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.