I’m sure many people have seen the reports of the gay teen suicides in the US. Pretty difficult to miss. It’s not a new thing, but to see it, one after another, kids killing themselves, it points to what’s going down still.
In response to this there’s been the “It Gets Better” campaign, which has been wonderful to see. So many people reaching out, to pull people through.
I have to admit, I don’t think I could make one of those videos right now, and the reason is because it’s difficult to honestly look in a camera and say “it get’s better” to a teenager. I mean, it does, it should, eventually, but I know how frickin awful it can get, and keep on getting worse, past your teens, all through your twenties, until whatever age it is you find the actual support or chances you need. Of course my experiences were of the 1980’s, not the 2010’s, so I sure as hell hope it’s better now. See? This really wouldn’t make a good video lol.
I could make a video with my husband though, that I could do, because he’s amazing. But like I said, until you get the support or chances you need – that’s the key. The support and the chances have to be there for these kids, not when they’re 40, or 30, or 20, but when they’re doing all the growing up things that other kids are doing during childhood. That’s when you really need to be shown that you are equal, rather than null, nothing, or less than nothing. I just can’t tell kids “it gets better”, because it doesn’t just get better, it gets better because of the right stuff happening at the right time, and the way things can change. I can tell kids “we’ll make it get better”, because that is my intention, and as an adult, I don’t expect kids to save themselves, or be saved by life.
Healing can be a slow process, but the changes that have taken place in my life since the breakdown I went through when I was about 30 have been immense. Most especially since I got past 40. Damn, what a magic number that was for me! Since I really came out, found community, relationship and love, a more solid identity, and my husband, my new life – what isn’t possible? I can say that now.
Let me tell you though, I can face towards shadows and feel like a worthless kid real easy. I can look in a mirror and not understand how anyone could like that person. I could look, and cringe, and know it’s a pastiche of fakes.
But I’d be wrong. I actually know that now, deeper than the messages of lack of support that were there before.
I really thank everyone who has helped me. Everyone. And all those people who taught me by their example that I could be a man, a man I’d like and value, and that could be loved by a good man.
And I was, and am, loved by a handsome, good man, who I was handfasted to in 2005.
I do appreciate those “it get’s better” videos though, and hope they are really, really making a difference to people out there. I really liked the two below, for their courage, humour and their heart. So many beautiful people reaching out. I would totally hug you all back.