In response to the recent rash of gay-teen suicides, writer Dan Savage started the "It Gets Better" video project. It's such a simple, yet beautiful idea: gay men and women who made it through years of bullying and and pain and rejection and came out on the other side, tell their stories to encourage gay teens to stay strong and to stay alive, because it does get better. So many people, from musicians and actors to "regular" people and even President Obama have participated in this project, including this new video by some of the employees of Pixar:
Also, there is another blog you might want to check out. One of my best friends from high school, Mitch and I reconnected on Facebook after having lost touch for many (like 20) years. I was not at all surprised to learn, when we reconnected, that he is now living as an openly gay man; I'd suspected during our high school years in southern Idaho that he was gay, but understandably he was in denial to himself and the world at that time. What I was surprised about is that he is Mormon!! It seriously took me weeks to wrap my head around that fact. How could my gay, progressive, liberal friend be Mormon??? But according to him, he could no sooner choose to not be Mormon than he could choose not to be gay. Ok. I have to respect that. And even more so, I respect the fact that he refuses to hide who he is. He was won over the leaders of his stake (in San Fransisco, so of course they must be a bit more tolerant) and even teaches Sunday school.
The really wonderful part is that Mitch is very active in getting the Mormon leadership to change their stance on gay people so that others, like him, can live their authentic lives while pursuing their religious/spiritual beliefs. He has stood up and outed himself and demanded respect for who he is so that others can do the same. He has spoken out in front of many LDS congregations, from SF to Seattle, sharing this which he wrote. It is beautiful and powerful and thought-provoking. I am so, so proud of him!