Apr. 3rd, 2011

shirtlifterbear: (Default)

What I initially found most interesting about the backlash against the category of anti-homophobic bullying video I posted yesterday and the "It Gets Better" project videos, was that there was this undercurrent of well, bitterness-disguised-as-realism, as in:

"It doesn't get better, it didn't for me, so you better get a reality check here."

Um, really?

That's the message people wanted to send to young gay teens. No hope? No encouragement? Just "life's a bitch and then you become embittered?"

Time has passed, and my initial impression has changed.


I believe that this Irish video actually represents the dramatic sea-change that has taken place in the past ten years in terms of homophobia and its societal acceptance. Yes, the world depicted in the video is a utopian "Big Eden", "In and Out" extreme, but it is not as far from reality as some would claim.

A few weeks ago, a drunken fan in the seats next to us at the Seattle Sounders game screamed "Faggot" at a player, and the entire seating section got quiet and very clearly Did Not Approve. He did not repeat the epithet for the rest of the game, nor has he in the subsequent three games I've attended.

I see a societal-norms trend that homophobia is now being classified as bigotry and is no longer acceptable on a community-standards basis, and that "Faggot" is in the process of going the way of "Nigger" in terms of disapprobation of its use.

So my position is now this:

"Criticize the encouraging videos all you want, but can you hold off doing so until the teens the campaign is directed at live long enough to understand your more-sophisticated position?"

Because really, if ONE kid believes it, that It Gets Better and doesn't kill himself, then the entire campaign is a success, and you want that too, right?


I'll put down some money right here that we will hear testimonials from kids starting in about two years about how they heard of the Youtube It Gets Better videos even way out in the sticks where they were growing up and being bullied, and that they clung to them like a lifeline. I'll even go so far as to bet you that at least ten kids will say that the campaign stopped them from killing themselves. I'll even give short odds. Any takers?


It doesn't matter if the 99% of jaded youth goes "whatever" and cynics all over them, those kids are not the target demographic here. Too many of us grew up thinking we were the only people like ourselves in our small towns, and had no hope. The Kansasville, Wisconsin gay kid needs to see these messages of optimism as much as the budding lesbian in Pascagoula, Mississippi does.

Offer hope, people.

It's free.


shirtlifterbear: (Default)

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