Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
Yeah, I know, there’s already been a lot of navel-gazing going on in this blog. Well, now you get more.
Dan Savage and his partner Terry recorded this video: It Gets Better Project
It Gets Better is a video letter to LGBTQI youth, that it does, indeed, get better. LGBTQI youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Dan and Terry’s message to them is, Yes, it sucks. A lot. You get picked on, beat up, your parents threaten to disown you, maybe they’re the ones beating you up, but it does get better. All you have to do is keep living.
And I know, sometimes it feels like that’s the hardest thing in the world to do. But I happen to agree with Dan Savage on this one (and those of you who know me, know this doesn’t happen often), if you kill yourself, the bullies win.
Don’t let them win.
Certainly not at the cost of your life.
Terry later in the video says, “Living well is the best revenge.”
And I don’t mean that in a showing up to your 20 year reunion and announcing, “I just wanted to show you all how fabulous I am!” sort of way. I mean it in a “They’ve already lost this culture war” sort of way. The people who are giving you shit, young or old, are dinosaurs. Their way of life is already dead, they just don’t know it yet.
When I was in grad school, my friend Linda used to go to all these LGBTQI youth leadership conferences. She and I were about the same age, both having graduated around 1989. She came back from one particular conference and showed up at my place to hang out. She said that as a “non-traditional” student (university code for “old”) she was sitting at a table with all these fresh faced 20 year olds, and sharing stories about coming out. When she told them about getting beat up, jumped, her car vandalized, all of that, they just stared at her.
They had no frame of reference. They told her about, yeah, some people were jerks, but mostly their schools, even in red states, were really supportive and welcoming.
The two of us teared up when she told me, “These kids didn’t have to go through all that bullshit. No one threatened their lives, or followed them home.”
I’m so very glad it’s gotten better than when we were in school, but things like the recent suicides of kids who are gay, or even just accused of being gay, and the bullshit with Constance McMillan’s high school just go to show how very far we still have to go.
So, trust me. It gets better. If you live in a religiously oppressive little shithole of a town, then study hard, get good grades and get a scholarship to somewhere with culture. You can do it. Save up all your birthday and Christmas money, or whatever else you can scrape up to subsidize your move. You can get out. You will find others like you. You will find wonderful beautiful friends who will love and support you and understand.
But to get there, you have to keep living.