The past few weeks a whole bunch of young gay and queer kids have ended their lives for various reasons related to bullying, outing, and shame. It’s brought up a lot of sadness and hurt for many adult queers who have felt so at a loss for what to do. Dan Savage came up with the idea of a video campaign where queers who have survived high school tell their stories, and share their hope, with young kids online. The idea behind the campaign is that life gets better once you aren’t stuck in school with a bunch of immature jackasses and you have more say over where you go, who you spend time with, and how you conduct yourself, but you have to survive to find out that it gets better. Parts of this are really resonant for me, high school not being a shining star period in my own queer history, but at the same time there’s something that seems really disingenuous about just asking folks to hurt a little longer. And realistically, it gets better, and worse, easier and harder – because life is complicated and messy and not everyone finds a fulfilling job and the relationships of their dreams.
And then I saw Kate Bornstein’s contribution, and as she so often does, she spoke to all this complexity. And I looked around on the YouTube channel and there are hundreds of videos from folks all over the country, of all ages, orientations, experiences, and it’s amazing what folks have to say. I don’t think I’m going to record my own video – there’s just nothing special I have to offer that others haven’t said – but I’m recommitting myself to making this a world where we are all respected and valued for the lives we live and the beautiful people we are.