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‘Big Brother’ contestant Andy Herren’s friends take action against homophobic slurs
This season of “Big Brother” has gotten a lot of heat for the racist and homophobic comments coming from a handful of contestants — slurs that have generally been scrubbed from CBS’ primetime episodes of the show but have surfaced on the 24-hour live feed at cbs.com.
Several of those negative comments have been aimed at two Chicagoans hoping to win the $500,000 grand prize. Aaryn Gries, who’s going to be in need of an Olivia Pope-caliber fixer when she gets out of that house, said Asian-American contestant Helen Kim of Lincoln Park should “go make some rice” and referred to Lake View resident Andy Herren, who’s openly gay, as “a queer.”
A couple of Herren’s close friends in Chicago are firing back, but not with haterade. They’re trying to raise $25,000 for The Trevor Project, an organization devoted to providing resources aimed at preventing suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. The fund-raising started Tuesday and had garnered $420 by Wednesday afternoon.
“Andy wouldn’t want us to tell people to write letters to CBS and get these people kicked off the show,” said Scott Goehring, who lives near Herren and takes improv classes with him. He said the 26-year-old part-time professor at College of DuPage is “all about love, laughter, kindness and equality.”
“What he would want and be really proud of is if we tried to channel all that negativity into something positive,” Goehring added.
Goehring and Chaundre White, Andy’s friend since childhood, are promoting the fund-raising efforts through a Facebook fan page they started for Herren when he went on the show. They’re also trying to drum up support on social networks with the hashtags #FandyNation and #BB15Equality.
Several of the negative comments from “Big Brother” contestants have been made behind the targets’ backs, so Herren isn’t aware of everything some housemates have said. He also isn’t aware of what’s been happening outside the house, which Goehring said is a lot more positive.
“He’s been sequestered in that house since before DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was overturned,” Goehring said. “Andy’s going to come out into a world where he can get married and have federal benefits.”
Goehring also hopes he’ll come out into a world where $25,000 was raised for The Trevor Project on his behalf.
“I think he’d be thrilled,” Goehring said.