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OCU Student Receives Donations From Across The Country

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An openly gay Oklahoma City University freshman, who was kicked out of his own home, is finding help from around the country. An openly gay Oklahoma City University freshman, who was kicked out of his own home, is finding help from around the country.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

An openly gay Oklahoma City University freshman, who was kicked out of his own home, is finding help from around the country.

His family disapproved and refused to help him financially.

“My mom has been a dance teacher for 41 years. She has never talked so highly of a student as she has of Joel, and I was her student for 18 years,” OCU graduate Lyndi Wright said.

After getting into OCU, a university famous for churning out Broadway performers, the 17-year-old Joel told his parents he was going to live his life as an openly gay man.

They choose not to help him because they didn't want to promote a lifestyle they don't agree with,” Wright said.

To make up for what a scholarship and financial aid couldn't cover, Wright started a GoFundMe account for Joel so he could come to Oklahoma for school and follow his Broadway dreams.

By Thursday, the page had raised over $6,000.

The nationally known gay activist and journalist Dan Savage wrote about Joel.

The article included interviews with his parents in Michigan.

Less than a day after the article was posted online, Joel's GoFundMe page was up to more than $41,000 from more than 800 donors.

Actress and comedian Rosie O’Donnell gave $5,000.

Joel isn't ready to relive the pain he felt at home in front of News 9 cameras.

But the now 18-year-old is thankful, saying what “once seemed impossible is now achievable.”

“He wants to just have a regular college experience,” Wright said.

To hear more on Joel’s story or to make a donation, click here to view his GoFundMe page.

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