It Gets Better.

Posted on Oct 20, 2010

Today is October 20, 2010, a day chosen for consciousness-raising and activism to support gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and queer (GLBTQ) youth in the wake of many teen suicides from bullying based on sexuality. I feel moved to share the video of Joel Burns, a Fort Worth City Councilman, sharing his story of how “It Gets Better.” The It Gets Better Project was started by Dan Savage, the outspoken author and podcaster of Savage Love, to pass the message to GLBTQ youth that their lives will get better; that they should persevere through the challenges of discrimination while teens because the cultural climate improves once they move out of middle and high school.

We all have the responsibility to actually make it better. Not just for the GLBTQ youth who are so embattled through bullying and discrimination, but also for everyone, for one another. As much as I agree that it does “get better,” anyone with a less than mainstream sexuality or those who are simply perceived to have such are still subject to subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination and mistreatment. Change cannot come totally from those affected. All people have the responsibility to examine their own baggage regarding sexuality, jettison the ignorance and open their minds to acceptance.

Nothing troubles me more in my work than seeing pain and heartache caused by sexuality, something that should be a source of tremendous fulfillment and pleasure. Practicing acceptance and non-judgment of others allows us the opportunity to grow in acceptance of ourselves in all our unique and individual glory. There is such beauty and fulfillment in authentic sexual expression. We have only to do the work to arrive at that place of acceptance and fulfillment.

As we reflect on and honor the youth who found the hardship of their existence too hopeless to bear, I challenge you to reflect and explore within and find the facet of yourself that is a kindred spirit with these youth. We all struggle with self-acceptance, some of us with more outward challenges than others for sure. Use this opportunity for your own consciousness-raising regardless of how open and accepting you perceive yourself. Look deeper. Take the next step to be outwardly more supportive of those in your midst who face these challenges. Further, take the next step for yourself to look inward and embrace your beautiful and unique whole self. As we lift up one another, we buoy our own spirits.