It Gets Better

I’m sure all of you lovelies have heard about the ‘It Gets Better’ Project by now, right? Spearheaded by sex-columnist Dan Savage, the project is a huge collection of videos from gay (and bi and allied) peeps. They want to send the message to beleaguered/bullied gay teens that there is life after high school and it does get better.The youtube page for the project has a gajillion amazing videos. But my favorite is the above video. Because that handsome guy is my high school bestie’s younger brother. And that tiny town with no secrets? That’s my home town, too.

There are lots of great things about growing up where I did (I grew up on a lake! I met my best friends there! Things cost $2!) but, like many rural towns, it is not exactly a bastion of open-mindedness and acceptance. But since I’ve graduated and moved away, several Golden Kids that I went to school with (a class president and the captain of the basketball team) have come out of the closet, forcing a few people to change their minds.

Were kids ever openly gay at your high school? What is the feeling about homosexuality in your hometown? Were any of you ever seriously bullied?

13 Comments

pavotrouge

Even before high school. My first girlfriend sort of made me come out when I was 14. not fun. I grew up in a small town in Germany, close to the Dutch border. For more than a year, I couldn't leave the house without risking being beaten up, and never re-connected to anyone at school until I left at 17. There were two other gay kids in my year, sadly their lives didn't get any better after all of this.

luckily, mine did -beyond belief!- but I don't have camera to make one of those awesome videos!

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Anonymous

There were openly gay teens in my highschool in Miami. They were mostly theater kids. And in the creative circles, they were not bullied.

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Han

I think girls were more open at my school. There were two girls in the year above me who were a couple.

When my best friend (at the time) came out to me, I was a little worried she was going to hit on me – I was 14 I didn't really get it.

When my (male) friend came out to me we were on the way to the cinema – we were going to see Sex in the City – I should have seen that something was up lol. He then said that it was just between us given that his parents aren't really impressed by the idea of him being bisexual. He moved home after university and I think he's trying to deal with it in the way he can.

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Jeanni

That video was amazing, it made me cry. It takes a lot to make me cry.

I went to high school in Brooklyn and just left to a very gay-friendly University in DC, so I have rarely encountered gay-bashing. I'm an ally and I was president of my high school GSA because even though we didn't see it a lot in our school, we knew it happened elsewhere, and we knew it needed to be stopped, and everyone needed to know they were loved. But when I have seen it, it's been horrible. One boy in my school (who might I add wasn't even gay) wore tight purple jeans one day and he was walking down the hall past some really stupid jerks who called out "Hey look at the fag!" and laughed. I know a lot of people who got bullied more by their families than by anyone else, especially at our school. I think that's one thing we as a society fail to address, bullying by your family. It happens, and it happens all the time.

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Anonymous

wow! thanks for sharing! that video made me tear up a little. I definitely know more gay people since graduating and I'm sort of on a personal mission to stop "gay" and "fag" jokes. It just needs to stop now. And honestly, Kurt on Glee helped me see just how important that is.

-Michelle

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amandalee

I went to the performing arts high school, so by nature my school was more progressive-minded than most others in my area, and as such was very accepting of gay students. I was lucky that way. My extended family, who live in a different area of the country, are less accepting. I'm constantly either biting my tongue or butting heads with them hoping they'll come around to more progressive thinking.

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Briel79

That was so touching. I love watching those videos. I really don't think I was aware of any gay kids at my school. I guess it just wasn't on my radar at the time.

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SnapandPrint

In the town I live in, in even this day and age, people mark people who are different from the town's "norm" as "gay" to make people shun them no matter if they are homosexual or not.

It actually happened to me (I was labeled "gay" merely because I am in my 30s, single, and have no kids) a few years back and the fall-out from it still sticks around. People here actively shun, spread rumors, and make despairing comments about people they decide must be homosexual and make life difficult for them. I know how it feels to be shunned for being gay even though I am not because of this local practice.

It's actually quite horrifying and isolating. Horrifying that in 2010people still see homoseuxal people as "evil" and "predatory". That they woudl label people as such just to further make the person feel alien in a conservative, right-wing, community as if they did not already feel that way.

*shakes head*

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Levi

OH MY GOD! πŸ™‚ Sarah, I had no idea you posted this until today when I discovered a "stats" portion of the youtube video and it listed "yes and yes" as one of the sites that had embedded it. I'm glad so many strangers are touched by this and the message of the "it gets better project". Let's keep this message of love and acceptance going strong and hope the rest of the states follow behind New York's amazing lead. πŸ™‚ Peace and Love.

P.S. Herb is still doing well…keeping me warm at night…and protecting me from bad dreams. πŸ˜‰

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