It’s hard for some people to understand what it’s like to go through your school years being ridiculed and bullied and attacked and called names simply for doing what you do best, which is to be yourself.
You’re trying constantly to shine, to fit in and belong. Meanwhile, you keep getting slapped down.
When you’re young, it’s unfathomable. In fact, when you’re grown up it’s pretty unfathomable too. And I speak as a guy whose own family members bullied and rejected him for being gay, and still don’t speak to him all these years later. So I’m there, I understand.
Which is why I wilt inside whenever I see political candidates trying to win cheap points by promoting division, hate, and discrimination, backing propositions that keep such a beautiful part of the population down, confined, and bullied. Who would do that? Who would be so shallow and unethical as to lend their support to hate, knowing they’re bringing so much pain to so many good people, simply to advance their own career? That has mystified me always. I don’t get it. I suspect I will never get it. Like I don’t get my family.
But here’s my thought on this: we’re at the tail-end of the Age of Ignorance, gearing up for a new age, of Openness and Common Enlightenment that will take us through the next thousand years. The vestiges of the previous era are going to be around for a while, but rest assured they are slowly dying out. In that light, maybe the bullies are necessary. When we’re asked to “forgive them, they know not what they do,” perhaps that’s exactly right. Without realizing it, they’re performing a perfect function on the planet in these changing times. They exist, acting selfishly, not caring whom they hurt, simply to fire the rest of us up so much that we become stronger, more vigilant, and more determined to overcome the oppression they support. For each of those spineless, bullying, opportunistic politicians who’ll say anything to get elected, there are millions of us, the ones who vote them into power. That’s got to be good for something, right? We just have to figure out what, then go do it. You first.
Maybe in the end that’s why the “It gets better” campaign struck such an incredible chord – because, suddenly, people who thought they were lone voices, who believed that only they had been through their particular brand of private hell and only they had suffered slights and injustices at the hands of bullies, discovered that there were many others like them, all with a unique story to tell and a word of comfort and reassurance to share. Few of these people can tell their stories (or watch them) without crying. That’s because the wounds go so deep and have been buried so effectively, in order that we don’t embarrass ourselves or seem too needy. But just occasionally we can allow ourselves a moment to share our grief, and our hope, and our declaration that, indeed, things get better. This was one of them and this year it felt particularly empowering.
There are many moving videos out there, but this is one of the best, probably because of its simplicity. The Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus. These are my peeps, and I couldn’t be prouder. Watch and weep at the beauty, my friends.
Let’s also applaud the amazing Zach Wahls of Iowa who stood up proudly as the child of gay parents and said…well, just watch.
And of course let’s not forget Councilman Joel Burns, a modern-day hero and man of principle, who gave this magnificently moving speech to the council chamber in Fort Worth, Texas. His standing ovation is well-deserved.
Apparently, there are gay people in the Broadway theater too. Who knew? They recorded a schmaltzy song for the Trevor Project. Typical show people, smiling when they are low. Somehow the cause makes it all worthwhile.
And finally, nothing to do with the Trevor Project or “It Gets Better”, but a clip from Glee, in which Kurt finds a boyfriend after being bullied so badly that he wants to run away from school. This is just pure joy.
TV Swami – he have to pull himself together. He crying way too much.