The mother of bullied gay eighth-grader Jonah Mowry says she and her son are grateful for the support from celebrities and well-wishers after Jonah uploaded videos of his plight.
I'm thankful. There are a lot of people giving their warm wishes and uplifting Jonah, and I think that is good, said Jonah's mother, Peggy Sue Mowry, to ABC News. The video, uploaded to YouTube in August, describes the pain of the 14-year-old boy, who was being bullied for his open homosexuality.
Some controversy has surrounded the video, and a few people have accused the boy being a fraud.
Peggy Sue Mowry dismissed the aspersions, telling ABC the video was genuine and her son was depressed by aggressive comments received in response to his YouTube post.
Jonah made the 4:35 video four months ago, out of fear from returning to school. The video has since been viewed by more than 5 million people and gained the support of celebrities like singers Lady Gaga and Ricky Martin and actresses Zooey Deschanel and Jane Lynch.
I was dreading going back to school, and had not come out to my family yet, Jonah said, Only my closest friends knew. I didn't know how to say what I needed to say. All I could think about were all the bad things that had been happening at school last year - every year for that matter.
The first video, which went viral, was followed by second one, posted Sunday, showing a happier Jonah. The second led to accusations of the teenager making exaggerated claims for publicity.
To the people who think nobody likes me, almost my entire school likes me, he said in the video he filmed with a friend.
I'm disappointed that somebody could look at the first video and then look at the second and think it's a lie, his mother said, He's a child. He's a 14-year-old boy. He's very young.