The “It gets better” projectPosted: April 29, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Tags: bullying, identity, lgbtiq, violence
This is going to be a really quick post, because I have only one criticism of the project. I love what people have done, and I am amazed at the honesty that people displayed about the difficulties they faced as queer people growing up. I’m really grateful that the initial valid criticisms of the invisibility of bisexual and trans* stories in the project were addressed.
There is one big, big problem I have with this project though – “It gets better” is a hard thing to tell someone who is suffering now. “It gets better… eventually” is a really hard thing to hear when you are being bullied now. “It gets better in 5 – 10 years” is an impossibly long time for someone who is being bullied at school today (do you remember how long a year was when you were 13?).
What I would have loved to have seen included in this project – and yes I know it’d be region specific – is “It gets better, and right now if you need help you can find it [here] or [with this type of organisation]“. Or even better, “It shouldn’t be like this for you now, and we’re working on making it better for everyone today – and right now if you need help you can find it [here] or [with this type of organisation]“.
Because telling someone that they have to wait through several more years of erasure, bullying, harassment, pain, suffering, rejection, depression, suicidal idealisation and the like is not reasonable, fair or nice. It’s time to help LGBTIQ youth today and not patronise them with “It’ll get better eventually”. It’s time to stop bullying today, and not tell people that eventually the bullying will end.