Have you seen Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project?
To begin with, Dan Savage’s column, Savage Love, is the best sex advice column in the history of the universe. His contributions to This American Life are highlights of an already spectacular radio show.
So I approve of Dan Savage.
But this. This.
Gay, lesbian, and otherwise queer kids are much more likely to attempt or commit suicide than their straight counterparts, specifically because of the fear, bullying, rejection, and isolation they face both in their families and in their social lives.
What Dan Savage is building here is a bulwark of hope for kids trapped in one-stop light towns in Arkansas. Can’t you envision the 14 year old boy, bullied since kindergarten, weighted down by depression, loneliness, and self-doubt, sitting up late at night watching video after video for hours, headphones on so his parents can’t hear the videos? Hand clamped over his mouth so his parents can’t hear his tears?
Hope, there is hope. Not just, “It gets better,” but “It gets better when…” you finish high school. You find a community. You get to college. You finish college. You can survive that long, and when you do, when you live happily as yourself, that’s the ultimate revenge.
So tell everyone you know. Definitely tell every teenager you know. You can’t know which of the young folks in your life are struggling with their sexual identity. You don’t know who needs to hear that there is hope, that there is a place and a time when they’ll feel accepted and welcome and AT HOME. You don’t know, you can’t. So tell everyone.