Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting Better All the Time

In the wake of two recent gay teen suicides, journalist Dan Savage and his husband created the "itgetsbetterproject" where, beginning with the two of them, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender adults post videos telling their own stories for the benefit of young people to let them know the pain, bullying, doubts and suffering they are going through right now are only temporary.

These videos are staggering in the emotion they inspire (which reaffirms my theory that we don't cry at tragedy as much as we cry at acts of goodness in the midst of injustice). There are dozens of them, maybe hundreds before long, a collection of citizen voices that shows the Web at its best. It is humanizing writ large.

Go dig for yourself, but here's a few of my favorites. This girl, in particular, is unbelievably articulate, inspiring and, ultimately, loving, movingly so in the final moments:

This video that just went live is from a collection of Google employees. I'm particularly impressed by the courage of the transgender participant, but the overall effect is so strong:

It makes me wonder if bigots watching this will decide to switch their search engine of choice. The following video by Dallas' Turtle Creek Chorale is interesting for a number of reasons. It's a large collection of voices, drawn from religious congregations in, yes, Texas, and when the actual performance starts we see the pictures of all too many gay kids who took their own lives -- the power of classical music to break our hearts, the power of this ensemble of strong, accomplished musicians en masse to strengthen them:

Lastly, my favorite President of my lifetime thus far:

I'd like to imagine El Presidente George W. Bush making a video like this during his Presidency. Or, had he won, President McCain. Or (fear it) imaginary President Palin.

But I can't.

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