It Gets Better

2010-11-05

in Films and movies, Internet matters, Politics

I think people living in places like Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa sometimes get a distorted sense of how much anti-gay hostility still exists in the world. Gay people living in more conservative areas still face a substantial amount of discrimination, bullying, and condemnation. Dealing with that must be especially difficult for young people, who don’t yet have access to the kind of resources, networks, and self-sufficiency they will acquire with time.

As such, I think Dan Savage’s ‘It Gets Better‘ initiative deserves praise. The project consists of videos arguing that the lives of gay teens will improve, with the specific aim of discouraging people from committing suicide. Savage says the project seeks to “speak directly to LGBT kids about surviving bullying and going on to lead rewarding lives filled with joy, family, and love. We didn’t need anyone’s permission to tell them — it gets better”.

Groups that have contributed include Google employees and other individuals and organizations. There is also an active Facebook page.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasha November 5, 2010 at 8:52 am

Awesome photo Mil.

Milan November 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

Thanks. The live frog area at Ottawa’s Museum of Nature is pretty cool.

I have a couple of previous photos from the same place, as well as some outdoor shots from Ottawa’s Mud Lake.

Alison November 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

I have enjoyed discovering many of these videos. It’s not just about gay people though. Here’s a message from a trans women: . And here is gender outlaw Kate Bornstein.

Did you know that in Ontario, “gender identity” isn’t yet protected in the human rights code? Toronto (Parkdale) MPP Cheri DiNovo and others have been lobbying for this simple sentence to be help trans people get legal recourse against discrimination . I would encourage readers of this blog who live in Ontario to contact their MPP in support of this effort. see also.

R.K. November 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm

This does seem like a worthwhile undertaking.

. November 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Anniversary of Aaron Webster’s death a reminder LGBT rights need support

November 9, 2010

By Frank Halderman and Calyn Shaw

Anniversaries can mean many things to people. The days we prefer to mark happy occasions, but for some they are full of painful memories and sorrow.

One such date is November 17; it marks the day on which Aaron Webster was coldly and brutally beaten to death in 2001, in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. This gay man, yes a gay man, was murdered by four young men who were, in the words of Judge Valmond Romilly, “a thug brigade, stalking human prey for entertainment in a manner very reminiscent of Nazi youth in pre-war Germany”.

Similar thug brigades continue to march to the extreme drum in countries throughout the world. Fifty-seven nations criminalize homosexuality and refuse to sign the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The declaration, presented to the General Assembly on December 18, 2008, condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Many of the countries opposing the declaration encourage vigilantly justice against the LGBT members of their population.

. November 10, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Okay, I’ll admit it. When I saw that Michael Ignatieff had posted a video to Dan Savage’s It Get’s Better Project, I thought to myself, “Yikes, this’ll be… ‘interesting’.”

But credit where credit is due, the below video is pretty sincere and heart warming. And as a political geek, Ignatieff’s timing and intonation on the reflexive, “Hell, even a Member of Parliament!” made me chuckle.

. February 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm

It all started after two gay teens committed suicide after being bullied.

In response, Savage posted a video on YouTube with this simple message for gay teens: “It Gets Better.”

The campaign went viral after celebrities and prominent politicians posted their messages to gay youth on YouTube.

U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Prime Minister David Cameron are among the political leaders who posted videos with their messages of reassurance for gay youth.

Among prominent, national political leaders here in Canada, only Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has posted an “It Gets Better” video.

. September 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm
. October 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm

The death of an Ottawa teen by suicide is once again focusing attention on the issues of youth depression and school bullying.

Jamie Hubley, the son of Allan Hubley, city councillor for Kanata-South, killed himself Friday after battling depression and taunts about being openly gay. He was 15.

Before he died, Hubley posted a farewell to his family and friends on his Tumblr feed, which he had dubbed, “You can’t break… when you’re already broken.” He wrote that his personal pain was too much for him to bear and he didn’t want to suffer any longer.

. October 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I told my school community that I would do everything in my power to make Opeongo High a safe and friendly place for everyone. And I asked for their help. I pleaded with my 500 teenagers to stop using terms like “fag” and “homo.” I begged them to be kind to one another and to let us know if they needed help. I told them even if they were “joking,” these terms – and many others – cause pain. Sometimes, so much pain that the person on the receiving end feels, like Jamie did, forced to take drastic measures to escape.

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