Monday, November 8, 2010

My Own "It Gets Better" Video

I love this project that Dan Savage started in response to the rash of gay teen suicides back in September. I've been watching lots of these "It Gets Better" videos and I've been moved, and touched, and inspired...

So here's my message to GLBTQ Teens - heck, it's my message to ALL Teens. And it's my message to you.



Namaste,
Lee

18 comments:

fairyhedgehog said...

Brilliant video! Yes we all need to join in making it better.

Brian F. said...

Awesome

ivanova said...

I love this!

I love the very authentic, realistic description of being bullied in the cloakroom. I love that you are saying we have to make it better. The only criticism I ever hear about the "It Gets Better" videos is that they could make kids feel like all they can do is wait and that's all we have to offer.

My FAVORITE thing is the guy who apologized on Facebook 30 years later, and you didn't even know who he was! I have to say that I haven't given a lot of thought to how bullies may feel afterwards, and your video made me think. As an East Coast, non-Buddhist type of person, I feel like I don't have a lot of time for bullies' hurt feelings and why should I worry about them? But I'm going to have to make a little bit of time to mull this over. I read this great book by Ali Smith (lesbian writer) called The Accidental, and one of the characters is this boy who is in torment because he helped cyber-bully a girl who then died by suicide. But as soon as I put the book down, I lost sympathy with the bullies again.

When I was a kid, I got bullied in first through third grade. But the thing was that I went to this weird school that went from kindergarten through twelfth grade, so I still knew most of these same kids in high school. And the former bullies were all, "Oh, now I'm an activist, I care about animals and social justice." And I was always thinking, "You're such a fake poser, I know that you're really just a jerk." But possibly these kids were trying really hard to remake themselves as nicer people, and it didn't help that everyone had a fixed idea of them from when they were nine years old. So thanks for making me think, Lee!

Steph said...

I too love your statement about making it better instead of just waiting, because as much as I love the IGB videos, my inner teenager that refuses to trust adults was annoyed at being told to wait, because reassuring as it is, that is such absolutely useless advice.

Daniel Teeter said...

There is a choice to make. The choice is whether you will hate yourself or not. This is not a choice limited to GLBTQs. The tragedy is it's often a choice begun early in life based on the uninformed opinions of others.

The cost of Hate is expensive. The costs to society for the self-hate of individuals is even greater I imagine.

Laurie Young said...

Thank you, Lee, for your generosity of spirit and clear-eyed view of this situation. We all need to hear this message no matter what our circumstances. As always, you have a found a completely accessible and articulate way of looking at this issue that will make me think differently about what I say.

Piper said...

Awesome video. You made really good points, may be the best one I've heard.

Just curious, did you reply back to the guy who messaged you?

It does get better :)

proseandkahn said...

I loved it! Well done!

brenda

Sara W.E. said...

Thanks for putting this up Lee. I do LOVE that apology letter!! It really makes the point beautifully. Nice twist on the topic too:)

CL said...

Wow, I liked that even more than the Kermit video:)
Thanks for sharing your story!

Anonymous said...

A big hug, Lee.
Lucía
Thinking globally and acting locally to make it better.

kris passarella said...

Lee, you are awesome. I don't have a chance right now to navigate through your whole blog as I am waiting to leave for Florida.

I remembered being bullied as a child. Maybe not so much by school kids but by neighbor kids. I remember all through school never really fitting in anywhere and it does put an impact on you.

I made sure that was the one thing I taught my children growing up was never make fun of someone for who they are or where them came from.

Peace

Kris

Madison Ingrid Wellington Blake said...

Love that! "I agree that the test is stupid, but I don't think it's attracted to other tests of the same gender." I have to use that the next time I talk to one of my 11-year-old brother's lintheaded friends. Kids my age (13) tend to edge around the entire subject of homosexuality awkwardly and fearfuly-not fear of homosexuality, but fear of seeming discriminatory.

Lee Wind said...

Thanks very much, all. And Kris, I hear you - it's one of the best things we can do as parents to change our world for the better.

And Madison, it's great to hear that the onus has shifted to making sure you all don't seem prejudiced. That's cool. And "lintheaded" is now in my vocabulary. Thanks!

Namaste,
Lee

Amy Baskin said...

I love this project and Lee, yours has been the only 'It Gets Better' video I've seen that discusses the residual weight that we carry when we ourselves slight others. So insightful of you to bring this up. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Lee Wind said...

thanks Amy,
I'm glad you enjoyed it - it's really me speaking from my heart, and I'm touched that it's resonating with others!
Namaste,
Lee

Michelle Cusolito said...

Well said, Lee. I love that you make the point about how bullying affects the bullier. Most of the "It Gets Better" videos I've seen haven't done that. And yes, we need to make it better. All of us.
Thank you.

HN said...

Hey! How can I get one those jerseys....? It would go great with the "When Are You Going to Tell Your Parents You're Straight?" t-shirt!

Love your work. I am an MFA candidate putting together a performance project concerning LGBTQ-themed children's books, and you turned up during an internet search.

Would like to befriend you on FB.

Kenton