Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We'd Rather Be: It Gets Better

An inspiring post from my friend Phoebe's blog:

"For those of you who haven't heard, there have been a string of suicides across America - over the last few weeks in particular - by gay youth. These kids - yes, it's KIDS who are out there taking their own lives - were suffering under regular, heavy bullying and violence against them because of their sexuality.

It sickens and saddens me that, after how far we've come as a human race, these things are still going on. That we are still allowing something as personal and private as one individual's choices to affect their humanity in our eyes. That there are people out there who truly believe they have the right to tell a person who they are and what they are worth - or aren't worth - based on their sexual preference just baffles me. Where does this sense of entitlement come from? How do those people sleep at night believing they have done the 'right' thing in harassing and assaulting innocent teenagers whose decisions affect no one but themselves? How do those people go through their lives day by day, reassured by the fact that they have somehow made the 'right' choice in who they choose to love, and the others out there who have made the 'wrong' choice are nothing more than scum and need to be shown so? To me, it goes against everything we are supposed to be as people - loving, accepting, honouring of each other - and is a demonstration of everything in ourselves we need to be fighting against - selfishness, arrogance, ignorance, fear - every minute of every day.

The outcry against these heartbreaking suicides, by kids who felt they really had no other option but to end their own lives, has been really inspiring, and can hopefully bring a little bit of hope into the worlds of those kids who feel like nothing can save them. The It Gets Better video campaign that has been growing day by day on the internet as celebrities and other well-known public figures post videos of encouragement and hope. Those messages, while only minutes long, are hopefully helping lost and confused teens out there realize that while it feels like it can't get any worse, it can actually get better. That while there are countless others out there who not only went through the exact same feelings, contemplated the exact same actions and often attempted them themselves, they are all people who made it through. They realized that the only person you need to worry about making happy is yourself, because at the end of the day there is no one else. They realized that as they got older they grew, and in doing so they learned to accept themselves for who they are and what they want, and they realized that nothing about that is wrong. They realized that it does get better, and it keeps getting better every single day. They realized that fighting for who they are is so much better than running away.

For those of you who tend to judge, stop for a minute. Imagine your brother, your sister, your best friend, coming to you and sharing the most difficult part of themselves with you. Imagine their heart pounding, their hands shaking, the fear in their eyes as they sit there in front of you, more open than they have ever wanted to be, and wait to hear from you what they have feared all along: that they are disgusting, that they are wrong, that they are unnatural. That they have made the wrong 'choice'. Why would anybody make that 'choice' knowing what comes with it? Imagine being that brother, sister, best friend. What reaction would you fear, and what reaction would you dare to hope for? What reaction would you deserve? As a human being, just as beautiful, talented, smart, passionate, excited, hopeful, dream-filled, as the next, what reaction would you deserve?

It's up to us to show those people what they deserve, and to give it to them. It's up to us, as people, to show them that it gets better."
by Phoebe at We'd Rather Be

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