Sorry about my complete absence from Slog today. I'm sick as a dog and spent all day in bed—thanks to Jake and Justin for taking such good care of me—and I'm only just feeling well enough to start slogging my way through the backed up emails, to say nothing of Slogging through Slog.
Anyway: I'm getting the odd bitchy email—in the torrent of complimentary emails and IGBP submissions—from angry people insisting that telling kids it gets better someday isn't good enough.
To the angry folks: I admit that IGBP doesn't do the impossible. It doesn't solve the problem of anti-gay bullying, everywhere, all at once, forever. The point of the videos is to give despairing kids in impossible situations a little thing called hope. The point is to let them know that things do get better. For some people things get better once they get out of high school, for others things get better while they're still in high school. And some kids, like the kid above, are helping to make things better for other kids who are in still high school. But things do get better and kids who are thinking about suicide need to hear that.
And to those who insist that all the videos are just oldies speaking from a place of adult privilege: have you watched the videos? There are tons from teenagers, many still in high school, many who are already out of the closet. And there are tons of videos from people who came out while they were still in middle or high school talking about their experiences good and bad and unimaginable:
Nothing about letting kids know that it gets better excuses or precludes us from pressing for the Student Non-Discrimination Act, demanding anti-bullying programs, confronting the bigots who are making things worse, or supporting the Trevor Project. But we're not going to get legislation passed this instant or get anti-bullying programs into schools in rural areas—particularly private Christian schools—before classes start tomorrow. Doing all of that is going to take years of hard work and dedicated activism. In the meantime, while we work on all of that, we can get these messages of hope in front of kids who are crisis right now. And we must use the tools we have at our disposal right now—social media and YouTube and digital video—to get these messages of hope to kids who are suffering right now in schools without GSAs and kids who are trapped schools that will never have GSAs and kids whose parents who bully and reject them.
There's nothing about this project—nothing about participating in this project—that prevents people from doing more. Indeed, I would hope that participating in this raises awareness and leaves people feeling obligated to do more.