Friday, September 24, 2010

It Gets Better Project

In response to the recent rash of gay teen suicides -- or maybe I should say in response to the recent rash of the media paying attention to the gay teen suicides that have always been going on -- Dan Savage announced in this week's column and podcast that he's starting a YouTube channel.

As Dan explains in his column:
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. (...)

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.

So here's what you can do, GBVWS: Make a video. Tell them it gets better.
This is such a fantastic idea I don't know why anyone has thought of it until now. Needless to say I'm a big Savage Love fan but this time Dan is taking things beyond his usual entertaining smear campaigns against Republican politicians, subversive attitude towards monogamy, and ingenius verbal take-downs of clueless letter-writers. This time I firmly believe he's going to save somebody's life. You only need to watch the video he posted with his husband Terry to see that this is coming from the heart, more so than some of his past projects.

Please head over to It Gets Better Project to see not only Dan's video but the videos submitted by other gay adults. And if you're gay, lesbian, bi, trans or queer and you have some words of wisdom to help the younger generation tough out the bad times, post a video of your own.