Kinda sad that this is happening.  I remember the first days of the project, when it was queers talking to other queers, mentor-to-youth.  If only we could return to that.  If you want to make a difference, please support your local youth organization, such as Growing American Youth, to help insure that it really does get better.

pansexualpride:

I keep saying it and keep saying it…. The It Gets Better campaign has turned into a commercial enterprise now. Need more proof? How about some cranberry and pomegranate flavored “It Gets Better” chapstick?

it-gets-better-chapstick.JPG

The worst part? I still got chapped lips in Minneapolis even though I used it constantly. It didn’t make it better at all. Go figure.

fuckyeahlgbt

Day 5 - Thoughts regarding inner turmoil about your sexuality; Did you have any? Did it escalate to self-injury or suicidal thoughts?

Inner turmoil is the result of either not being true to oneself, or of harming others/being harmed by others.  I did have suicidal thoughts.  Now I don’t, because I’m being my true self, instead of trying to fit into this misshapen box.  Sometimes things people say will bother me a bit, but since I’m surrounded by love and support, things never become too much for me to bear.  And that’s really the key here to living a healthy life: social support.  This is why the It Gets Better campaign is so important.  It won’t get better unless we make it better, all of us together.

This story gave me a happy.

TRANSCRIPT:

As a high school teacher at Friends Seminary in New York, John Byrne has taught hundreds of students. Recently, he spoke with a former student, Samantha Liebman, about the years before he became the teacher he is today. For one thing, his classrooms were very regimented.

"I would make the kids line up before they came into class," he says, "and then they would stand by their desks and I would say, ‘You may sit down when I sit down.’ They said, ‘Good morning, Mr. Byrne.’

"I was very strict, because I was afraid the kids would discover I was gay," he says.

Byrne, 56, taught English, a subject that proved to be minefield for a teacher who was trying desperately to keep a secret from his students. As he recalls, “some gay scene or character would come up, and I would start to blush.”

He was always frightened, Byrne says. But then, in 1991, “I decided to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade,” he says. “Because they refused to let the gays march, and I thought, ‘I’ve got to take a stand.’ I just wanted to be myself. So I went and marched with them.”

Back in class the day after the parade, Byrne’s 10th-grade students wanted to know how he had spent the day. Teasing their teacher, they accused him of going out and getting drunk.

"I said, ‘I was not!’" he recalls. He told them, "I was marching in the parade."

That led to the next question: Who had Mr. Byrne marched with?

"And I said, ‘With the Irish Gay and Lesbian Organization.’ And they said, ‘Well, why were you marching with them?’ and I said, ‘Because I’m gay!’

"

And they were so kind. They saw that I was nervous, and they helped me along," he says.

That day changed Byrne’s life, and his career. He says it made him a better teacher.

"You know, it had hurt me to live in the shadows," he says. "And then when I came out, it freed me to teach. It made me better at helping kids who had their own particular secrets."

And the students repaid him for his trust, as well.

"Two years later, that class that I came out to, they asked me to be their graduation speaker," Byrne says. "And I talked to the parents about how proud they should be of their children, for having taught me and helped me through a really difficult time in my life. It was a wonderful turning point."

What a great feat of bravery and skill it is to taunt a dead person.  What courage!  What magnanimity!

cassket:

You might think that the people who bullied 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer with comments like “JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!” are completely ashamed of themselves now that Jamey committed suicide. However, you’d be wrong. The problem is you’re thinking like someone who isn’t utterly disgusting.

In an appearance on the Today show, Jamey’s parents, Tracy and Tim, revealed that bullies were celebrating his death at a dance his sister attended. Tracy says:

“She was having a great time, and all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on, and they all started chanting for Jamey, all his friends. Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting, ‘You’re better off dead!’ ‘We’re glad you’re dead!’ and things like that. My daughter came home all upset. It was supposed to be a time for her to grieve and have fun with her friends, and it turned into bullying even after he’s gone.”

Tim adds, “I can’t grasp it in my mind … I don’t know why anyone would do that. They have no heart, that’s basically what it comes down to.” You can watch the full interview below … then curl into a ball and weep for humanity.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

I frequently hear people respond to bullying issues with “why don’t they fight back? Why don’t they get help?”  This is why.  Fighting back will only get the student punished.  Getting help could lead to further ridicule from classmates or even teachers.  Plus many teachers don’t even feel they have the legal standing to offer the support that they’d like.  We cannot expect the most vulnerable members of society to provide for their own protection!  This change cannot come from the bottom, it must be a top-down action.  It doesn’t get better until we make it better.

 

Considering that Bornstein’s book actually says “It Gets Better” on the back cover as well as numerous times within the text and it came out a whole 4 years before Dan Savage started the “It Gets Better Project,” it’s a little weird to me that I’ve never heard Hello Cruel World mentioned in reference to the project’s history or mentioned by Dan Savage, even though Savage must have read her book— probably way before he ever had the idea for the “It Gets Better Project”.

Every time Bornstein uses the phrase “it gets better,” which is now cemented in our culture as the thing to say to suicidal queer kids, but lacked that legacy when Bornstein wrote her book, I wonder why Bornstein never got any of the credit for that. Not that it’s about credit—I’m sure Bornstein is actually pretty thrilled about getting the message out. The thing is, this is a great book and people should know about it, so it feels really unsettling that Dan Savage’s project–which was so successful that Google tried to take credit for it in one of their ads (totally successful advertising, btw, it makes me cry and feel loving feelings for Google, even though I hate Google!)–never mentions or gives credit to Bornstien or tries to promote Hello Cruel World. It’s not even mentioned on their website as a resource.

Why is that? Well, obviously I have a theory. I wonder if it’s another way that the LGB(t)q rights movement is trying to push out trans people and other weirdos or outlaws in it’s mission to gain widespread cultural acceptance.

Why am I not surprised?  Oh yeah, because Dan Savage is a douchebag whose only redeeming quality is that he knows how to get attention focused on QUILTBAG issues.

Perhaps I’m a transphobic bigot [trigger warning], but I honestly think waiting a measly 36 months to cut your dick is a sacrifice any father should be willing to make for his 15-year-old son. Call me old-fashioned. Unfortunately, your ex wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice (selfish tranny!), or it never occurred to him to make that sacrifice (stupid tranny!).

Guess who?

Tell me, anyone, has he ever apologized and taken back what he said? Anyone? Bueller…?

littlemisslucifer

I’m not going to kill myself, I hope.

mylittlebaneling:

I’ve decided not to kill myself. A lovely friend of mine pointed out that if I killed myself, it might damage the morale of trans-people or hurt them. While I’d love to upset and hurt cis-people as much as possible, I will never ever hurt a trans* person unless they’re being bigoted about something else, and thus I will stay alive. I’m not staying alive because I like being alive though, just to not hurt other transpepole. I hate being alive to be honest.

Maybe it’s selfish that I like you better alive, and I’m not ready to give up another member of the trans* population to the sick twisted satisfaction of people who believe we’re better off dead. But you know what, I think I’m okay with being a horribly selfish person in this case, if it means that we who are the beautiful kind get even a single extra person shining our brilliance in this world for just one more day.