Oct 1, 2010
It Gets Better: A message for LGBT teens
Like many of you this week, I’ve been completely stunned to learn that six teens have committed suicide because of homophobic bullying. Stunned — and angry.
This is 2010. This fall, we’ve seen an incredible series of victories for gay rights in the federal courts. And yet: Teens are still being bullied for being perceived as gay — with fatal results.
In response to these tragic and senseless deaths, Dan Savage has begun a project on YouTube called the It Gets Better Project, in which LGBT people from all walks of life upload videos talking to those who might feel bullied or harassed right now for being queer. I watched a bunch of these videos yesterday, feeling alternately inspired and heartbroken.
When I was a teen, I didn’t even realize I could be gay, and thankfully, I was never truly bullied in high school. But when I came out in college, I suffered through a bout of serious, clinical depression centered on my sexual orientation. When you’re at the bottom of that tunnel, it really does seem like there’s no way out.
But there is. There is always a way out — a way that involves living and breathing and, ultimately, celebrating your right to be who you are: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, straight, human.
So, inspired by the It Gets Better Project, I convinced my partner Amy to sit down with me and tell her story, along with ours. This is our contribution to the conversation. For everyone out there who feels like they’re never going to make it out of the closet, remember: It does get better.