This video—called “It Gets Better”– has been circulating as part of an outreach campaign for gay teens. In it, advice columnist Dan Savage and his husband Terry talk about how shitty high school was for them as young gays, but how tremendously rewarding life was afterwards: they survived high school, came out, found acceptance, found each other, had a kid and got married (in that order). Their meet-cute and fatherhood stories are adorable. This video should be required watching for all teens because that message—hang in there, it will get better!—applies to so many high schoolers, gay and straight. Maude knows, kids get picked on, bullied, and mistreated for all kinds of reasons. I did, and I saw it happen to many, many other kids. I’m sure you did too.
In the video Terry says: “If you can live through high school you can have a great life and it’ll be the envy of all those people who picked on you. It’s painful now, but it’s going to get so much better.” That’s the message he and Dan wished their adult selves could have told their 14-year old selves.
I would tell my 14 year old self to hang in there; that eventually I would find like-minded people who valued my geeky harpyness. That the painful and difficult aspects of being a child of divorce and growing up in a blended family would make me a stronger, more empathetic person with great relationship skills. That I’d find a lot of joy and fulfillment in my sexuality, and find men who—contrary to the anti-feminist stereotypes—think girls like me are hot.
What would you tell your 14 year old self if you could?