Make It Stop

Saw this video today and I wanted to post it. It’s “Make It Stop (September’s Children)” by Rise Against, from their album, Endgame. It addresses the recent bullying against GLBT youth and resulting suicides, made in cooperation with the It Gets Better Project. It reminded me of my time at Belfast Area High School, where I was harassed every day by students and teachers and the vice principal, Bruce Mailloux. The regular threats caused me to carry a knife in my backpack and in my locker. The music video reminded me of how I used to stand on the edge of the Belfast bridge and think about jumping, and how I tried to later kill myself with an overdose. The video ultimately presents a message of hope – that if you keep going and believe in yourself, believe it does get better, you can do incredible things. I’m glad to be alive today. I’ll have my Bachelor of Biology degree soon and things continue to look better every day, especially with court matters and civil rights. Never give up!

I know how bad it can get and the importance of recent efforts to end discrimination and homophobia in our country. We have the media on our side and even the US Senate recently created its own “It Gets Better” video. We continue to move closer to full equality. Just yesterday, the “Department of Justice filed a brief in federal court employee Karen Golinski’s federal court challenge, supporting her lawsuit seeking access to equal health benefits for her wife and arguing strongly that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in terms unparalleled in previous administration statements.” (From Metro Weekly).

Despite all these changes, winning marriage equality in NY, having the media on our side and vocal supporters in positions of power, like Lady Gaga and President Obama, we still face many challenges and have a long way to go. Leading GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s husband recently stated that gays are barbarians and need to be disciplined. Equality Maine just announced that it will be once again seek to place marriage equality on the ballot, this time in November 2012. Minnesota is poised to become the next state to take up the issue, even though an anti-gay organization is working to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Despite live feeds of Casey Anthony’s trial currently airing on every news station, the Prop.8 trial, which easily affects millions more Americans than Casey Anthony, is still being concealed from the public and remains confidential.

We must ensure that individuals like Bachmann are silenced and never get into a position of power. A major aspect of the “It Gets Better” concept is that we must continually work to ensure it gets better for all of us and those to come. We must stand up and continue to fight for what is right, and never, ever give up.

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