Yesterday Richard wrote an article about teenage girls and their rooms. I remember how special my room was when I was a teenager. My Boy George posters and my huge stereo with poor quality sound were definitely the focal points. The purpose of his article was not to simply give us a glimpse of different rooms around the world, but it was to really encourage us to step into the shoes of someone else for just a moment.
It can be really tough to be a child or teenager in today’s society, and we believe it is important to show compassion and love to those who may be going through a difficult time. I was a geek when I was growing up, and that was back when being a geek wasn’t popular. I remember being bullied hardcore in the 7th and 8th grade. I also remember wanting to end my life because growing up just seemed like it was too difficult.
Young people these days have it even harder. Bullying in schools is at an all time high. What’s even more disturbing is that it seems the kids who are doing the bullying are the popular ones. This article on U.S. News entitled Bullying May Accompany Drive To Be Popular says that the popular kids do the bullying because they think it will make them even more popular. Oh my gosh, this breaks my heart. What is the world coming to? Why do some people have to be so mean?
Lately, we’ve even heard of bullying transitioning from the traditional sense to the Internet. Cyber-bullying is becoming more popular also. This is where people spread rumors, leave nasty comments, post horrible pictures, send really mean texts, emails and tweets, and post nasty Facebook posts about a person with the sole intent of causing distress and ruining the person’s online reputation.
Now consider this… Imagine being a teenager in today’s society, which is already tough, and add to it the complexities of being lesbian, gay or bisexual. How does a teenager going through that experience even survive? As it turns out, many of them don’t. Teen suicide is very real, and very sad. In an effort to show these teens that they are not alone, and that this difficult time in life will pass, Google, Facebook, Pixar and may other companies are joining together to send a message to these teens on YouTube. Most recently, Apple has stepped up to participate.
In this very moving video, you’ll see Apple employees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender speak about how they were able to get through the perils of growing up and not being accepted, and ultimately how they went on to live successful happy lives. This is all part of the “It Gets Better” project. If you go to YouTube, and type in “It Gets Better,” you’ll see dozens of videos like this from people all over the world who are reaching out to these young people and showing compassion, acceptance and love.
If you are a gay or lesbian person who is experiencing this kind of hate in the world, we, like all of the other people and companies who have participated in this project, just want you to know that not everyone hates. There is love in the world for you. Your uniqueness is where you can draw your strength. It is what makes you special. Time is a great healer. Just give it time. It will get better, really, it will.