My Favorite It Gets Better Videos

A new fan of OLGINYC commented reminding us that actions are better than words.  I cannot agree with him more, still I find that the It Gets Better Videos are beacons of hope for individuals who cannot find a person to help them.

President Barack Obama

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton

Mine

And the Latest from Pixar

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10.08.10, My 31st Birthday and my first Flash Mob

A little after 6PM at New York’s Grand Central Terminal a whistle sounded three times.  After the third cry dozens of bodies slowly collapsed to the ground.

6PM on a Friday night in Grand Central Terminal is sort of a mash up of many things.  It’s a tourist stop and Friday is the day they all come to NYC.  It’s right after the work day when the trains to Westchester County and Fairfield County stop running express and drag on forever on the local schedule.  It’s where business men and women stop for drinks before heading home, it’s where brides and grooms take pictures after their NYC weddings.  On October 8, 2010, it let those busy, bustling people see the effects of homophobia.

property of Erika K. Davis

The fact is that Homophobia Kills.  It kills in a very real sense, the names of people we’ve lost due to homophobia were said aloud for all of those present could hear their names.  Homophobia also kills the soul.  When a gay youth is told that they are worthless, they are sinners, they are ugly, they are inhuman and they have no outlet or resource to give comfort their soul dies.  Just as a child should never be told they are stupid, no gay person should ever discount their worth. 

Property of Erika K. Davis

When people turn a blind eye to hateful words and ugly deeds, Homophobia Kills.  It was to be expected that hurried New Yorkers would walk over the bodies.  We were occupying one of the busiest spaces on the entire island, but the not seeing of the New Yorkers trying to make their trains, the lack of compassion to even stop and ask, the desire to not see the death around them was eye-opening and it’s more than just a metaphor it is reality.  People hear and see acts of violence done to LGBTQ people and instead of lending a hand, they walk away.

Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for repairing the world.  It is our duty, as Jews, to participate in the repair of the world on every level.  We grow up in a Christian society that spouts sayings like, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” but its loaded and rattled with inequalities.  Our society as always put some one, some class, some minority aside or down to lift another up.  We cannot sit idly by and watch this continue to happen.  I urge you, no I implore you to do what you can to repair the world. 

I often wonder what happened to the Civil Rights activists of the 60s and 70s, did they not teach their children to act up?  Why aren’t some of us, folks in our late 20s and 30s, children of these activists more active?  When they saw the world around them filled with injustice and inequality they marched, we hop online.  Personally, I always say but rarely do. 

Yesterday was my birthday and I felt alive watching the dead bodies lie in Grand Central Terminal.  I felt moved in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.  I was inspired and I was angry but the thing that I realized is that I should only be angry with myself for not moving, talking, acting sooner and found inspiration in those who gave their lives, unwillingly, to the cause.

Come out, Come out Where ever You are?

I used to feel this way and in some instances I think that it stands.  Celebrities, for example, should always come out with their homo flags flying.  It’s important that media figures, artists, actors, actresses, musicians, and political figures come out with their gay guns blazing.  It’s important that they show the world that they’re comfortable in their homo skin and it shows America and the world that gay comes in many different forms.  When celebrities come out it allows small town girl in Michigan that there are people out there who are like her, who are different, who are gay.

I feel the same way about showing positive images of women, people of color, and other minorities on television.  It doesn’t help society when all blacks are portrayed as absent minded, drug addict gang bangers.  Showing Asians as smart, good-doer prudes and Latinos as knife swinging, tequilla drinking thugs.  Just as gay men prancing around in glitter and tights don’t do gays any good.  Fact of the matter is that there are limp wristed gay boys, black men and women in gangs, Mexicans swigging tequilla, and an Asian girl getting into Princeton with her perfect SAT scores and GPA.  The vast majority of minorities fall in the middle, though.  Don’t we?

When you have positive images in the media of minority people it allows you to see a projection of yourself or a projection of who you aspire to be.  It is for this reason that I get angry when the media keeps shoveling the same bullshit down our throats.  It’s also why I stood on the side of come out ,be proud.  Until those teenagers took their lives for being who they are.  My tune has shifted a bit because it’s not always safe to come out and be who you are.  I applaud those young boys in glee club who wave their homosexual flag for the world to see.  I love the teen who refused to attend prom if not on the arm of her girlfriend.  On the other hand, there are so many different places and spaces where being gay, or perceived to be gay is like standing in front of a firing squad.

Growing up, I knew that I was gay.  I can remember my first realization when I had my first job at 15 at a local hotdog chain.  My boss and I were closing and she leaned over.  I could see down her shirt and she wasn’t wearing a bra.  Her breasts were small and perfect and the moment my eyes caught sight of her perfectly perky pink nipples there was an immediate warmth and aching in my shorts I never felt when I was in the back seat of a car making out with the pimply faced boyfriend I had.  I knew I was gay and waited 13 years to come out later.  It’s not that Toledo, Ohio was an anti-gay place, I just wasn’t ready to admit who I was. 

After the alarming number of recent suicides I’m feeling a little different.  I love Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project but on the other hand, I think that keeping kids safe is more important.  Schools need to have better laws, restrictions, and groups that support LGBTQ and questioning students.  Gay and Straight alliances aren’t an option in this day in age, they are required just as the Math Club or Student Council are mainstays of high school life.  There needs to be more safe spaces for LGBTQ youth to go to when they feel like there is no place to turn and parents need to come to the reality that their children may be gay.  Education on so many levels is severely lacking in our country and gay issues is one of the areas.  In the public school system, tolerance doesn’t need to be taught, acceptance needs to be the norm.   Lastly, so many of us, me included, need to do something to make it better for kids instead of waiting for someone to pick up the slack for us.