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October 21

It could get even better

Filed under: issues,media — posted by Breakup Girl @ 6:27 am

I know that not everyone thinks It Gets Better is the best response to anti-LGBT bullying. I understand the criticism — it’s facile, it’s privileged, it misplaces responsibility — and even agree with much of it. But I’m still a fan of IGB, not as the response to anti-queer bullying, but as a response among what needs to be more and more, at individual and societal levels. That’s why I like Hillary Clinton’s contribution (h/t Andrew Sullivan) as an addition to the mix. She (appropriately, for her position) makes it not about you the sufferer versus them the mean kids, but about civil — American — society, how far it has come, and what it demands. Yes, it’s on the bullies to desist and the queer kids to keep it real, but more than that, it’s on all of us.

And it’s on all of us not just to give miserable kids hope for magical “later” land when they get to graduateĀ  and move to Seattle. It’s on us to help them — and continue changing the culture — now. Some less in-the-headines folks who are working to make it better, today:

Do Not Stand Idly By: A Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives (more/interesting context here)

Responsive Classroom (h/t Marjorie Ingall)

WeStopHate (h/t I Heart Daily)

This list is the opposite of exhaustive. What other great anti-queer-bullying and pro-tolerant-society work should we all know about?

Oh, and here you go:

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September 30

Struggling LGBT teens: It! Gets! Better!

Filed under: blogs,issues — posted by Breakup Girl @ 7:09 am

In Internet years this is ancient already, but I wanted to make sure that the ten of you who haven’t seen this yet did. Truly moving, and possibly live-saving, it’s Dan Savage‘s You-Tube-based It Gets Better project. Savage wrote:

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….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.

And so we are. Watch (and upload your own?):

H/t Marjorie Ingall (w/whom BG shares mixed feelings about Dan Savage. But not in this case.)

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