10.05.2010

it gets better: dan savage, sarah silverman and my friend nick

I'm thinking most wmtc readers have seen this by now, but if even one of you hasn't, it's worth posting.

There has been a rash of suicides of of gay teens in the US. All of the young people were bullied in high school, because they were gay.

Columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller made this video in response.



Nick is the first friend I met through wmtc. He's Canadian now, having left the US for a better life in Toronto. Here's his contribution to "It Gets Better".



Sarah Silverman puts the bullying and the suicides in context. This is short; please be sure to watch it.



Bullying isn't limited to queer kids, nor is teen suicide. The deaths of those six young people is not a "gay problem". It's our problem - all of us. It's up to each of us to create a safe world where each and every one of us can be ourselves, and can live without fear.

We have a long way to go.

"When you're sure you've had enough of this life... hang on."



My heart breaks for those boys and their families. I've known what it feels like to wonder if death might be the way to stop the pain. I've also known the pain that suicide leaves behind. It's so important to know that there is a way out, that there may a better world on the other side. Thank you to everyone who is a part of "It Gets Better". Pass it on.

10 comments:

Nikolas said...

Thanks Laura :-) *hugs*

Amy said...

Great stuff. I wish every teen, gay and straight, would be shown these clips.

redsock said...

I'm thinking most wmtc readers have seen this by now, but if even one of you hasn't, it's worth posting.

It's worth posting anyway ... but I had not seen any of it.

Great to hear from Nick, too.

L-girl said...

It's worth posting anyway ... but I had not seen any of it.

I forget that (a) everyone is not on Facebook and (b) everyone on Facebook is not in a political network like I am.

Great to hear from Nick, too.

As you might imagine, Nick is way into FB and Twitter. :)

YOU knew Nick before I did! He found me through your sig line on Democratic Underground.

L-girl said...

Amazingly, there is backlash from within the queer community against this campaign. I read this very good (long) post responding to the backlash: here.

Amy said...

That is surprising. I would think that anything that gives hope would be encouraged, as that piece suggests.

L-girl said...

Two truisms I find always apply to activism: no good deed goes unpunished, and it's easy to criticize, harder to organize. There are always people happy to sit on the sidelines and pass judgement.

redsock said...

I will not waste my time reading the complaints about the videos, but judging from the link L posted, it sounds like they are strawmen.

No one is forcing anyone to watch the video. But if it can make a 100% shitty situation be only 96% shitty, then that is a good thing.

If only these complaining people complained about everything else they thought was pointless and useless and misguided, they would be inside on the computer all day and all night, and we would not have to deal with them in the real world at all.

L-girl said...

Some of the complaints may be from a legitimate perspective, such as stereotyping of rural communities or small towns, but to focus on that is to completely miss the picture.

Disliking the project b/c Savage is perceived as being privileged? That's is just plain stupid. A, Savage and Miller have the ability to reach tons of people, and they are using that to help. A good thing. It's those who don't use their privilege for the greater good who ought to be criticized, not those who use it to help.

B, they both say they were bullied, beaten, ostracized, etc. as young people, so clearly they were not alway privileged.

And C, just b/c someone is from a privileged class doesn't mean they don't have something worthwhile to say!

Bah.

But the post I linked to is quite good.

cindiaugustine said...

And not just a problem in the states...this kind of bullying and increased suicide rates are universal.

I've started a petition to get our Vancouver Canucks hockey team to follow the example of the SF Giants and make a video.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ask-the-vancouver-canucks-to-make-an-it-gets-better-video/