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In his column today, Dan Savage discusses the suicide of Billy Lucas, a gay teenager who killed himself due to the bullying and torment he faced in school. Says Dan: " 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 he has started the "It Gets Better" project, a YouTube channel where gays and lesbians can post videos to talk to kids about their lives, to give them hope.
Will parents come up with ways of blocking access to it? And will closeted teens even have the sense of self to even look at that?
Hard to say, of course. But if it saves one kid, it'll be worth the effort, don't you think?
If I recall correctly, one of the strongest correlations to how accepting of homosexuality one is, is how many members of the community one knows. (ie. Once you meet gay people, you realise that they're people.)
A watershed moment for me, growing up, came when a very good friend of mine revealed that he had a crush on me. Whilst it wasn't something that I reciprocated, it forced me to examine my own thoughts at the time and realise that it didn't change the fact that this person was one of the kindest, most considerate people I'd ever met. He'd been a great friend and very good person before that moment and his admission did nothing to change any of that.
One more reason to like Dan Savage.
But Googling "It gets better project" brings up a lot of coverage.
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