How does it “get better”??

The “It Gets Better” video campaign has been both inspiring and infuriating for many of us. What’s great is that it shows that LGBT folks who have a hard time in high school and beyond can overcome these difficulties and create a life they love.

But what’s not so great is that oppression is not a one-point program – meaning, if you’re a gay, white, middle class man, then ya, it’ll get better for you pretty quickly. Being gay didn’t erase your other privileges, so you’ll have access to resources to improve your situation.

Recently, I went to a marriage equality event, and one of the speakers, a white man, said, “I got into the college I wanted to get into, I got into the fraternity I wanted to get into, and I got the job I wanted. Only when I wanted to get married did I feel discriminated against.” I suddenly realized, “Ok, this isn’t my fight. Let the white guys do this; I gotta deal with the specific sexism/heterosexism that stands in my as a lesbian performer/writer and consultant.” Furthermore, I am very concerned about racism and other oppressions. What difference will it make to a transgendered person of color to be able to get married, if they can’t get into the school or get the job they need??

The other thing that I keep thinking about wrt to these videos is, “ok, it got better, but How? How did you make it better??”

I had a very rough coming out. Life did get better for me, despite the struggles I still have. How did it get better?

1. I chose not to use drugs/alcohol.
2. I found/created a support network.
3. I went after my dreams.

I’ll say more about all 3 of these in coming blogs.

Leave a Comment