Last time I wrote my own It Gets Better. I’ve been thinking about that, and would like to add a few thoughts and corrections.
#1: “I’m now 36…” I was 19 at the time of the gay bashing I wrote about in this post. It didn’t take 17 years to get better. That’s not exactly the message we want to be sending, now is it?
#2: “…happily partnered for 11 years, raising a family, in my dream job, a respected member of my community.” Is it just me, or do I sound like a fucking lesbo Leave to Beaver? I imagine that settling down, getting hitched, having kids and acquiring community respect is not everyone’s idea of “getting better”.
#3: Privilege. It means it may be a lot easier for things to be “better” for me than for someone who’s dark-skinned, or poorer than me, or disabled, or any number of factors. I just want to acknowledge that.
#4: I said “beaver”.
Something else on my mind: marriage. For me it’s not about trying to gain mainstream acceptance. I would just about die if someone I respected took away my weirdness trophy. I want equal rights: nothing more, nothing less.
For the record: “happily partnered for 11 years” could be better described as “partnered in scattered chunks of happiness, resentment, hard work and exhaustion”; “raising a family” looks like having a daughter and a stepson with an 18 year age difference, a gnarly old stray cat and two neurotic shelter dogs; “my dream job” involves rubbing people’s butts; and as far as being a respected member of my community, well, you should meet my community. Buncha feel-good liberal Jesus freaks, a handful of fellow butt-rubbers and a toothless old homeless guy who used to drive mules.