02 October 2010

It Gets Better

In the last month, five youth's suicides because of bullying have been heavily publicized by the media: 15 year old Justin Aaberg, 15 year old Billy Lucas, 19 year old Raymond Chase, 13 year old Asher Brown, and 19 year old Tyler Clementi.

Four young people whose deaths are likely directly related to bullying due to their real or perceived sexual orientation. And how many more are there? We know that LGBT youth are at a disproportionate risk for suicide, homelessness, and risky behavior. We know, but what does the LGBT community do?

One thing we do is support organizations like Odyssey Youth Center in my hometown and support the Odyssey Masquerade, a fundraiser to ensure that LGBT youth have a safe, supportive place to go and food to eat.

Another thing we can do is let them know that things get better. When I saw that Dan Savage was spearheading a campaign for LGBT teens called "It Gets Better," I thought that maybe I could put aside my antipathy for his fat-shaming, woman-hating bullshit that comes out every once in a while. And I did.

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