CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Friday night, the group "We are Family" is hosting its annual spirit rally. It starts at 6 p.m. at Brittlebank Park on Lockwood Drive next to Joe Riley Park in Charleston.
Director Melissa Moore says the annual rally is in place to encourage lesbian gay bisexual and transgender youth to speak out against bullies.
"Everyone has heard of all of all the suicides that happen among gay teens around the country in 2010. Well kids are committing suicide in Charleston. It's a real problem that nobody hears about," Moore said.
Twenty-three-year-old Tyler Oakley publicizes his life and shares his beliefs on a YouTube video blog and says that's where he's experienced bullies.
"It gives you an idea of what people are thinking and saying behind your back, things like slurs, or things about your character, or things about your intent," he said.
He admits he puts himself out there for the criticism, but he says he'll continue the videos because he wants more people to know what it's like to be gay in today's society.
"Just to give that glimpse to people that may have perceptions of what gay people are or even to reach kids in communities where it's not okay to come out, just to show them we exist," Oakley said.
Governor Nikki Haley makes stops at schools statewide encouraging young victims to speak out and telling bullies to back off. She says whether attacks are verbal or physical, it should be reported to a teacher or counselor.
When the attacks come online, video blogger Tyler Oakley has this advice.
"Any type of harassment it doesn't matter if it's based on sexuality or gender identity or anything like that, it's something you can report to whatever website you're a part of or even if it turns into something more you can report it to local authorities or national authorities," Oakley said.