Saturday, October 16, 2010

It gets better for everyone

I've been looking at Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project, and it occurs to me that it's more broadly applicable. I must emphasize that this in no way intended to minimize or trivialize the unique hell that queer kids in closed-minded places go through, just to build on and expand the message. If you're a kid or teen being tormented for something other than being queer - because your peers don't like your clothes or your hobbies or your tastes or your looks, or for some other unnamed breach of some unspoken rule - it gets better too!

In the real world, if someone thinks you have a big nose, they assume you already know and get on with their life.

In the real world, if someone doesn't like your clothes, they don't give it any further thought because they have bigger concerns.

In the real world, if someone doesn't want to be your friend, they're cordial when you're both in the same place at the same time and just don't make any overtures towards spending more time together.

In the real world, if someone sees you walking around without any friends with you, they assume you're a competent person going about your own life and your friends are also competent people going about their own lives.

In the real world, if someone doesn't like your hobbies or interests or taste in music, they leave you to it and go about their own lives.

In the real world, there's an online community (and, in any good-sized city, a real-life community) that's into whatever you're into. And they don't expect you to be into all the same things as they are either. Your gaming group isn't going to care if you like a different kind of music than they do. Your band isn't going to care if you don't play ultimate frisbee.

In the real world, if for whatever reason you find yourself in a situation you don't like or that makes you uncomfortable or where people are being idiots, you can walk away. You aren't trapped in school until the bell or stuck in the schoolbus until your stop. Your siblings and parents aren't trying to barge into your room all the time. You can come and go as your please. You have a car and/or a subway station around the corner and/or a cell phone and cab fare in your pocket, and you can always leave and go home and lock the door, or leave and go somewhere else that's more fun. In the real world, you can come and go as you please.

In the real world, you can look like you look, wear what you like, love whomever you love, do what you enjoy, and come and go as you please. People who like it will join in, and people who don't like it will simply disregard you.

1 comment:

L-girl said...

Yup. This is what I'm always trying to say about the "it gets better" project, too.