I hate to say it but I spent a lot more of this past weekend crying than I care to admit. I have been choking on my words while I try to say what needs to be said – and it does need to be said.
For all the amazing accomplishments that we’ve made as a society, for all the civil rights movements that have won equality for minority groups around the world, and for all the wonderful support and opportunity that I have experienced as a gay man, we as a whole are in trouble. Thirteen-year-old kids are killing themselves after being tortured for being, seeming, or acting gay. These kids are suffering in ways that most of us can’t even understand to the point where they are throwing away the rest of their lives before they’re even old enough to know what the rest of their lives can look like.
While politicians bicker over the right to marry, or the right to serve one’s country, these kids are carrying the weight of the debate personally on their shoulders. These are the students who aren’t being allowed to go to prom. These are the students who need to change schools because they’re not being given the space to figure out who they are. These are the kids who are feeling so ostracized and isolated that they can’t see that change is coming within their lifetimes if only they are brave enough to keep living.
Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas – they were KIDS before they were news stories.
I hope that many of you have been able to watch this call for action from Ellen, and that even more of you have seen one of the many videos collected for Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project – both addressing the need to change perceptions in order to save these lives and show a generation that we can do better and that we WILL do better.
It was my intention to make a video to add to the collection. I wanted to tell people that I understand how hard it is to be someone that you’re not just to survive the school system. I wanted to tell people how my family created the foundation of trust, acceptance, and respect that let me flourish over the past 25 years. I wanted to tell people that after high school you get to be friends with all the pretty girls and find out that all the assholes who bullied you have tiny dicks and will work at gas stations for the rest of their lives. I wanted to say ANYTHING in order to keep these kids from going down the path that they’re on today.