Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It gets better for queer Latinos - sometimes



In the wake of a recent increase in reported suicides by young queer folk in the United States, gay journalist Dan Savage had a little idea back in September: What if people could upload short videos on YouTube and speak from personal experience telling younger folk who might be going through rough waters or be considering suicide that their lives mattered and to stick it through the hard times?

Using his nationally syndicated sex-advice column and highly visited blog, Savage launched a YouTube channel he called The "It Gets Better" Project and invited people to post their videos there.

The response has been overwhelming. In just one month, the site has posted more than 2,000 videos which have garnered more than 10 million views.  Just yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted her own take.  Accordingly, there has been the need to create a stand alone site called, not surprisingly, "It Gets Better" which allows you to submit videos and also provides links to The Trevor Project for kids who might be feeling bullied and overwhelmed and might be thinking of taking their lives.



That's the background.  What I wanted to highlight is that a friend of mine, Emmanuel Garcia, has been taking a look at the videos and been compiling a list of those submitted by Latino folk ("Latin@s: It Gets Better / Se Pone Mejor").

I have posted a couple of the videos featured by Emmanuel. If you have leads on any other "It Gets Better" videos submitted for the project not listed on Emmanuel's blog, please go to the link above and leave a reply message on his post indicating which videos he might have missed.

2 comments:

kyledeb said...

Why the "sometimes" in the title, hermano?

Andrés Duque said...

Hey Kyle...

Other people have asked as well. I was indirectly referring to what Alicia says in the second video. Overall, I love the "It Gets Better" Project and how it has allowed thousands of people to speak up in support of LGBT youth. Yes, some celebrities have done a few spots, but mostly it's an array of regular folk standing up for our teens. I think it's a tremendously moving uprising of visible expressions of support and that it has tremendous positive impact. I also love the fact that it's not driven by one organization or one person, but by anyone who posts a video making what began as Dan Savage's idea take a life of its own.

But, unfortunately, that, as uplifting some of these videos are, in some cases they will not provide respite nor will they improve the life of many. My thoughts particularly turn to some members of the transgender community or whose gender does not conform to societal expectations, who might face bigger obstacles, particularly as young people.

So, while the hope is that life will get better for a lot of people who might be going through difficult times as teens, there should also be efforts to provide survival tools for those teens whose life will take longer to improve.

So, in that sense, life gets better - sometimes.