Monday, October 11, 2010

Ooh child, things will get brighter

Sometime around my secondary school graduation, I recall one of my elders telling me he hoped I'd enjoyed high school, as it was probably going to be the best time of my life.

While for me, the teen years were nowhere near the hell I know they were for some, I was nonetheless alarmed by this statement.

Fortunately I have come to find that in my case (and in the cases of most everyone I know) that dire prediction has proved to be about as accurate as my theory that I'd be blissfully wedded to Leonardo DiCaprio by age 25.

The promise that things vastly improve for the majority of people after high school, and particularly for victims of bullying is the focus of the It Gets Better project, started by Dan Savage and his husband Terry in response to the recent rash of teen suicides in the U.S.

It is a beautiful and brilliant attempt to reach out and provide support to teens who are the victims of bullying and persecution because of their sexual orientation.

Despite being lucky enough to have had a supportive family and amazing kindred spirits for friends making my four years of purgatory at worst, bearable, and at best hilariously fun, there's just no way I'd want to relive the blind, fumbling, hormone-infused, insecure and angst-ridden over-capacity IKEA ball room that was high school.

Take away those friends and that family, throw in homosexuality or any one of the factors on the seemingly endless list of things that can make you a target of unabashed cruelty in high school, and things could have gone very differently.

So this Thanksgiving, my gratitude goes to those friends and that family and to every person who has contributed to the It Gets Better project.

Now if we could just get an equally viral "Quit being a closed-minded, bullying ass, seriously, there's no excuse for that garbage." project to take care of the other side going, we'd have the problem fixed in no time!

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