Friday, October 8, 2010

It Gets Better Redux

People are using our butt buckets, and they're all still in good condition.  And we've got green bins happening, and that's going well.  Our food drive went really well this week, and next year we'll be challenging another school to try to beat us!

But there's always more work to do in this world.

There's been a rash of homophobic bullying that provoked a few teen suicides.  Of all demographics, gay teens are the most likely to kill themselves.  There's a great initiative afoot started by Dan Savage called "It Gets Better" in which many GLBT adults film themselves discussing how difficult their lives were in high school, and how much better it all is now.

 There are some really powerful films in the bunch.  But that message doesn't sit well with me entirely.

Of course high school can be difficult - even for the most mainstream popular kid, high school can be a trying time.  But the idea that, for GLBT teens, it's something to endure until you can escape is a pretty daunting idea to a grade 9 kid looking at the beginning of a long four or five years.  And it doesn't have to be that way.

We want to make our own video with a slightly different message.  KCI's not perfect, and there's still some homophobic language in the hallways, a glare here and there, and some less subtle markers of prejudice.  But it's still a pretty safe place to be.  There are jerks, but there's also a GSA club, and an awful lot of very supportive people totally accepting of whatever lifestyle people live.  And I think we're in the majority here.

We're going to film students and staff who volunteer to tell us what's been hard, what's been working here, where and how they're able to find supports, and general stories for better or worse.  We won't have anyone identify their sexuality, because that's beside the point.  Anyone's experiences with homophobia and supports can be included in the film.

I challenge other schools to do the same!

Our message in part will be that high school can be a very difficult time, but also that it can be better right here and now, and if you keep looking, hopefully you can find a few supportive people.  And, if you don't stick around, you won't be there to ad your voice to this very important cause.  

Here's Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen.

As Ellen says: "We can't let intolerance and ignorance take another kid's life." Here, here.
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