It Gets Better Project
Thanks to a link that Mary's sister provided, I was directed to this blog entry about the "It Gets Better Project." As the entry says:
"Stunned by the rash of LGBT youth suicides, Dan Savage has launched a YouTube channel called the It Gets Better Project in which adult LGBT folks can send the message to gay youth that while times may be tough right now, they will eventually see the light at the end of the bigoted tunnel."
On his blog, Dan Savage writes:
Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.
Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.
"My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas," a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. "I wish I could have told you that things get better."
I had the same reaction: I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.
But gay adults aren't allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don't bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.
Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don't have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.
Since that entry, there has now been another suicide, that of 13-year-old Seth Walsh. My heart goes out to everyone who has known and loved these kids, and to those who are suffering because of the hatred of others.
The "It Gets Better Project" has an extraordinary array of videos from all over the world; click here to see them.
As soon as I heard about the project, I knew I would do something. I've watched dozens of videos and they are beautiful and loving and gutsy. Over the weekend I put mine together (it's just shy of 15 min.), which marks the first time I've actually done a video of myself -- been learning my way around Movie Maker in the process:
In case the embedding code doesn't work, you can view it here.
Vol. 2, Deviations: Appetite
Vol. 3, Deviations: Destiny
Vol. 4, Deviations: Bloodlines
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