Sunday, November 07, 2010
it gets better.
I am a huge, huge fan of the It Gets Better Project. I was so, so lucky in school - I wasn't really bullied. I got through pretty easy. I really don't know how this happened - I was dorky and awkward and a drama geek - but somehow I got through with few scars. But I know people who were bullied badly - and it really leaves a mark, even 20+ years later.
With the rash of suicides by gay youth, there has been a strong public outcry against bullying. I can't imagine how hard it is to be young today - when I was in school, if you had a bad day, you could escape it when you came home. Now, between Twitter and Facebook and blogs and YouTube and texting and instant messaging, there is NO escape. I spend a lot of time thinking about this in regards to Jane, and hoping that I do everything right in letting her know that no matter how hard school may be for her (all the while crossing my fingers that it is relatively easy for her like it was for me) it DOES get better.
I'm sure you've seen all the It Gets Better videos that have been springing up everywhere, created by the likes of everyone from Barack Obama to Tim Gunn, and many many many others, encouraging young people and letting them know that the future truly is bright, and to get help if they need it. And because you know I'm a Broadway girl, this one is one of my favorites. One of the things I like about it is it doesn't just address people who may be enduring bullying because they are gay, but because they are poor, their religion, their ethnicity, etc. etc. It really applies to everyone.
One of my favorite parts of this is when Lin-Manuel Miranda (one of my Broadway boyfriends and creator and star of In the Heights) says this: "The very thing that makes you different in high school is the thing that makes you exceptional as an adult." Word to that.
Please watch (and like before, if the screen doesn't look right just click on the video to watch it on YouTube. But please watch. These people are all my heroes!).