@RyanNewYork

Ryan J. Davis is the Vice President of Community at Vocativ. He's the former Director of Social Media at Blue State Digital and was a co-founder and digital director of The Four 2012. Ryan is most proud of his time spent on the internet team during Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential Campaign.

Davis sits on the Board of Directors of The Ali Forney Center, where he is the founding producer of their annual Broadway Beauty Pageant fundraiser. Additionally, Ryan is on the Board of Directors of The Deconstructive Theatre Project, the Board of Advisers of the startup TV Dinner and the Executive Board of LAMBDA Independent Democrats of Brooklyn.

Ryan has written about politics for The Huffington Post, The Hill and Next Magazine. He was once a guest editor of Queerty. For his progressive activism, Davis was awarded two Pollie Awards by The American Association of Political Consultants.

A former theatre creator and director, Ryan’s favorite projects include Veritas (Fringe 2010), Street Lights (NYMF 2009) and the eventually Whoopi Goldberg produced White Noise (NYMF 2006).

Ryan has lived in New York City since 2000 and is a proud resident of Brooklyn.

Here Ryan blogs about politics, film, TV, history, religion, science, books, theater, digital media, LGBT issues, Bushwick & Williamsburg, New York City, and anything else he's interested in at the moment. Oh, and he'll probably talk a lot about himself.

Ryan has keynoted at conferences and universities around the world on digital politics, social media strategy and LGBT rights. Email to discuss setting up a speaking engagement.

Connect with him over social media using the icons below.

This is a personal blog. Any opinions expressed here and on my Twitter account represent my own and not those of my employer or clients.
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Posts tagged "Bullying"
It’s also worth pointing out, as Salon’s Glenn Greenwald has, that as a Yale sophomore in 1965, George W. Bush reportedly stuck up for a reputedly gay student. Bush heard the student being called “queer,” told the taunters to shut up, and apparently also said, “Why don’t you try walking in his shoes for a while?” That’s the kind of instinctive compassion Mitt Romney failed to show when he was a few years younger than Bush was.

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”

“It was a hack job,” recalled Maxwell, a childhood friend of Romney who was in the dorm room when the incident occurred. “It was vicious.”

The dynamics of power, in high school and beyond, are shifting.