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Month: October 2010 (page 3 of 4)

Dan Savage and the It Gets Better Project

This is old news. You’ve seen this. I’ve seen it. It’s been around for a couple weeks which, in internet time, might as well be forever.

But, for those of you who have yet to see it, I am glad to have gotten you.

Inspired by a rash of teen suicides, advice-columnist extraordinaire Dan Savage started the It Gets Better Project on youtube. He invited gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people to post videos to help teens understand that one day it will get better for them. But I think he describes it better.

I just read about a gay teenager in Indiana—Billy Lucas—who killed himself after being taunted by his classmates. Now his Facebook memorial page is being defaced by people posting homophobic comments. It’s just heartbreaking and sickening. What the hell can we do?

Gay Bullying Victim Who Survived

Another gay teenager in another small town has killed himself—hope you’re pleased with yourselves, Tony Perkins and all the other “Christians” out there who oppose anti-bullying programs (and give actual Christians a bad name).

Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother’s property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.

Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.

“My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas,” a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. “I wish I could have told you that things get better.”

I had the same reaction: I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

But gay adults aren’t allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don’t bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.

Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don’t have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.

So here’s what you can do, GBVWS: Make a video. Tell them it gets better.

I’ve launched a channel on YouTube—www ­.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject—to host these videos. My normally camera-shy husband and I already posted one. We both went to Christian schools and we were both bullied—he had it a lot worse than I did—and we are living proof that it gets better. We don’t dwell too much on the past. Instead, we talk mostly about all the meaningful things in our lives now—our families, our friends (gay and straight), the places we’ve gone and things we’ve experienced—that we would’ve missed out on if we’d killed ourselves then.

“You gotta give ’em hope,” Harvey Milk said.

Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can’t imagine a future for themselves. So let’s show them what our lives are like, let’s show them what the future may hold in store for them.

The video my husband and I made is up now—all by itself. I’d like to add submissions from other gay and lesbian adults—singles and couples, with kids or without, established in careers or just starting out, urban and rural, of all races and religious backgrounds. (Go to www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject to find instructions for submitting your video.) If you’re gay or lesbian or bi or trans and you’ve ever read about a kid like Billy Lucas and thought, “Fuck, I wish I could’ve told him that it gets better,” this is your chance. We can’t help Billy, but there are lots of other Billys out there—other despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don’t think they have a future—and we can help them.

They need to know that it gets better. Submit a video. Give them hope.

Taken from: Savage Love

There’s no question how positive of an effort this is. If it saves even a single kid from killing himself because of some unfortunate bullying, then it was totally worth it. I don’t usually get all meaningful or political here on The Black Laser, but this is something I’m really behind. Savage ought to be commended for orchestrating this. Truly tremendous. When he posted the above response in his column on September 23rd, there was only the one video. Now there are hundreds and hundreds.

With all the attention the projects gotten, there have been a few celebrity videos posted. My favorite is below.

Oh, Tim Gunn. Will you ever do something that doesn’t make me like you more?

I encourage you to send the link to someone you think might need it or someone you think might appreciate it or to someone you think might not appreciate it.

It Gets Better Project

It’s good advice for anyone, gay or straight.

The Brain and the Cosmos

You can’t read the text on this image, but, if you click it, you’ll be able to see the full sized thing.

It’s a photo of a slice of a mouse’s brain and a computer simulation of the present universe. It’s amazing, yet totally unsurprising, how similar they appear. We are all made of stars.

Stolen from The New York Times.

Kitchen Gun!

BANG BANG BANG!

Die Antwoord’s “Evil Boy”

Two words: PENISES.

If that didn’t clue you in, this video might be a little NSFW unless you work in a boner factory or something and penises are a common sight at your place of work.

And, in contrast, Die Antwoord has not disappointed at all. These guys get weirder and weirder with every piece of media they release and this video for Diplo-produced “Evil Boy” is no different. What they’re doing is some sort of insane genius art project involving the entire world and I love it. I am bummed I missed them when they played here at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I don’t even know what I was doing when I missed it. Working? Out of town? Stupid? Probably just stupid. God damn, I suck sometimes.

Enjoy this video in a place where you won’t get in trouble for watching. And check Yolandi’s fucking mean ass flows. Darkly wonderful.

Uffie’s “Difficult”

You know, I have to admit that I was underwhelmed by Uffie’s album. After a bunch of hot as fuck tracks on various Ed Banger compilations, I had high hopes for her debut. “Pop The Glock”, her first song to hit the ol’ interwebs, was fine, but not all that interesting. But then she came along and dropped “Robot Ouef”, “Ready to Uff”, and “Dismissed” and I was a fan. She was edgy and mean and fucking dropping some hot aggro electro shit that was fucking awesome.

Then Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans came out filled with fairly bland electro pop shit with some absolutely banal rapping on it. Not bad, exactly, but definitely boring. Especially when compared to the fucking holy trifecta of banging Uffie tracks mentioned above. The album tracks lack energy. They harken back to the original “Pop The Glock” style, rather than pushing the later, edgier style forward. It was a mistake I think.

So, I’m not a huge fan of the song, but I dig the video. And I hope that Uffie regains a little edge for her sophomore effort. I’m willing to cut her a little slack here in light of her previously awesome work. But if the next record comes out and it’s more of this boring shit, consider my fandom over.

Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi (Metal Version)”

Another gem shared by my brother Charlie. This is basically what would happen if Adam MacLean and I had a baby together.

I especially love the break down at 2:50.

Katy Perry’s “California Girls (The Metal Version)”

God, these things just keep getting better. Andy Rehfeldt keeps cranking these things out and I keep enjoying them. I tend to enjoy the Pop->Metal versions more than the Metal->Pop versions. Fuck, the original song is horrible, but the metal version rocks.

The Silver Fox is PISSED.

“Do you consider yourself a bigot?” OUCH.

What Andrew Shirvell is doing is abhorrent. To target this student in this, frankly, insane manner is just beyond belief for me. I can’t even conceive of the dysfunctional mind that would become obsessed and fixated like this. Dude is fucked up for sure. I hope this has a good ending, i.e., Shirvell disgraced and fired and Chris Armstrong able to move on and not be fucked up by this.

Even better than how awkward Shirvell comes off is how fucking pissed Anderson Cooper is getting about this. Appropriately, of course, but it’s remarkable how hard he’s straining not to blow up at this idiot. Watch the video for the most bizarre news story I’ve encountered in a while. Such poor behavior from a public servant.