Friday, October 01, 2010

It gets better

Whenever I read about a gay teenager being bullied or hurt, I go a bit insane. I want to put on a superhero costume, swoop down on the bullies and kick them into outer-space. The recent spate of suicides of gay teenagers in America is shocking yet hardly surprising. The US still refuses to let gay people serve in the army, and most states don't have any formal recognition of same sex partnerships. Teenagers routinely use the word "gay" to refer to anything lame. American gay teens who are just discovering their sexuality don't even have a word to label their experience that hasn't been tainted with negative connotations.

The latest suicide is particularly depressing. Student Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from a bridge after his room-mate videoed him allegedly having sex with a man, and then streamed the footage on the internet.

Yet while the internet can be used for acts of evil, it can also be used for good. A project called It Gets Better is designed to give gay teenagers support and encouragement - people post up videos of their personal experiences, telling the teens not to give up, not to let the bullies win, and that their lives will get better. When I was 14, I felt completely on my own, and I wish there had been something like that project for me. So here's my video.


encyclotedium said...

Oh that's very good. And so much of it rang true with me too (except for travelling the world and writing 10 books, haha). I must do one of these videos. When you're at school and having 'GAYLORD' screamed at you by people you don't know, and when you haven't so much as tasted another boy's lips, it can be so confusing and frustrating and weird. I hope that schools take this more seriously now.

Marmoset said...

Fantastic post. Its so important for schoolkids to know they're not isolated in their confusion. Its bad enough having to deal with the physical and awkwardness, but to have to deal with the sexual awakening as well is truly miserable. We've all been through it, and I may contribute to It Gets Better as well. Thanks for the link. I continue to enjoy reading your blog after a long hiatus from myself.

theguyliner said...

Woah, this one's pretty powerful: