One of my favorite public figures, Dan Savage, recently launched a video project called It Gets Better. The premise is simple: GLBT grownups sharing encouraging words for GLBT teens and kids. Their message is simple: it gets better. He and his husband Terry recorded a video of their own, and encouraged folks like my friend Dave Holmes (above) to do the same.
Every adolescent faces enormously high stakes as they try to find a place for themselves in the world. Those stakes even higher for GLBT kids, or those questioning their sexual or gender identities. The next time someone gives you the “sticks and stones” argument, just remind the arguer of the relative suicide rates among straight and gay teens.
This message has particular resonance for me, and is particularly important for the world of men’s style. Many of the great heroes of men’s style have been gay men, and while I don’t buy the essentialist all-gays-are-well-dressed-all-straights-are-schlubs BS, there is a deep and unfortunate cultural interconnection between the well-dressed and homophobia.
So: whether you are gay or straight, I hope this project will encourage you to find your own place in the world. If you’re too young to find that place now, don’t worry: you’ll be able to find it in a few years. Stay safe, be happy, and get to know yourself. It gets better.