social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Topics In the News
Jury Orders Andrew Shirvell to Pay $4.5M in Damages to Chris Armstrong
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 08/16/12
Last updated on: 08/19/12
Bookmark and Share

Chris Armstrong in an interview on CNN.

A jury has awarded Chris Armstrong, former University of Michigan student body president, $4.5 million in his lawsuit against Andrew Shirvell, a former Michigan assistant attorney general who libeled him in an anti-gay blog.

Armstrong, the first openly gay president of the University of Michigan student body, made national headlines in 2010 when he was stalked and bullied by an assistant attorney general, Andrew Shirvell, who established a blog called "Chris Armstrong Watch" in which he relentlessly attacked Armstrong. Shirvell alleged that Armstrong was promoting a "radical homosexual agenda." He called him "nazi like," a recruiter for "the cult that is homosexuality," a "privileged pervert," and a proponent of a "racist, anti-Christian agenda."

Shirvell, a University of Michigan alumnus, also showed up at public meetings to denounce Armstrong and was seen photographing Armstrong's home in the wee hours of the morning. In addition, he called the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with whom Armstrong served an internship, to slander him.

In the face of these attacks in September 2010, Armstrong told a student government meeting that "I will not back down. I will not flinch. I will not falter. I will not succumb to any unwarranted attacks. What I will do is I will carry on with the utmost pride and vindication."

Soon after the harassment became news, Shirvell was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on AC 360. The reaction to that interview sparked a national outcry against Shirvell and calls that he be fired from his job as Assistant Attorney General of the state of Michigan.

At first, conservative Attorney General Mike Cox defended his employee, who had worked on his campaign, saying that he was exercising his right of free speech; but as demands for action increased, he announced an investigation into Shirvell's activities. On November 8, 2010, he fired Shirvell for having "repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior, and [having] inappropriately used state resources."

Cox said that Shirvell lied to investigators "on several occasions during his disciplinary hearing." Although Shirvell was not charged with stalking, the Attorney General's report said that Shirvell behaved in a way that "was harassing, uninvited and showed a pattern that was, in the everyday sense, stalking."

Armstrong filed suit against Shirvell for defamation and also lodged a complaint against him with the Michigan Bar Association.

In his lawsuit, Armstrong claimed that Shirvell inflicted intentional emotional harm, defamed him, invaded his privacy, and stalked him. He asked for $25,000 in compensatory damages for defamation of character, as well as punitive damages.

Armstrong also offered to drop the lawsuit if Shirvell apologized.

On August 16, 2012, after a week-long trial in which Shirvell represented himself, including posing questions to himself, the jury awarded Armstrong $4.5 million in punitive damages, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.

In November 2011, Armstrong and his family established a scholarship at the University of Michigan for students who had been bullied. They made the announcement at a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the University of Michigan's Spectrum Center, the first glbtq support office at an American university. More information about the scholarship may be found here.

Armstrong has announced that he intends to donate the award he received as a result of the lawsuit to the scholarship fund.

Below is Anderson Cooper's September 2010 interview of Shirvell, which prompted outrage against his bullying of Armstrong.

In October 2010, Chris Armstrong spoke with Cooper.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.