I could not be happier to share with you a couple of websites that came to my attention only today, and that directly address the concerns I had regarding the "It Gets Better" project, which I expressed in the posts 'Skepticism of the "It Gets Better" Project' and '"It Gets Better," Part Three--Have We Missed the Point?'.
While I was initially thrilled with Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" efforts to prevent questioning, LGBT, and bullied youth from committing suicide, then subsequently disappointed, I don't think we can underestimate the impact Savage's efforts, and those who contributed their own videos, have had on creating an awareness around this issue in ways I'm not sure anyone has previously. But now that we've gotten over the initial excitement of someone giving us a voice and finding our own voices through videos, blog posts, etc., it's time to take things to the next level.
The "Make It Better Project" does just that. What I love about this project is it doesn't ignore where LGBTQ youth are right now--namely, in public school systems around North America, and the world for that matter, dealing with daily bullying related to their sexual orientation. It doesn't address the issue of bullying by telling youngsters things will get better when they graduate from high school, or when they grow up, or when they move on to their adult lives.
Rather, it looks at providing specific steps youngsters, parents, teachers, and other interested parties can take right now to create a better quality of life in our public schools. It gives hope bullied children can take back control, stop looking at themselves as victims, and create a greater awareness around how they are different so their classmates no longer fear what they don't understand.
Like Isaiah says in the introductory video on the website:
We're not helpless.
We're not ruled by adults.
We're not just waiting to grow up.
We have lives right now.
And we have power right now.
And we can use that to make it better...
Here's what I see: I see a world in which bullying is stopped, no matter the cause of it, but especially that targeted at LGBTQ youth. I see a world where young adults don't graduate from high schools hating themselves because they're gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. I see a world where young adults don't waste the better part of their 20s, 30s, or even longer to attempt to overcome the damage done to their self-esteem because of their grade school experience. I see a world where young LGBT adults do not feel hindered in any way because of their sexual orientation--to be the people they were meant to be, and to live the full and productive lives they were meant to live.
So the two websites I referred to at the opening of this post are:
Please be sure to visit these sites, subscribe to them, and support them in whatever ways you can.
It's up to us to make it better right now, and we can do it.