I can’t help but be berated by images, posts, and videos on online communities in response to the It Gets Better campaign. Essentially it’s a campaign to speak out against teen bullying and problems with sexuality in youth. I am unable to keep my mouth shut about it anymore and I have to speak out and add my two cents.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a good campaign and it’s a very positive initiative for youngsters to know that adults have “gone through it” and that they are not alone. Suicide is not a good thing and although it’s true that if kids just wait it out until they move to the next stage in their lives, they will be happier.
Does it get better? The general consensus that I’ve read is “yes.” Ultimately I think this is correct, but it’s incorrect to paint a mural without looking at the whole wall, at least that’s how I feel. All-in-all things get better once you leave high school and move onto other things, but it would be inaccurate and unfair to highlight that in some ways things never do leave you behind.
Yes you have choice of friends and are no longer confined by school schedules and the necessity to see certain people all the time, but I can’t justly speak out without raising the point that sometimes it doesn’t always get better and end up all peachy-pink. Emotional baggage aside due to sexuality, my own personal experience though observation has shown me that although people become more comfortable with themselves, they don’t necessarily become comfortable with the so called communities in which they are looking to exist.
If everything did get better, why would suicides in the 20 year old category (or even older) continue to happen? Why is it, that instead of overt bullying as it occurs in high school, turns to implicit or passive-aggressive bullying when people reach adulthood. Homosexual or not, I encounter such behaviours everywhere I go. I see it, I don’t participate in it, but being around it has it’s negative consequences. The only way I could avoid it, is moving to a deserted island with nobody else.
So in the end does it get better? I’m unconvinced, though I do see the importance of the sharing of people’s experiences to help people get through a difficult time in their life. People seem to need something to believe in, and that’s perhaps why I’m wired differently. I’m happy for the people seeking help and finding it. I’m happy for the people able to continue their lives when they think they can’t or don’t want to. I’m happy for people finding peace in their own spheres of influence. I’m happy for it all, but I don’t understand it and I don’t experience it.
This post is in no way intended to insult or degrade such a positive campaign; it’s simply my thoughts on the subject and the fact that I feel it’s unfair to neglect the reality of some people’s situations.