It Gets Better
This time the events reportedly leading up to his suicide (his dormitory roommate with another student had used a hidden camera to stream him having an intimate encounter with another man live on the Internet) were so particularly callous that I'll break with my personal feelings that incarceration rarely leads to meaningful rehabilitation (at least in comparison with the damage it can do to young people) and note that the perpetrators of this invasion of privacy strike me as far too stupid to safely live among other people. More important than what happens to them, though, is why so many young gay Americans are still, in this day and age, committing suicide.
A recent case in Indiana of a young gay man bullied so much he killed himself prompted Dan Savage to launch a project calling for videos on YouTube that offer those struggling with society's ignorance about homosexuality more hope for a brighter future. It Gets Better:
Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. So let's show them what our lives are like, let's show them what the future may hold in store for them.Here's a link to the video Dan and his husband Terry made. There are many more being posted all the time. If you're gay and struggling with the situation you're in, please spend some time watching them. I promise you...they're right.
I'm still working on my video, but can promise you, speaking from experience, that it unquestionably gets better once you're out of school. College is sometimes less of a problem than high school is, but once you're an adult, and get to choose who you spend most of your time with, it gets infinitely better...and actually can get down right fabulous. It's so worth waiting for and fighting for.
Labels: gay politics