LAKE FOREST, Calif. — The mother of Jonah Mowry, the gay 14-year-old who garnered national attention in recent days over his YouTube video in which he expressed anguish over being bullied, said her son has been “uplifted” by support he’s received online.
In an interview Tuesday with ABC News, Peggy Sue Mowry said “I’m thankful. There are a lot of people that are giving their warm wishes and uplifting Jonah, and I think that’s good.”
But Mowry also told ABC that the family was disheartened by other vile comments that had been posted online, mostly in response to a follow-up video Jonah made.
“He is sick over all the horrible posts and so are we … it is very overwhelming,” said his mother, a 52-year-old hairdresser from Lake Forest.
Jonah’s parents said they helped him craft a response to deal with rumors that the original video was a fake — the second video attracted thousands of negative comments accusing Jonah of being a “fraud,” and looking for publicity.
Jonah explained that he made the original video around 4:00 a.m. one morning last August. Watch:
“I was dreading going back to school and I had not come out to my family yet,” he 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.”
“I’m disappointed that somebody could look at the first video and then look at the second and think it’s a lie,” said his mother. “He’s a child. He’s a 14-year-old boy. He’s very young,” adding, “First and foremost, I am proud of the responses we’ve gotten from people. I’m disappointed that people would question whether it’s “true.”
The family has since pulled the second video from YouTube due to the thousands of negative comments.
Jonah’s father is Kevin Mowry, a music instructor technician at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif.