First, at long last here is the Phillies' "It Gets Better" message featuring Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry, Jr. and Michael Stutes...
Regarding "It Gets Better," there's been a discussion of its merits on the Outsports Jock Talk Blog in response to a post about a story from Canada. A local paper is doing a series on area gay athletes, and they started with a teenage hockey player who isn't out of the closet and is fearful of people finding out he's gay. The comments have turned into a debate on whether or not the "It Gets Better" project is actually worthwhile.
I am sick of this debate.
Wait. Let me re-state this for emphasis:
I AM SICK OF THIS DEBATE!
I'm tired of hearing comments that "It Gets Better" is no good or a waste or whatever because (pick an excuse) "well, it didn't get better for me" or "they aren't really doing anything to help" or "everyone's doing it, it's just a fad" or "it's only gay white men who are rich or middle-class whose lives got better."
This point seems to keep getting lost: "It Gets Better" videos were never meant to be the be-all and end-all of helping kids. THE POINT OF THE VIDEOS IS TO PASS ALONG MESSAGES TO GIVE KIDS SOME HOPE IN THEIR TIME OF NEED. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN, STILL IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE JOB OF SOCIETY TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO HELP THESE KIDS.
In addition, many of the videos (not to mention the "It Gets Better" website) direct kids to the Trevor Project hotline (866-4-U-TREVOR or 866-488-7386) and website to get help. Thankfully, "It Gets Better" has also generated money and publicity for the Trevor Project.
If just ONE kid has watched these videos -- whether made by famous people such as the Phillies (and other MLB teams) or actors or musicians, or just by ordinary people who have their own stories to tell -- and decided NOT to attempt suicide, then "It Gets Better" IS a success. It works. There's no point in debating this at all. None whatsoever. This is as cut-and-dried as it gets.
And if, for whatever reason, you don't like "It Gets Better" but you still give a damn about LGBT youth, then here's some friendly advice: GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING TO HELP. Talk to kids, if you know any. Volunteer your time with the Trevor Project or some other organization. Donate money to whatever worthy cause you want. Fight the legal blockades and governmental barriers that keep us from achieving full equality. VOTE IN EVERY ELECTION, and donate money or time to campaigns if you are able -- to defeat Michele Bachmann and every candidate like her. Fight the radical right-wing and the phony "Christians" and everyone else whose actions have ever directly or indirectly led to LGBT kids taking their lives.
And if you're not willing to do any of that, then just shut the hell up and leave, because you're in the way.