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It Gets Better ~ Favorite Videos

tampa24

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Hey Everyone,

I was perusing Youtube looking at videos for the intenet campaign of "It Gets Better". There was one video that I was so impressed with that I wanted to share it with you. For those of you who aren't aware of the campaign it really gained a sense of urgency when we had the terrible rash of gay suicides last year. The suicide of Tyler Clemente (18 y/o) and that of 3 other boys who were between the ages of like 10-15 were and are a real wake-up call.

The video that I most wanted to show you is of a young man who speaks so much from the heart. He obviously had to fight in the trenches and battle all of that homophobia at an extremely young age. Even though he's an absolute doll he looks so young that rather than having sexual thoughts about him...I just have the desire to give him a big hug and kiss.

There's also a bit of cosmic humor here in Broke Straight Boys Land that he goes by the name: "The Other Tyler". I felt like it was a privilege to watch his homemade vid and hear him share his story. Please let me know what you think.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_VNjsCGcA&feature=related
 
He's a perfectly terrific kid. Thank you so much Tampa for posting him.

The whole right margin of the YouTube page he's on has more contributions to the campaign, home videos by mostly young guys who had to wait till they were 20 to start living. That's the message I took away, that all these beautiful children had to mark time, suffering the obscenity of bullying and abuse and worse, until they were finally able to get the fuck out of their environments and find somewhere where they could be themselves. I hope the chirpy bravery you see in all these clips makes a difference to even just one endangered child who decides to persevere with his hellish existence, and not cut his wrists. Thank you again Tampa.
 
Add my thanks, Tampa, for your posting this video for us all to see. My experiences growing up weren't as dramatic as this guy's . . . yet I still identified strongly with him. So my thanks go out, too, to the guy in the video. He gave a valuable -- and possibly life-saving -- message to today's kids.
 
I totally agree that Tyler's video is terrific, and hopefully will be viewed by many many young people going through the same type of harassment and humiliation, and that his positive message that "it gets better" will actually save lives.

I always knew that I was gay, throughout school, but I was not considered a "sissy", but on a few occasions in both junior high school an in high school, other kid's who I had been friends with, must have noticed me staring at their body in gym class, or otherwise could tell that I was gay, and on two or three occasions, I was called a fag and or queer. So even on a much smaller basis, I can relate to how it feels. Great job Tyler, and thank you Tampa for posting this very important video.
 
So my thanks go out, too, to the guy in the video. He gave a valuable -- and possibly life-saving -- message to today's kids.

I am very pleased that many of you like the video. Lwdeal makes the true point that our gratitude really goes to the beautiful human being who made the video. I was struck by his eloquence and ease with public speaking. As I said earlier I was so dumbfounded by the power of his words that I felt that it was my privilege just to have been able to see it.

I have seen several of the "It Gets Better" videos. But for the targeted age group..if I had to pick a video that had to be shown in anti-bullying high school presentations...it would be this one. They might have to bleep out the language in parts but I think Tyler makes a most compelling case against bullying. Plus of course he makes one of the most hopeful appeals to those who are bullied...to stay strong.

Maybe fewer gay teens and younger (or even slightly older) will not feel that hopelessness that their last shred of self esteem and dignity is the only thing standing between them and a noose.
 
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I totally agree that the video 'the other tyler' has great messages to oppressed kids, but there is one other thought that came to mind as I watched him. I've dealt with kids who aren't rich, who don't own 'stuff' typical teens have, who aren't good-looking with great teeth and perfect skin, who don't appear popular or well-spoken...I can just imagine them thinking "it's easy for you to say that," especially when something like a private high school option is out of the picture. I'm reminded of in-shape, good-looking people encouraging fat people to eat better, exercise, do healthy activities--those for whom the message is sent often despair that they would never look that good.

I suppose the parallel for Broke Straight Boys viewers is that we like seeing sexy, good-looking models who are in shape, have great personalities, huge appendages...at least the models serve the purpose of fulfilling many a fantasy. Remember the times people allude to enjoying seeing a more 'typical' sized cock? Sometimes people want to feel like they aren't in the minority. Online self-descriptions for dating services or porn sites make me think there are a lot of closeted fishermen out there who know how to tell a tale...

[ok robert, I dedicate this post to you because you're one of the Broke Straight Boys'ers who can influence me to post :) must be that private avatar...]
 
My teenage years in school

I totally agree that Tyler's video is terrific, and hopefully will be viewed by many many young people going through the same type of harassment and humiliation, and that his positive message that "it gets better" will actually save lives.

I always knew that I was gay, throughout school, but I was not considered a "sissy", but on a few occasions in both junior high school an in high school, other kid's who I had been friends with, must have noticed me staring at their body in gym class, or otherwise could tell that I was gay, and on two or three occasions, I was called a fag and or queer. So even on a much smaller basis, I can relate to how it feels. Great job Tyler, and thank you Tampa for posting this very important video.

Dear Mikeyank,

I spent most of my middle school and high school years being hated, called every name in the book even before I knew what they meant, had my name scribbled all over the bathroom walls in high school, so much so that the Dean of Students in my Catholic High School called me into his office not to admonish me but to have some understanding as I had to assume the posture fo a "social isolate through these painful junior and high school years to survive". I mastered the art of being invisible most of the time, but whenever there was a bullie wanting a target, I was always easily found. I stuck out like a sore thumb. I refused to have any part in athletics because I blamed the football culture and all of sports for making my life a living hell.

My home had a fifty foot wide front porch and it was used for throwing rotten eggs at my house repeatedly and shattering a window pane on a frequent basis. A heavy glass bottle was thrown at my house and broke through one of the panels on the solid wood front door. We had a gas lantern in the front yard leading to our front porch and it was routinely targeted with the glass panels smashed and the natural gas flame extinguished. Twice I had a car speed up and just missed me by a question of mere inches when walking home from school. I will forever remember the gust of wind engulfing me as it sped by just barely missing me while screaming, laughing, and shouting hateful things at me. The same person driving with a car full of guys did it twice in one day and followed me to my home. I had to dart through stranger's yards until I finally reached my house safely.

Not even counting all the verbal and physical threats I routinely took at school between class and during lunch, I always refused to fight back and turned my back and walked away. Sometimes they were just waiting at each of the exits from school to jump on me when they had the chance.

I spent all my teenage years constantly asking myself what I had done to deserve all of this? I stuck to myself and avoided from bothering anyone. Yet, it came anyway because I was an easy target. I hated going to school, especially on the days when we had PE and I would be in the dressing room with minimal supervision from the coach. On PE day, I walked to school as if I was about to face my execution.

I went through high school wishing I was dead. My school work suffered because I didn't want to be singled out by praise. By the time I left high school, I was convinced that asking someone, anyone to be my friend was simply too much to expect as it came at too high a price. I fwas convinced that I was the most hated person in my school, and only for the unforgiveable crime of being different.

I kept much of what had gone on in school to myself. My father died from leukemia when I was finishing the 9th grade. My mother, as a consequence of all this bullying, was constantly asking me to tell her about what was going on. And, in typical teenage fashion, I kept all but what she had to know about to myself. I never complained to the Dean of Students or anybody that could have had my best interest at heart.

Because of all this accumulated frustration, I took out my anger on my mother, who had no reason to deserve this treatment from anybody, much less from me. It is called displaced hostility (anger). She was too convenient and I was too stupid to know how to get a handle on my situation otherwise without verbally abusing her. After I frequently exploded at home, I always told her that I wasn't mad with her, only mad at myself. But hurt is hurt. And, when you have no place to hide, you have no place to hide!

In keeping with the theme of this video, "It Only Gets Better", I began a new life when I reported to college 150 miles away and learned that people could like me afterall. I learned to make real friends. I learned that I was not the lowest form of life, after all! And, I learned that I could be loved by others outside of my own family. Had I not gone to college and developed socially, I could have easily become some sociopathic mass-murderer, I guess. Thank god I did not have access to guns.

While in college, I became turned on about "social responsibility". Yes, social responsibility in the raucous/revolutionary '60's and '70's, I left college life with the understanding that people are the only thing that makes life worth living and that I wanted to be of help to others. So, following my graduation from college, I became a high school counselor in public schools for the next 36 years contributing to helping others have a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

That is as honest an accounting as I am capable of giving,


Sincerely,


Stimpy
 
There is another video posted by Google employees who were inspired to do something after all the suicides. All of these people are near geniuses to even be hired in the first place. Google is like the NASA of the computer world. They will only hire the best and brightest.

Anyone wanting to be hired must submit all of their college transcripts. If they got a B in any class relevant to their major they are expected to explain this in the interview. They have a white easel board in the room with markers. They are expected to write out and explain complex calculations that they will be using at work, to the interviewer's satisfaction.

In this video I am especially struck by the story of the young man who tells of being alone and scared in his bedroom as a child. Knowing that one day he would have to tell his family. He alluded to the fear, shame, sexual frustration and embarrassment of being a very closeted gay kid living in such a "masculine" household with 3 older brothers.

The message in this one from many people of various backgrounds is one of hope. :001_smile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYLs4NCgvNU
 
My God, Stimpy. I don't know how you managed to get through that with any of your sanity left. I think it's wonderful though that you used all of that horrible experience from childhood to help out other high school students who were dealing with the trials and tribulations of adolescence.

Thank you for sharing your story.
 
Dear Mikeyank,

I spent most of my middle school and high school years being hated, called every name in the book even before I knew what they meant, had my name scribbled all over the bathroom walls in high school, so much so that the Dean of Students in my Catholic High School called me into his office not to admonish me but to have some understanding as I had to assume the posture fo a "social isolate through these painful junior and high school years to survive".

I went through high school wishing I was dead. My school work suffered because I didn't want to be singled out by praise. By the time I left high school, I was convinced that asking someone, anyone to be my friend was simply too much to expect as it came at too high a price. I fwas convinced that I was the most hated person in my school, and only for the unforgiveable crime of being different.

That is as honest an accounting as I am capable of giving,


Sincerely,


Stimpy
Dear Stimpy,

Thank you so much for opening your heart, and sharing with your friends here on the forum what must have been a torturous existence. As I stated earlier on this thread, I can recall three guys from high school who called me a fag or queer, and I can clearly recall all of the circumstances of all three, so I cannot imagine what a hell it must have been for you to be treated as you were for such an extended period of time.

Although we are approximately the same age, and grew up at the same time in the United States, I was in New York City and you were in the South, and I'm sure that there was a world of difference in how people treated whom they perceived to be gay, or queer, or a fag.

Your story puts the video's that gay kid's are posting today on you tube into perspective, and it shows that hate and prejudice are nothing new. I'm glad that you came out of this brutal period, a better man for it. Thanks again for sharing your story.
 
Thank you Tampa for the link. I ended up spending hours looking at all the different stories. I cried, smilled and also felt proud. I have to wonder how many lives could have been saved had this project been created sooner. Still, poud that so many people have added their voices and video to this project is amazing. Thank you again!
 
I found myself doing the same thing. I spent quite a while looking at several videos from It Gets Better. And I shed a few tears and also felt great pride at various moments. I'm glad you guys are enjoying some of the videos posted.
 
I went back to the Youtube site today and found another video that I think is definitely worth watching. I was deeply affected by this one. The majority of the "It Gets Better" videos are trying to talk our youth out of suicide. They try to convince them that if they can just last through high school (and perhaps college) that they have so much to look forward to in life. Which is true of course. While the people I am about to show you would agree on the overwhelming need to prevent suicides, they are also uniquely blunt about the daily trials and tribulations of being a gay adult.

For straight people who think gays have all kinds of acceptance nowadays they still don't know the emotional struggles we face on a regular basis. Our hopes, our dreams, our worries and our heartaches are still part of the American Experience that few people understand or are even aware of. Although these people are Americans I think they speak pretty well for most of us in the Western World.

When I was a small child in the 70's I watched evangelists like Oral Roberts on television and most everyone considered him a great man. His reputation was tarnished a little bit later in life by some of his more controversial actions and statements. The evangelicals today are even more politically involved than they were in decades past.

The man you are about to hear from in this first video tells an intensely personal story. Fasten your seatbelts because this is a rough ride. He has a degree in English Literature. He is nervous, passionate and very bright. He speaks fast so it may take some concentration to follow him. Make sure you follow the video all the way to the end because there is more after he finishes speaking.

I was absolutely blown away by who this person is. I'm sure that many of you will be also. This is NOT a story you will be reading about in a local evangelical newsletter. For reasons that will become obvious.

Please let me know what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYa0wi4XzeI
 
The man in this video tells a much different story. Most of us remember in high school that there were certain people who could be counted to use all the derogatory anti-gay slurs and the ones who were most likely to physically harm anyone they thought was gay. This man tells the tale of how he was one of the main bullies in his town who physically assaulted and otherwise harassed gay kids during his youth.

He is tormented by guilt and perhaps he wonders if he will ever get forgiveness for it. You get the sense that he has had many sleepless nights dwelling on the past as he has reached adulthood. His is not an uplifting story of overcoming obstacles. Because his story is unfinished. He battles many demons from his past, and his present is full of regrets also. But he carries on in the hope that the future will be brighter. I couldn't help but feel deep sympathy for this man and his situation. I think it was very brave of him to make this video on the "It Gets Better" site. I hope you'll agree.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXNbNbQOym4
 
I agree Tampa....I shared this with my IT savvy bro-in-law. DO NOT get me wrong, he is perfectly fine with the fact that I am 'who I am', however, the veracity about Google, is awesome!


There is another video posted by Google employees who were inspired to do something after all the suicides. All of these people are near geniuses to even be hired in the first place. Google is like the NASA of the computer world. They will only hire the best and brightest.

Anyone wanting to be hired must submit all of their college transcripts. If they got a B in any class relevant to their major they are expected to explain this in the interview. They have a white easel board in the room with markers. They are expected to write out and explain complex calculations that they will be using at work, to the interviewer's satisfaction.

In this video I am especially struck by the story of the young man who tells of being alone and scared in his bedroom as a child. Knowing that one day he would have to tell his family. He alluded to the fear, shame, sexual frustration and embarrassment of being a very closeted gay kid living in such a "masculine" household with 3 older brothers.

The message in this one from many people of various backgrounds is one of hope. :001_smile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYLs4NCgvNU
 
Beautiful in Spirit!

Dear Tampa,

These are uplifting testimonies that take considerable personal integrity on the part of all contributors. They deserve a place of honor for this compassionate service for their fellow man.

No matter the times or the progress made in sociological changes towards acceptance, it takes only one delusional, self-hating homophobe/bully to react in an unacceptable manner, convinced that God or some other higher power has told them to act in this hateful and unredeemable way.

I commend all of those who have participated in this "It Gets Better" public service announcements for their being so beautiful in spirit attempting to alleviate the suffering others they may never have the opportunity to even meet. Teens or pre-teens usually feel the world revolves around them and they have great difficulty in looking at hateful events other that highly personal and something they probably deserved. There is no way in which to accurately quantify all of the potential suicides that have been avoided.

With little if any perspective on life during your teen years, it takes so very little to bring someone to the brink of suicide. Next to oxygen, teens live for acceptance. Going through high school where I was hated for being different, I could see no chance of things actually getting better in the foreseeable future and personal thoughts of suicide was my almost constant companion expecially for the 9th - 11th grades. Even if I refused to share with my mother at the time exactly what I was going through, at least I did have her unconditional love, which many kids today don't have this consolation.

Although the bullying was hurtful, I was blessed with not being too impulsive or self-destrictive at the time and eventually got through it to essentially restart my life when I went away to college. Then, "It Got Better" for good!


Sincerely appreciative,


Stimpy
 
To Tampa and all of my wonderful friends in Forumland. First, Tampa, thank you for allowing the Trevor Project to advance by bringing it to the attention of our membership. Every time anyone reads a single contribution, of which there are now thousands, understanding increases, and Hope for a better life is born again. To all the members who have contributed to "It Gets Better", by sharing their own story, or by sharing one from the archive, Thank You So Much!

As an older gentleman, I am fortunate to remember the early days of "Gay Lib", when we dreamed that someday we would be free to be ourselves, fiercely proud of our lives, even while we stayed hidden deep in our closets of shame and loneliness. Years of struggle led many of us to some measure of self worth, and even pride. And now we are finally at a point where we can look to our future, one that includes the youth of today, and we can help assure that future by telling, and showing, all those affected by orientation harassment that it really does get better. So, again, thank you to all my forumites for the generosity of spirit each of you has shown! God Bless!
 
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