Saturday, October 16, 2010

"It Gets Better"...

Joel Burns, a gay Fort Worth, Texas councilman, had some words to say about the epidemic of gay teen suicides in America and the factors which ultimately drove them to end their own lives. It's a topic I'm extremely familiar with, one that I've very rarely touched on in all the time I've been blogging. Burns managed to relate his personal take on this very sensitive subject while sitting in a government chamber with a video camera pointed at his face. I sure as hell couldn't do that...



At around 4:20, as he made his plea to any and every gay teenager watching, Burns started to choke up. As he told of his own experiences of being bullied and feeling that something was very wrong with him, I started choking up as well. It sounded very much like what I had to endure during my own teen years. I've been pretty open about myself in many ways as a blogger, but again, these are the things that I very rarely talk about with anyone -- things which played a large role in preventing me from even admitting to myself that I was gay until I was 37, even though it's perfectly clear to me now that I've always been gay.

But everything Joel Burns said in that clip is true. I did what he said the gay teens suffering in isolation will do one day, if they give themselves a chance -- I got out of that high school, I got away from that town, and though I think it took a hell of a lot longer than it should have, my life did, in fact, get better. And yes, people's attitudes toward homosexuality have, generally speaking, improved dramatically, just in my own lifetime.

I've never attempted suicide, but many are the times when I seriously considered it, both as a kid and as an adult. It was hard for me to watch that whole clip, but I'm glad I did. "It gets better." I hope every gay boy and girl takes that message to heart.

Thank you, Councilman Burns.

3 comments:

  1. I saw this on the news last night. It was very touching to hear him speak from the heart. I was almost in tears watching it. Such strength he had to speak about his early years. You have that strength too!! I am proud of you, the way you can speak you mind and stand up for yourself and all you believe in. Good for you!! M. :-)

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  2. Bartkid sez,
    If you hadn't posted this clip, I was going to post a comment here about it to let you know about it.

    I've seen several "It Gets Better" clips, all worth the few minutes time.

    As someone on the receiving end of a fair bit of bullying, I feel sympatico. Thought you might, too.

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