
an LGBT-friendly church, and upon research-
ing it, he found one close by A.J.'s location.
The Metropolitan Community Church's pas-
tor, Weff Mullins, provided McCrory with
more up-to-date, reliable resources for A.J. and
welcomed the teen into the service that Sunday
One reputable organization Pastor Mullins
recommended was Inside/Out Youth Services,
which McCrory contacted, finally talking to
someone who was able to get the ball rolling
on providing A.J. with housing, therapy and a
job to help him get back on his feet.
It was the help the young man needed.
A.J. has been living for free at a hotel since
then and said that he has a brighter outlook on
his future — one that doesn't include suicide.
"I'm actually much better than I was before,"
he said. "I'm mostly stable now and I'm pretty
A.J. and McCrory have kept in contact and
often talk on the phone.
"He's a good kid," McCrory said. "It's pretty
amazing that we've gotten so close and we've
never met. I never thought that I would be
helping someone Out of a crisis situation like
McCrory's company has since made a $1,001!
donation to Inside/Out Youth Services, which
is being matched by the Gill Foundation, along
with $100 from one of McCrory's coworkers.
They worked together to get some Wal-Mart
gift cards so A.Jxould buy some clothes for
"Plus, being gay, you know he will need
some beauty products," McCrory joked.
McCrory said that his involvement in help-
ing A.J. has opened his eyes to how influential
one person can be when they simply take the
initiative to care.
Working with A.J. has furthered his inspira-
tion to start a non-profit organization through
Resource Center Dallas that features a 24/7 cri-
sis center for teenagers who need help.
"It really blew my mind that there is a miss-
ing link in that chain, like you can get counsel-
ing over the phone, but you can't get help after
hours," McCrory said incredulously. "You can
have a crisis as long as it's within business
McCrory also said that had A.J. been under-
age, this whole thing could have ended up a lot
worse. Due to the possible liabilities in dealing
with a minor, most people don't want to deal
with them — and they can't check into hotels
alone. The only thing left to do would have
been to call the cops and let Child Protective
Services handle it, "which is kind of shocking,"
"I thought it was kind of an amazing story
that select people think there's nothing you can
do," McCrory said. "But it takes one,Small step
of doing Something that, as little as it may be,
it could be the one thing that changes that one
life, really" ■
In the Dallas area, Promise House in Oak Cliff is
a shelter for LGBT teens in crisis. They have a 24-
hour crisis line that can be called at 1-866-941-
8578. They are located on 224 W. ftst Ave, and
provide crisis intervention services along with case
management, counseling, emergency and long-term
shelter as well as advocacy and outreach.
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011, newspaper, October 7, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239188/m1/13/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.