Son of Prominent Right-Wing Bigot Finds Out About "It Gets Better" Project
by Dan Savage
on Tue, May 17, 2011 at 8:42 AM
This makes me happier than the news that the SF Giants are joining the "It Gets Better" Project: the president of the officially-designated hate group Concerned Women for America was watching American Idol when Google Chrome/It Gets Better ad aired. Penny Nance scolded Fox on her blog:
Thank you for cleaning up the Viagra commercials Fox, but PLEASE what’s with the new tolerance for homosexuals campaign disguised as anti-bullying? Bullying is wrong. It is wrong for any reason. Apparently, American Idol with the help of Woody from Disney’s Toy Story, thinks that my 4th grader needs to be fully aware of the plight of teens who view themselves as "gay." I am sorry, but he doesn’t even know about heterosexual sex yet. Can you give me some room here? I am ticked because I feel tricked. Fox blew it last night. The point is parents felt secure in allowing our entire families watch this show. They lured us into a false sense of security and broke trust with us last night.
A few thoughts...
First: A fourth grader who "doesn't know" about heterosexual sex? Is she raising that kid in a skinner box in her basement and only letting him out to watch American Idol?
Second: The Google Chrome/"It Gets Better" ad doesn't promote or discuss or campaign for homosexual sex. It acknowledges the existence of LGBT people and LGBT kids and gives those LGBT kids hope for their futures. Acknowledging the existence of LGBT people does not raise awareness of the specifics of gay sex anymore than acknowledging the existence of heterosexuals raises awareness of the specifics of heterosexual sex. This is a popular argument among haters like Nance: Talking about gay people = talking about buttfucking! But talking about straight people ≠ talking about twatfucking. Because straight relationships are not defined by sex. Straight relationships are about love and commitment and family and big fancy weddings and Jesus! But gay people? We're not about any of those things. We're about buttfucking.
Third: Mission accomplished.
The primary goal of the IGB campaign was to reach LGBT kids who are being bullied by their peers and their families. LGBT kids are four times likelier to attempt suicide—unless their parents are hostile. LGBT kids whose parents are hostile are eight times likelier to attempt suicide. The bullying and hostility and rejection too many LGBT kids are subjected to by their own families is by far the most destructive kind of bullying. And those kids—kids with parents like Nance—are the ones who most need to find their way to www.itgetsbetter.org.
Now I don't know if Nance's son is gay, bi, or trans, but if he is, he needs to know more than most that it can get better for him too, that there's hope for his future, and that the adult world isn't entirely populated by hateful shits like his mother. He needs to know that there are a lot of people out there rooting for him: lesbian dairy farmers, trans porn stars, gay doctors, Woody—even the president of the United States.
And if Nance's son finds his way to www.itgetsbetter.org—maybe not now, maybe in a year or two (I knew for sure that I was gay by the time I was in the seventh grade)—"It Gets Better" videos won't just give him hope for his own future. They'll also give him hope his family's future too. There are a ton of videos at www.itgetsbetter.org created by LGBT adults whose families were hostile when they first came out but whose families now love and accept them. So if Nance's son is gay—and here's hoping—and finds his way to the "It Gets Better" website, he'll hear from moms and dads who used to feel the same way his mother does now but who grew and changed. He'll meet moms and dads who now reject anti-gay bigotry, not their gay children.
Nance's son was always our target demo. Again, we don't know if he's gay. But he might be and, if he is, he needs to hear from us. And the Google Chrome/"It Gets Better" campaign has helped us reach him and millions more like him.
And one day, Penny, if it turns out that your son is gay, and if the "It Gets Better" Project helps him survive his last years under your roof, you'll thank us—the tens of thousands of people who've made videos for the "It Gets Better" Project, Google, Woody, everyone—for helping to save your son's life.