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It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

In the spirit of the recent wave of encouraging videos (literally, intending to bestow “courage”) of credible speakers offering a vision of a hopeful future to LGBTQ youth who experience daily torture at the hands of bullies, I would like to make a slightly different remark. In my experience (which includes daily torture, usually witnessed by disaffected bystanders many of whom woke up one day to realize they should have said or done something to stop it), the notion that life will get better does LITTLE TO PROTECT US from bullying.

What we need more than encouragement are COURAGEOUS ADVOCATES. We need escorts to and from school restrooms, buses, parking lots and doorsteps. We need vigilant allies who will speak out against humiliating rhetoric and nasty comments meant to intimidate and demoralize us. We need parents, teachers, coaches and principals who will refuse to tolerate bullying or hatred of any kind.

Pardon me for declining to be so optimistic… But what we need is people coming together to coordinate something OTHER than homophobic, sexist, racist hatred and fear. We need ACTION more than encouragement. We need to see others stepping into the crossfire, showing us we are worth defending.

I needed that. I am sure others needed that. I know many others need that now. I pledge to create the world I am envisioning. Will you join me?