Joel Burns's speeches gained international attention in 2010 after speaking at a city council meeting against anti-gay bullying.
The American city councilman of Fort Worth, Texas expressed his deep concern for the increasing amount of teen suicides triggered by teens who terrorize homosexuals. Advocating for the It Gets Better campaign, which dedicates its resources to consoling and improving the lives of LGBT youth, Burns publicly shares a highly personal anecdote for the first time, revealing that he too was bullied in school because of his sexual orientation. Braving the potential repercussions of his revelation, Burns pushes forward with his speech in hopes of restoring hope to suicidal teenagers. Joel Burns's speeches went viral as soon as it was over and was featured in many interviews including The Ellen DeGeneres Show and CNN.
In the 2007 elections, Joel Burns became the first openly gay city councilman elected for Tarrant County, Texas.