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  1. #1
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Default the It gets better project

    For those of you who aren't fans of Dan Savage (or don't read him religiously, I suppose), I thought I would link this project he's just started to help combat the epidemic of bullied-into-suicide gay (and otherwise "different") teens.

    Sorry for the heavy topic but I think it's a great project!

    "Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.... 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.
    Lark and similarly-minded people, please disregard this link.

    YouTube - itgetsbetterproject's Channel
    -end of thread-

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    What's funny is all the arguments within the LGBT community about the usefulness of this. I was kinda surprised.

    After observing a lot of teens (who often can't see beyond the next day of high school class), I think it is a decent message... life exists beyond school, and people grow up, and once you get some autonomy and live independently, things get better too. A lot of them really don't realize how much things change as you get older and acquire more power over your own life; their daily grind is all they know, and they get really depressed and feel like life is futile.

    But some are arguing that it presents a false picture of hope, that for some people it doesn't get better, and it doesn't teach people how to be proactive in order to fix their own problems -- it just leaves them with a "feel good" message.

    (For me, I think people over-dissect things. I don't see a lot of these complainers out there making any sort of difference or providing proactive plans to kids. This campaign isn't supposed to be the end-all, be-all support system; it just is aimed at helping negate rampant nihilism and futility among LGBT youth.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    I think this is a good project. One of my friends discovered he was gay and it caused him a lot of angst for a while, but he accepted it and is now totally comfortable with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    What's funny is all the arguments within the LGBT community about the usefulness of this. I was kinda surprised.

    After observing a lot of teens (who often can't see beyond the next day of high school class), I think it is a decent message... life exists beyond school, and people grow up, and once you get some autonomy and live independently, things get better too. A lot of them really don't realize how much things change as you get older and acquire more power over your own life; their daily grind is all they know, and they get really depressed and feel like life is futile.

    But some are arguing that it presents a false picture of hope, that for some people it doesn't get better, and it doesn't teach people how to be proactive in order to fix their own problems -- it just leaves them with a "feel good" message.

    (For me, I think people over-dissect things. I don't see a lot of these complainers out there making any sort of difference or providing proactive plans to kids. This campaign isn't supposed to be the end-all, be-all support system; it just is aimed at helping negate rampant nihilism and futility among LGBT youth.)
    I agree with this.
    Last edited by Bellflower; 10-05-2010 at 07:10 AM. Reason: merged posts
    JiNe
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  4. #4
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I agree it isn't a complete solution to the problem of GLBT teen suicide (estimated at around four times higher than the general teen population), but I think it is helpful. One way it's helpful is because it includes non-celebrities who live ordinary but fulfilled lives. Being GLBT and happy is not unusual, but it can seem impossible without examples you can relate to.

    I know when I was in high school, in the dark of the night I'd face a lurking fear that I was gay, and no image of a way forward. All I could see was how impossible it was for me to tell anyone, and how I would face rejection and how I was utterly alone and isolated. So, while these videos aren't a solution, they do offer hope at a time when hope can be really hard to see.

    There are also support organizations like The Trevor Project that offer support for GLBT kids struggling with thoughts of suicide. Support groups like PFLAG to help support parents of families of GLBT kids. If you are struggling, reach out, get help... there are understanding people out there who went through struggles a lot like yours.

    Here's one of my favorite videos from the series: YouTube - It Gets Better...My Love Letter To Anyone Coming Out

    (The original one with Dan Savage and his husband is also good... although makes me glad I was good at blending in and wasn't targeted for bullying.)

    I'm very glad the GLBT suicide problem is finally getting national attention. I never want anyone to go through what I did, and I didn't have it particularly bad. GLBT teen suicide is a real problem and kids die every month from it. Until we can make things better for them now, we can at least try to reassure them that things will get better later.

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I know when I was in high school, in the dark of the night I'd face a lurking fear that I was gay, and no image of a way forward. All I could see was how impossible it was for me to tell anyone, and how I would face rejection and how I was utterly alone and isolated. So, while these videos aren't a solution, they do offer hope at a time when hope can be really hard to see.
    Yeah, that was my experience too. I thought my life was over and was terrified at what might come next... and then it was like my world opened up rather than collapsing. I think it's great for people: "Hey, look, normal people, living normal lives... they didn't die, neither will I... they're happy, I have a chance to be happy too."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Sad, that people would be opposed to something like this.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    The real problem is the bullying. Of course it is worse to be called a fag if indeed you are a fag, but to be called something untrue is not much better. I put an end to my daily dread by befriending my bullies. I doubt that anything else would have worked better for me at the time. It took time and caution, though.

  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    How did you befriend your bullies?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Fortunately, and unfortunately, someone who used to be my friend was friends with the main threats, so I accompanied this false - not too bright - friend when he met with the others. Being with them, I was friendly, generous; I helped with computers. We did boring yet un-weakly things together, like making fire or looking at a building site. So gradually, I somehow shifted from victim to ally.

  10. #10
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    I had an alternate method in early High school. Ignore them and if it got too bad, report to the authorities. They might think I'm a pussy or something for that sort of thing, but what do I care what they think? They were morons. For me that worked better because I didn't have to pretend to like them.
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