- I posted the 'I Can't Believe it Got Better' picture on facebook last night, with this caption "this, in a very basic nutshell, is why i dislike dan savage extremely (plus other reasons) and why i utterly detest the gusto behind 'it gets better", and the following conversation ensued. (Let me emphasise that I was using the word 'detest' in reference to the overwhelming and excited support the movement is receiving, as if it will fix everything. I wasn't saying the concept of giving hope, in and of itself, is flawed.)
- Friend: This seems a bit alarmist. Sure there're some problems with the way Dan Savage presents this video, but to call the "It Gets Better" detestable as a response is ridiculous. If any New College kid told this same story, you'd totally have their back, and be empathetic for them, but for some reason everything that ever happens anywhere has to be offensive.
- Me: Thor, what I have a problem with (and the article I linked explains it a lot better) is that this campaign basically makes excuses for bullies and bigots and doesn't do anything proactive. Savage is basically saying 'Just take it for a few years, we won't do anything to help you except sit here and tell you it gets better.' It assumes a greaaat big deal about class and just...doesn't work. Hope and all of that is great, but when no one is acting to make broad changes that make the lives of the entire queer community more equal and easy, this is just a fucking cop out. Savage is also a slut shaming, victim blaming, fat shaming/hating, and gender insensitive asshole who may champion for the rich white gay community but forgets about the rest.
- I also have a bit of an issue with the fact that a) you're accusing me of being a novo-elitist by implying I would disregard and devalue the opinions of non-novocollegiates; and b) that you're implying I'm not touched by cases of kids sticking it out and making it. There is nothing wrong with that, and I admire anyone who makes it through oppression and bigotry, but what Dan Savage is doing is NOT PRODUCTIVE. He is making shitty excuses and comes up with nothing that can actually help makes it easier for these kids to make it through their lives and to make legal changes regarding bullying toward LGBT students. Dan Savagae needs to check his fucking privilege, and for a gay man, he's pretty exclusionary and hateful, which just goes to show you that hey, everyone can be an asshole regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
- Friend: First of all, let me apologize. I didn't mean to imply that it was a strictly New College thing; I meant that you would sympathize with anyone close to you who told you that story. But I don't understand how the movement is not productive. It's true that it doesn't focus on every side of the problem of homophobia; it's in no way a cure. However, saying that the movement is unproductive is like cursing band-aids. No matter what community you come from, it's important to know that life can get better. Just because a movement is only dedicated to one piece of a cause doesn't mean it does harm to the rest of it. "It Gets Better" is a really positive message, and sure, bullying needs to stop, but at the same time, victims of bullying need hope and reassurance, and it certainly doesn't do them harm to think that they can make it through personal adversities.
- Me: It's okay, I just felt like you were implying it, no biggie. And yes, I would sympathise, and I don't mean to say that it is a completely unproductive movement. I do however have a problem with people who advocate it as the sole way to go about treating the issue (as Dan Savage does) and I really take issue with the fact that this basically only applies to middle to upper class white kids. I also don't like that by saying "it gets better" it essentially gives bullies a free pass. I in no way mean to say that we shouldn't tell kids to hold out for hope, but what would be better is for people to become active about making an actual impact, rather than telling kids to tough it, which does not work in many cases.
- It Gets Better implies a lot of privilege and does not account for situations that go beyond an ignorant home town and kids who whip the word 'fag' out to bully verbally. We're talking about transgender kids, trapped in their bodies and their communities, coming from poor families, living in bad neighborhoods, who have to fear for their life and will most likely end up killing themselves or be murdered in the street. We're talking about the gender queer girl who is black and has to battle the hate and bigotry of her low-income community which hushes up homosexuality and treats her as if she doesn't exist. It gets better - for the middle class white kid who can move to Seattle and adopt a baby. It doesn't get better for a lot of other people. That's why I have such a problem with this campaign - Dan Savage only really advocates for a very, very specific subset of the LGBTQIA (GSM) community and ignores much larger facets. It is incredibly privileged, and like I said - I'm all for telling kids that it does get better, but for those that are in situations where it probably won't get better, it's a bunch of ignorant, privileged bullshit that just makes them feel like the only part of LGBTQIA that matters is WHITE LGB. And if IGBP had any sort of long term goals and intent of actually helping make things better, instead of waxing eloquent about moving to Europe and finding places to move to that are more accepting, they would be working to change the places that aren't accepting and helping to MAKE it better, rather than telling kids to wait for it to get better.
On a somewhat related note, Richard Morse sounds like Faris Badwan from the Horrors, and sometimes, when I hear Ram, I think I’m listening to Primary Colours.
If you have ANY Haitian music you’re willing to share, please please pleas OH PLEASE! let me know!
You understand me, Louis. Like no one else.
what was the last thing to make me laugh until i cried -
i don’t know if this is a sad answer or not, but i laugh so much, and so often, that i can’t totally recall. i did laugh uncontrollably at jess’s graduation dinner tonight, but i’m not sure what it was about.
favourite memory of this past summer -
hiking to bassin bleu in jacmel, haiti, and diving off of cliffs. such a beautiful day.
a story about me and my best friend -
man, all the best stories are too sensitive for the internet. there was one time where marty and i were driving to taco bell from growlers and she was a little on the drunk side and got out at red lights to dance in the street and tried to seduce the guy at taco bell for more hot sauce. still makes me smile :)
how i met the person i fell hardest for -
oh christ. i can’t remember the first time i met him exactly but, when we started whatever it is that we started, it was 11/11/11, it was cold and we were at the wall, and we talked for hours, and then he made me breakfast after a really amazing night. and i fell hard. i fell pretty fucking hard and i’m not sure what to do.
and i just realised it’s been a month and i feel so ridiculous for having fallen so hard. goddamn i just want him to hold me.
MUST FORCE MYSELF TO DO P90X
I am so tired. Fuck all this working, I changed my availability today. No more 35 hour work week. Can’t handle the bullshit, all I want to do is sleep after I work.