IT GETS BETTER
A couple of days ago I found out about the “It Gets Better” project, inspired by Dan Savage to inspire gay youth/young adults and let them know that life… really does get better. Recently we’ve seen several accounts of the “downside of gay” from the Bishop Eddie Long fiasco, to the college suicides which happened earlier this week.
Growing up gay, bisexual, lesbian, or any other way that seems to deviate from what society views as normal is difficult. We all have a story and sadly those stories have more disturbing similarities than not. It’s rare to hear a “coming out” story where the person is embraced 100% with open arms, life instantly becomes peachy and happily ever after begins—life usually doesn’t work this way. I know my story and it was no fairytale.
A large part of why I wrote my first book was to help teens/young adults by showing them another way. I wanted to show them that there are many facets to life and it really is ok to simply be you.
When I was coming up it was a very odd time to be LGBT. There were NO positive images of black gay males that I could remember seeing. There was this secret society that went by the code of “don’t ask don’t tell” waaaaaaaaaaaaaay before t military adopted it. Because I had no one to look up to or “show me the ropes” I made plenty of mistakes finding my way. I wanted to help young people keep from making the same mistakes I did.
Getting back to “It Gets Better”…As I went through to watch the videos, what I noticed was there were only a few black faces scattered in between the many submissions. Is this because we are still not asking and not telling? Cleary not! If you look at our youth you can see they are practically begging for answers. So should we change the old tried and true “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy to “ask away, we just won’t say shit”? We’ve gotta help this next generation. Hell we have to do more to help ourselves. In helping them, we help us.
I’m getting ready to make my video. I’d like to see some more shades of black among the submissions. Trust me, it will go a long way.
To find out more you can google the Dan Savage It Gets Better Project
Or search “It Gets Better” on YouTube