Wednesday's Visual Treat - Day 3/ Everyday Objects of Extraordinary Design (the mirror)
Today's visual treat, of a boy examining his reflection in the mirror, says so much . For some at 11 or 12, maybe 13 or 14, the person staring back at you from the mirror is not the person you had expected to see, or wanted to be. The body starts stretching itself, as well as adding bulk to a frame which will gradually evolve into the man or woman whose chances of being smart, pretty/handsome, successful, passionate, disciplined, talented, and so forth are a combination of genes, environment, and pure luck. Equally possible are the chances of being a slouch/sloth/slut/spud/spade/sod and so forth; however to mitigate and prevent this unwanted personal development which adds very little to the quality of one's life, most concerned parents usually step in and do the wonderful and sometimes thankless job called parenting which they vowed to undertake somewhere between conception and your birth. Yet some kids regardless of the love and support which ideally has been provided to them since childhood, experience other emotions which make them feel different from their peers. In the time between examining one's self in the mirror, and the mental highs and lows easily and quickly experienced within minutes by a teenage boy or girl who is daily bombarded with messages, images, expectations, directives, assumptions from friends, family, school, and the media, some will realize that what makes them most different is that what they are experiencing are feelings incongruous with mainstream society's emphatically stated norms of: boy is attracted to girl, or girl is attracted to boy, they date and fall in love; and with few exceptions this sequence has historically become the fairly-tale that is 'sold' to Eddie, Scottie, Tod, Vicky, Sue, and Zoe and others who, if of the heterosexual orientation, happily swallow the myth and arm-in-arm, giggling proceed to a dewy place of romantic bliss and continued happiness. The problem starts when Eddie realizes that he is attracted to Scottie (or Vicky 'falls' for Zoe) and there does not seem to exist some sort of story-line which allows these two young persons to explore their emotional and sexual longings; kids who may or may not be Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender when unable or unwilling to communicate or share this dilemma with a peer, family friend, trusted teacher, or clergy-person becomes increasingly isolated and prone to periods of anxiety or depression. Why would they shut down, you may ask, when there are so many people around who can help; well, unless it is explicitly stated as being other than heterosexual or a component of the 'straight' world which they quickly discern even in its subtlest form, these particular kids in the already vulnerable period of adolescence assume that any discussion which deviates from this norm will probably not be welcomed or facilitated. And so they remain silent/withdrawn/anxious/unhappy and unable to imagine a future where love, respect, and happiness could be attained. Sadly, other kids find themselves in hostile neighborhoods or schools where bullying, verbal and physical violence against G/L/B/T persons are condoned without any oversight from the administration or authorities. They frequently become victims of discrimination and targeted violence and in some extreme cases, are killed. Equally troubling are the suicides where young people look around them and cannot see any other options for themselves, and so choose to end their lives. While shock, horror and inertia gripped many following a number of GLBT teen suicides in 2010, one person decided to do something, and the IT GETS BETTER Project was created.
' In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
Two months later, the It Gets Better Project (TM) has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring over 10,000 user-created videos viewed over 35 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of "Glee", Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more. For us, every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it.
The website www.itgetsbetter.org is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN. '
Hope you enjoyed today's visual treat and the pleasure of knowing that by forwarding or sharing this posting in its entirety with someone, you may have the opportunity to change the shape of their life. Makes it easier for everyone to look in their respective looking-glass mirror when self-love and respect dwells within. Also peace and compassion.