It Doesn't Get Better. You Get Stronger.

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It Doesn't Get Better. You Get Stronger.

We're fans of the It Gets Better project started by Dan Savage to address bullying and reach out to lgbt teens.It's beautiful and well-intended, and I'm thankful it exists. But seriously, we all know it gets better a lot sooner if you are white, cisgendered, and middle class. And for a lot of us it stays pretty hard.

The righteous lesbian who made this video tells it like it is and leaves us feeling strong enough to fight anyway. Her message: It doesn't necessarily get easier but you grow up and learn to deal with things. You learn to shut out the negative messages. You learn to love yourself. You learn to survive and that hurting yourself just lets them win.

Hey LuzLoca821, whoever you are, you are a right on sister. Thank you for putting your voice out there.

 



Comments [20]

tranarchy's picture

we're not drawing lines

recognizing that bullying is a queer issue does not exclude other forms of bullying from our agenda. recognizing that queerphobia impacts trans, PoC, and poor queers in especially violent ways-- more than white, wealthy, cisgender queers-- is not divisive. but some people's reactions here are very much divisive. in particular i'm talking about the reactions like this one: "I don't understand why people focus so much on "race" or "color." I think it just reminds us of how different we are instead of how similar we all are."

 

yes, we are all fundamentally human beings, part of one human family, etc. etc. etc. but recognizing difference, recognizing that racism exists within queer communities, recognizing that other forms of oppression exist within queer communities... that is not divisive. it does not make us weaker. it will only make our movement stronger. i think LuzLoca821 brings race into because that is an important part of her experience as a queer woman of color. if we, as a queer movement, cannot recognize that, and make anti-racism a part of our queer agenda, then our movement is doomed.

Ashera's picture

I don't understand....

I don't understand why people focus so much on "race" or "color." I think it just reminds us of how different we are instead of how similar we all are. I could go on about how people have treated me for being gay or for being part persian/ Choctaw Indian....but I just chalk it up to the fact that these people are stupid, ignorant fucks. And seriously....it's not just white people. I had a close friend (who happened to be be a black dude) who, after 9/11, didn't want anything to do with me because I was part persian, and therefore I was a terrorist. Ignorance comes in all shapes and sizes.

The bottom line is, kids will bully anyone that's different. When I was little, I got bullied because my parents were divorced. When I got older, it's because I was kinda chubby; after that, it was because I was gay (I did not have the chance to out myself, that was done by some asshole jocks). Bullying sucks, but it is not going away anytime soon. What needs to be taught to kids is an effective way of dealing with it. If I let all the bullying tear me down (and i did actually try to kill myself at one point-when it appeared there was no hope left), I would be either dead or a huge freaking mess today. Bullies are insecure losers who don't want to see anyone do better than them. 

Kids need to learn that this garbage is temporary, and life will go on.

 

Erika Davis's picture

You are Worthy

In response to the Dan Savage project I posted a video you are all welcome to check out.  I posted it because there were few people of color who were posting and even fewer lesbians who were posting.  I completely understand that the Project involved LGBTQ issues but bullying, in general, is pretty traumatic to a teen. 

I agree that it gets better as you get stronger, I also think it gets better as you realize that you're worthy of love. 

In other news, have ya'll seen the "Make it Better" project??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLJ6tgg-rb0&feature=player_embedded

Erika has spoken.
Now, go read my blog Smile
www.blackgayjewish.com

minniesota's picture

Gracias

Thanks Erika for posting your video! Love, Minnesota

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Erika Davis's picture

You're Welcome!

Smile

Erika has spoken.
Now, go read my blog Smile
www.blackgayjewish.com

chelilektra's picture

The one person who always gets me is Ellen.

In a clip posted on her show's Facebook page billed "An Important Message," she discusses the suicides using the word "Gay" the grand total of once.

 

I understand that she wants her show to appeal to a wider audience and not to be pigeon-holed as "gay-space", but in the event of these particular suicides, I think that including the G word a few more times was warranted, better the Q, best the LGBTQI.

 

I think that a huge part of the problem is that homelessness and suicide affect LGBT teens at disproportionately high rates, thus, while bullying is clearly an issue in and of itself, these particular suicides were part of a trend that gets relatively little interest/action from the MSM.

 

We've expended a great deal of energy fighting for the freedom to marry and to serve in the military and these pressing issues for our youth have received very little press. While seeing legally married gays may have some positive psychological effects on the mentality of children who are in the process of discovering who they are, I think that groups like the Trevor Project and FIERCE ultimately deal with problems that arise in queer youth more directly and would be well served by a mention in this clip.

 

Bullying is a larger issue, but this specific type of bullying needs to be addressed as an alarming trend.

 

#trevorproject #fierce #bullying #suicides #itgetsbetter #ellen #gay #lesbian #queer #trans

________________________________________________________

"Bitch, what you don't know about me is that I can just about fit in the Grand fucking Canyon. Did you know that I always wanted to be a dancer in Vegas?" Silent Bob

Rockets's picture

Rockets

Being... very light beige (I'm part cree) - I'd hope that if there are any others beige-er then me (because I look Caucasian as the day is long and I guess my encouragement wouldn't count) would take a moment and give their "peers" a cheer for hope for a better world. Because EVERY beige, brown, purple, green - non cis, trans etc. CAN'T be in a miserable shit hole.

Please, I sincerely hope you aren't.

There are messages from a lot of different kinds of people from all kinds of different walks of life on that channel.

I understand what LuzLoca821 was saying, but why does it always come down to people tearing each other down? Getting stronger - and learning how to love yourself IS getting better. It's growing up. I personally don't fucking care what color/gender or tax bracket Dan Savage is in. I'm a 35 year old woman and I got the point and the sentiment behind what he was saying. I was more pissed about Perez Hilton posting a message... because he is a pariah who preys on his own as far as I'm concerned.

As long as people keep drawing a line between themselves and others - for example, singling out different members of the LGBTQ family and judging them on a sliding scale based on orientation, visible ethnicity, financial situation or sex... we are just being counter productive.

What's hard? Being gay is not hard in my life. What's hard? Being isolated from other people because I fear judgment or abandonment, not trusting people because they tend to act human and are fallible (what the fuck people?!), living with a chronic illness that has robbed me of my health, part of my sight and my lively-hood, being single and living check to check with a only a slim hope keeping my head above water... LIFE IS HARD. For a lot of people.

But is any of that important to a teenager who can't see past the middle of the night? Those hours they have to swim through alone and in anguish? I think hearing that you will be able to do this - that all this shall pass too... brought to you via a kind face... is far more important than being the oracle for what is to come. Good, bad, ugly... this moment; where you feel like killing yourself is the only answer is not going to last. You can make it to the dawning of a new day and there will be hope and people waiting for you...

You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. It's true - seriously, I came that close once... but a friend saved my life by pulling me back in time. I wasn't even trying to kill myself - the point is...

STOP DRAWING LINES, and reach out and shelter that precious bit of hope that every bullied, depressed and oppressed child needs.

I'm going to eat chili now.

Sorry if it sounded like I was blasting any one person... I'm just frustrated on numerous levels at the moment.

Visit the FREE Lesbian Coloring pages at ~ illustrocity.blogspot.com

SMBrown's picture

Wow, thoughtful (and

Wow, thoughtful (and heartfelt) comment, Rockets--you really made me think.  Thanks for the perspective shift.  I appreciated what the woman in the video said with regards to race/ethnicity/socio-economic status, but you're right that maybe those concerns aren't of importance to a struggling teen and are better left to adults to debate--when they are stronger.

Thanks again, and sending you lots of love and support in your daily battles.   Smile

Robin Rigby's picture

I hear ya, Rockets.  It gets

I hear ya, Rockets.  It gets better because you get stronger regardless of anything else.  It doesn't matter what it is that makes you different in your current situation- gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, ethnicity, being fat, being learning challenged...  I could go on but the point is that you grow a thick skin & learn to accept yourself so that you learn to deal with the hassling.  And that's universal. 

GrrrlRomeo's picture

From one individual to another.

"But seriously, we all know it gets better a lot sooner if you are white, cisgendered, and middle class."

No, we don't all know. Some people just assume.

I appreciate this video and relate to it a lot. Solidarity.

Not2Taem's picture

LuzLoca281

You are beautiful, and oh so real. Glad the kids are hearing this.

Julia Watson's picture

That was so many levels of

That was so many levels of awesome that I feel dizzy just watching. Dizzy in a really good way.

Diana Cage's picture

One of the reasons it doesn't

One of the reasons it doesn't get that much better is that people ask questions like this one I just pulled off the It Gets Better Youtube channel. Notice he mentions that the project would be more "respected" if it wasn't aimed at gay youth. Can you say, "missing the point."

slimsmith: Why is the "It gets better project" focused on strictly LGBT bullying? There is so much more, and I think this kind of project would be more effective and respected if it concentrated on bullying or harassment in general.

SMBrown's picture

Um...I'm gonna play devil's

Um...I'm gonna play devil's advocate here and say that while I totally agree that using the word "respected" was stupid, I do understand the general sentiment expressed here--in fact I made a similar comment on FB about defeating ALL bullying.  Because if it's not the gay kid, it'll be the fat kid or the Mexican kid, or the Muslim kid.  We need to de-Mean Girl society in general; and that goes especially for adults who are growing meaner (and more adolescent) every day, setting one helluvan appalling example for kids.

Edited to add:  I love this project and am so proud it originated in the gay community.  But it begs the next step: bringing it to a broader community so as to help even more kids.  And what an awesome opportunity for LGBTs to build bridges by leading the way in stopping bullying.  We could put a whole new positive spin on the homophobes mantra that 'it's about the kids.'

Alex K.'s picture

I don't think it misses the point.

While I think that "respected" is not the right word, I don't think that it misses the point to suggest that a compaign directed at bullying or harassment generally might be more effective.  The message that there is nothing wrong (or that there are many things right) with being a sexual minority is not the same as the message that harassment and bullying are never acceptable.  And I think the latter has broader appeal and is more inclusive.  I am a lesbian, but when I was bullied it wasn't for that specifically.  I was different in other ways as well and that made me target.  Kids will bully each other until they are forced to see that it is not harmless or funny.  Fighting homophobia will not make bullying stop, it will just change what the bullies say.

It could just as easily be said that this poster misses the point in saying that it doesn't get better.  Or that Dan Savage missed the point in saying it does.  But I don't think anyone missed the point.  There are  a lot of points to be made.

SMBrown's picture

Hey, guess we were thinking

Hey, guess we were thinking the same thing at the same time (two minutes apart)!   Smile

Alex K.'s picture

Great minds...

Great minds...

Not2Taem's picture

And that, Bois and Gurls

is why our kids are still dying. Just when we were hoping that our school district would finally add LGBT language to the bullying code, they chose instead to scrap the meager wording that they put in for employees last year.

All I can say is, let the kids know you are there. Last year I backed a student who was being bullied in our school cafeteria. After a series of variable responses from parents and administrators that was like a roller coaster, I have gradually become aware that the parents of 2/3 of my students requested that they be placed in my class because of my willingness to stand up on this issue. We are the unofficial queer support group in a school system that refuses to officially recognize the needs of our community. And its not just my 5th graders. A second grader handed me a rainbow sticker that said, "I <3 my moms!"

When I first went into teaching, I thought I could save the world. Now I'm just thankful for the days when one student or another isn't in crisis, and the times when we can help them through those threats successfully.

Grace Moon's picture

Thats so

unbelieveably cluesless ... I can't even come up with a comment about it.

yeah and why do brown people still get the shaft?

tweet tweet @gracemoon

buggleM's picture

maybe some other BROWN people had a bad experience

 so the pain was still there , anyway to all my fellow Brown or yellow just move on and  pls. dont think your different    " To be blended with all level  JUST Think POSITIVE AND IT WILL HELP US TO FEEL BETTER.  "

       

BuggleM the dmd