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MetaFilter: It Gets Better
September 26, 2012 7:55 AM   Subscribe

So we've now watched dozens, possibly hundreds of "It Gets Better" videos from different people and groups. And we've answered questions from all kinds of young queer folks about how to navigate the complexities of life. Isn't it about time that MetaFilter made an "It Gets Better" video?

I lack the requisite technical skills to produce anything more complex than stop-motion paperclips spelling out "It Gets Better." But I know we've got some wizards in this group. And I'm happy to do all of the administrative hokum to get this project humming along.

Would you like to contribute to a MetaFilter "It Gets Better" video? Would you like to have a hand in its production? Comment in this thread with the skills that you have to offer and I will include you in future planning!
posted by jph to MetaFilter-Related at 7:55 AM (220 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite

I'm in. I'm a decent organizer and could talk about the things we do here at MeFi Inc.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:01 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


This seems like a really nice idea, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:03 AM on September 26, 2012


mah spreadsheet now haz two names... yey... *happy dance*
posted by jph at 8:04 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


My only skill in this particular sense is my lack of gender preference.
posted by elizardbits at 8:06 AM on September 26, 2012 [23 favorites]



posted by ocherdraco at 8:14 AM on September 26, 2012


Don't James Spader's Robert California ruin it!
posted by discopolo at 8:16 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a camera and I can talk to it.

I'm also a decent editor.
posted by The Whelk at 8:16 AM on September 26, 2012


Likewise on board. I think this is a great idea.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:16 AM on September 26, 2012


And yeah, I'd be willing to do video editing work though I'm certain there are other folks more capable if they have the time to do it.

There's a question of trying to do centralized or semi-centralized shooting vs. broadly crowdsourced DIY videography; the former would end up looking and sounding a bit nicer (get one or a few nice cameras and mics and basic lit sets together and have people show up) but the latter seems way, way more practical in just about every respect.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:22 AM on September 26, 2012


There's a question of trying to do centralized or semi-centralized shooting
Well, there are some upcoming meetups...
posted by pointystick at 8:24 AM on September 26, 2012


Now I'm going to spend some time trying to think of how to get people recorded against blue, green and grey backdrops...
posted by jph at 8:28 AM on September 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


clearly, cortex needs to travel around the country again and visit various meetups .
posted by desjardins at 8:29 AM on September 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I suppose the middle path would be to focus on DIY so anyone who wants to send in a video can, and then if some folks want to do the footwork to organize local meetups for some collaborative shooting in areas where there are enough interested mefites to make that happen that's just a nice production-value bonus.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:29 AM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


zefrank crowd-sources video clips for A Show all the time and they look good. Does he have some particularly good video-editing process? I took a look at some of the 'missions' (e.g.) and he doesn't seem to have any guidelines on lighting or camera quality.
posted by heatherann at 8:39 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a great idea.
posted by alms at 8:40 AM on September 26, 2012


As a straight old-guy with few skills (other than I'm around and near a computer most of the time during the day and have spent the last 30 or so years working with adolescents), I would be glad to help. If you're considering meet-up as a possiblity, folks might want to throw their location (or make sure it is in their profile) in this thread. I'm near Ann Arbor.
posted by HuronBob at 8:43 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm totally in support of this, but if we're doing a crowd-sourced thing there needs to be some guidelines. At least I need some guidelines. For example, I'm not gay, and although I experienced some bullying (because I was small for my age, wore grandpa-style bifocals into my teenage years, and was more interested in things like playing violin, reading The Hobbit and not playing sports), I never experienced bullying like kids who are targeted specifically for LGBTQ reasons. So I would to participate, but what would I say? I don't think I really have any authority to say "it gets better" from that perspective...but maybe I'm missing something here?
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:44 AM on September 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


I took a look at some of the 'missions' (e.g.) and he doesn't seem to have any guidelines on lighting or camera quality.

I may just be overstating the case for AV quality issues at this point, based on older, far crappier phone cameras / webcam stuff. Certainly an iPhone 4 pointed at your own face looks better these days than my old Hi8 camcorder did despite being "just a cameraphone camera". More spitballing than anything, I think even if we did have a lot of lofi stuff that wouldn't get in the way of interesting/compelling storytelling in any case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:48 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am a queer lady and had a very serious suicide attempt as a teen. Now I am happily engaged (to a woman; I bought her a metafilter account, I'll ask if she's interested too). It does get better. I'm in.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:49 AM on September 26, 2012 [15 favorites]


Oh, I'm in LA.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:50 AM on September 26, 2012


I'm so glad folks are interested. This is really just the tip of this projects little iceberg. Doleful Creature and cortex are right - some very basic issues need to get decided. Once I have a good idea of who wants to participate (and who might be interested in helping to organize it), I think organizers and participants will just have to have some discussions about all of the particulars and come to a group consensus on how this will all go down. Ideas here in this thread are great, and they'll give us something to build on.

To give some broad strokes, Doleful Creature, one of the primary messages that I think MetaFilter has to contribute to this issue is that you WILL find your community. mathowie built an awesome digital shining city on a hill here, and it's attracted a lot of folks who may have otherwise not had access to such an amazing community. Since this video reaches out to people who might feel alienated and might feel like they have no community, it's an important reminder that there IS a community for them. They may just not have found it yet. But they will find it and it will get better if they hang in there. And nobody needs to have experienced bullying to share that message of inclusion and support!

I'm in Houston. So I've got easy access to the major cities in Texas and there's pretty regular traffic of mefites between Houston and New Orleans.
posted by jph at 8:57 AM on September 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I would love to do this.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:03 AM on September 26, 2012


Wonderful idea.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:07 AM on September 26, 2012


I have the desire, but don't think I have much in the way to offer, other then genuine support
posted by edgeways at 9:09 AM on September 26, 2012


"I am a queer lady and had a very serious suicide attempt as a teen. Now I am happily engaged (to a woman; I bought her a metafilter account, I'll ask if she's interested too). It does get better. I'm in."

Hey, if you need someone to officiate, lemme know. I've already done one lady marriage, and we may find out on Monday that it's legal again.
posted by klangklangston at 9:11 AM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


To give some broad strokes, Doleful Creature, one of the primary messages that I think MetaFilter has to contribute to this issue is that you WILL find your community. mathowie built an awesome digital shining city on a hill here, and it's attracted a lot of folks who may have otherwise not had access to such an amazing community. Since this video reaches out to people who might feel alienated and might feel like they have no community, it's an important reminder that there IS a community for them. They may just not have found it yet. But they will find it and it will get better if they hang in there. And nobody needs to have experienced bullying to share that message of inclusion and support!

I'm in. In IRL I am always the foreign visitor. Here I am.
posted by infini at 9:15 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a great idea, and I would love to be a part of it.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:22 AM on September 26, 2012


This is a wonderful idea. I think we could also do one on suicide, not specifically related to young queer folks.
posted by mareli at 9:23 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was the webmaster of one of the earliest LGBT sites on the web, i'd be happy to talk about my experience with that and with peer counseling in my teens. (I'm in ATL)
posted by softlord at 9:25 AM on September 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is a wonderful idea. I know that much of the commentary and many of the posts and questions I've read on MetaFilter have really opened my eyes and deepened my understanding of what it's like to be a young LGBTQ person. The only support I can give is my encouragement. But I am encouraging SO HARD.
posted by jillithd at 9:26 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I'm going to spend some time trying to think of how to get people recorded against blue, green and grey backdrops...

Have everyone use green and you can greenscreen blue or grey in!
posted by Zed at 9:27 AM on September 26, 2012


This is a wonderful idea. I don't really possess any skill that I could contribute, but what I can do is suggest that this gets sidebarred, yo.
posted by like_neon at 9:30 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm in....and I would like to have my children involved.... Great lesson for them....Great idea!!!
posted by pearlybob at 9:31 AM on September 26, 2012


I'm in. I can contribute graphic design skills if needed. And ideas. I'm good on ideas, not so good on follow through. (ADHDfilter)
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:40 AM on September 26, 2012


I love everything about this. If we can come up with some rough ideas/guidelines on how long to record, where to upload, who will edt, etc, we can put the call out on the Best Of blog for entries from mefites.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:40 AM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


what I can do is suggest that this gets sidebarred, yo.

Will do.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:40 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Agreed, this needs to be sidebarred.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:40 AM on September 26, 2012


I can provide some cash.
posted by boo_radley at 9:43 AM on September 26, 2012


and if there's volunteer work to do in Denver, I'll be available.
posted by boo_radley at 9:47 AM on September 26, 2012


I can push record on cameras for people in DC.
posted by skrozidile at 9:52 AM on September 26, 2012


Nthing support and encouragement for this idea.
posted by immlass at 9:54 AM on September 26, 2012


Metafilter: It Gets Metaer
posted by tehloki at 9:58 AM on September 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd be in for this. My personal experience is less "it gets better", more "it is a plateau of benign mediocrity", but you know, will help however I can.
posted by flashboy at 9:58 AM on September 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Great idea! I can edit and animate (After Effects).
posted by brundlefly at 10:01 AM on September 26, 2012


I wonder if MeFiMusic would want to have a challenge to write/record/perform appropriate background music that we can use for this? I'm not sure how those challenges work really or if they're ever competitive like that or if that would just spoil the whole awesome jam session vibe they have going. But I feel like there might be some users there that would have something to contribute!
posted by jph at 10:03 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: It Gets Metaer

At first glance I thought that said "Metafilter: It Gets Meatier" and I thought... kind of a weird message to put across, but whatever floats your boat.

Anyway, if anyone is going to organize something in the Boston area I'm happy to play gofer - I have a car and can shuttle around people and equipment or just go buy coffee. I can shoot stills if that's needed/wanted, but I don't have any video knowledge or capability.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:10 AM on September 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I can't believe no one has thought of this before. Well done, jph. I'm not sure I'll be very useful, but count me in as "ready to help".
posted by Rock Steady at 10:11 AM on September 26, 2012


I wonder if MeFiMusic would want to have a challenge

And there's a new challenge month coming up real soon now!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:11 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter is largely responsible for turning me from an ignorant semi-homophobe to a completely (I think) open-minded individual who is much more in tune to the concerns of the LGBT community, and most other communities for that matter.

I'd be happy to help somehow, if there's anything for a straight (though excessively bullied at one time) guy with very few video or audio skills.
posted by bondcliff at 10:12 AM on September 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


Yay! If there is anything I can do from DC or Baltimore, I'd love to do so.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:17 AM on September 26, 2012


As a regular MeFiMu mook I'm totally into a challenge for this. I'm sure others over there will be thrilled as well.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:30 AM on September 26, 2012


I would love to help out on anything Boston-based. I work at a public access/video production facility in Newton, MA. I just got a tentative OK to use our resources (studio, hd cams, editing suites, etc).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:45 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wonderful idea. If I can help from NYC I will though I'm not sure how much use I will be!
posted by mlle valentine at 10:49 AM on September 26, 2012


I do a lot of video work; I can write / edit / proof any VO parts, supers, titles, etc. that need to go in here. Also I can lend a hand on the research end.

Just outside o' Philly (although I work in the city).
posted by Mister_A at 10:54 AM on September 26, 2012


This is a perfect fit for MetaFilter, really. I think the diversity of voices will really be good. There isn't much I can contribute besides moral support, but here it is!

(Now if we needed to do a "It Gets Worse" video for anti-gay Catholics, I'd be all over it. "Have you noticed that not only is your priest not married, but neither is your beloved music director and they spend a lot of time together? Yeah, it gets worse.")
posted by charred husk at 10:55 AM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I would absolutely love to film a segment for this. As referenced in this comment, although I'm (mostly) straight, I have had enough of my own unpleasant weird run-ins with homophobia in my life that the subject hits very close to home with me. Filming a quick piece would definitely not be an issue.

As is often the case 'round these parts, my contact stuff's in my profile. Lemme know if I can help.
posted by item at 10:57 AM on September 26, 2012


Would something like this work (from DC)?

I called you "fag" and made fun of your hair, and laughed when I saw you holding hands with your boyfriend. Then I grew up and did this. It gets better.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:01 AM on September 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's really hard to do this stuff by committee. I'd suggest appointing a director so that one person has final say over what goes in and what doesn't.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:05 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Metafilter is largely responsible for turning me from an ignorant semi-homophobe to a completely (I think) open-minded individual who is much more in tune to the concerns of the LGBT community, and most other communities for that matter."

Honestly, it's helped me a lot too. Getting called on my bullshit is painful, but therapeutic.
posted by klangklangston at 11:05 AM on September 26, 2012 [14 favorites]


Oh - and when I said "Filming a quick piece would definitely not be an issue", I meant that I can record it myself with either my Canon DSLR or Android or webcam or whatever fits the format. I actually have access to a college's studio, too, in case green-screening or a more (semi)pro feel is desired.
posted by item at 11:12 AM on September 26, 2012


Can allies participate, too?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:13 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm in. Not sure how relevant I am and don't have the bandwidth to organize, but I can testify to it definitely getting better.

Also, not sure this is at all needed, but I have access to a room with green screen wall that I'm sure we could get permission to use - the room won't hold a ton of people, but could do a few at a time. Maybe even ten, in two cozy rows of five.

I'm in Austin, pansexual, and have been bullied for/witnessed bullying because of LGBTQ bigotry.
posted by batmonkey at 11:16 AM on September 26, 2012


I love this idea, and job, you're awesome for suggesting it. Haven't a clue what to say, but I'm in.
posted by zarq at 11:16 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


If the audio quality is good enough I'd be happy to transcribe for captioning/subtitling (would need it checked over by someone with good hearing though.)
posted by humph at 11:29 AM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not gay, not particularly great in front of a camera, but I want to say, I support this idea! If you need a singer for sound-track-y things, I'm doubly in! :)
posted by LN at 11:30 AM on September 26, 2012


I have no tech skills and am straight so can't speak to the project at all really, but if cash is needed, or snacks or something, then I'm in.
posted by gaspode at 11:32 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ahh yeah man send some snacks, gaspode.
posted by Mister_A at 11:32 AM on September 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Jph" not "job." Stupid autocorrect.
posted by zarq at 11:33 AM on September 26, 2012


I'm in.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:33 AM on September 26, 2012


I'm in, preferably for behind the scenes stuff.
posted by Ruki at 11:34 AM on September 26, 2012


We should come up with a way for those of us who don't have a direct, obvious way to contribute to the project to lend support. I'm currently stumped on that, but if there's something I and/or the rest of us can do, then let's do it!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:42 AM on September 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


I have little to offer, but I'd like to be part of it. Perhaps at some point we'll need to pass the hat, so consider me in for a few bucks to smooth the process if needed.

kim -- you could do a linguistic analysis of "that's so gay" or some equivalent sort of phrase, and someone could animate it :)
posted by Rumple at 11:48 AM on September 26, 2012


I'm in. I suspect there's enough greater LA/SoCal MeFites around that we could make a meetup out of it.
I'd offer my house, but no one ever wants to come over the hill to the SGV. Do they allow filming at the Farmer's Market? /smirk
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:48 AM on September 26, 2012


I'm in. I have no tech skills to speak of, but I could never ever have imagined that one day I'd be where I am, and I can talk about that, if nothing else. What a fantastic idea.
posted by rtha at 11:48 AM on September 26, 2012


Fuck yeah Metafilter!

I'm more a story-editor, as my video-editing skills are merely amateur. But I am a professional (classical) musician (stories need music!) and the first out trans executive director of a mainstream synagogue.

I'm in Portland frequently.
posted by Dreidl at 11:49 AM on September 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


I also need to come out for my support of this -- if only because I'm still trying to parse a comment made a couple of weeks ago, surprised that I was gay, and if it was a joke or not.

Because I'm gaying as loudly as I can, so loudly that I've spent two weeks trying to decide if I was being mocked or not.

And if that's the biggest issue I've had for a while with being gay*, then yeah, it gets better.


* except for the extra taxes paid thing...and the arrested outside a gay bar thing... let's just say "being gay online" and call it that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:52 AM on September 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


If the audio quality is good enough I'd be happy to transcribe for captioning/subtitling (would need it checked over by someone with good hearing though.)

Please do this! Yay for accessibility! (because I won't be able to understand y'all otherwise)
posted by desjardins at 11:57 AM on September 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Me! Me! Being gay and online too much has never paid off so well!
posted by xingcat at 12:00 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to help with checking that transcription, too. I'd appear, but I'm fairly straight, and my history of "it was worse" is all nerd bullying related. Happy as I am to have that behind me, it's not really on-message.
posted by ChrisR at 12:00 PM on September 26, 2012


Would love to help as an ally with some illustration/design/web/transcription skills. You are wonderful for organizing this, jph.

(Also, I would be super extra chuffed if we managed to cover the full spectrum of LGBTQ given how often the "T" and the "Q" are forgotten in mainstream discourse.)
posted by Phire at 12:04 PM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Iamkimiam, we could do some videos at the London meetup on Saturday, I am also not great in front of a camera but I am in!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:21 PM on September 26, 2012


Fantastic. Can't wait to see it.
posted by cashman at 12:31 PM on September 26, 2012


I am willing to do something! I'm pretty good at transcribing. I don't know that I have a good story, but I could think about it, if needed. If there were to be a gathering in Baltimore / DC, I would be in to support it.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:43 PM on September 26, 2012


I'm a queer trans person with depression and if I can figure out what words to say to help other people in similar situations, I'd like to say them. I'm in a really inaccessible area of East Texas (the nearest city is Dallas, 2.5 hours away, and I don't have a car) so I'd have to shoot it myself and I don't have any fabric appropriate to use as a greenscreen for the background, though....
posted by titus n. owl at 12:49 PM on September 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


I say this to all with much love: Don't use greenscreen unless you are a crackerjack professional at it. Please.
posted by Mister_A at 1:00 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would donate to this cause if someone creates funding mechanism. This may not cost much, but we can always give the left over funds to charity.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 1:04 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


JPH, I'll support anything you do, I'm totally in.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:21 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


ellieBOA: sweet! I've got a top-notch audio recorder, now packed in my bag.

Next task: escaping the raging floods of York.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:27 PM on September 26, 2012


I'm in. Far from an expert on anything, but I'll do my best with a short clip.
posted by expialidocious at 1:32 PM on September 26, 2012


I'm in.
posted by PapaLobo at 1:36 PM on September 26, 2012


I'm bi and married to an opposite-sex husband, but I distinctly remember the moment in high school when people's bullying stopped getting to me. I had just come back from arts camp, where I went on a a vocal scholarship, and I had learned that I was actually a pretty frickin crackerjack singer and a reasonably fine musician, and that when exposed to tough standards and high expectations I got better REALLY FAST, and I felt like I had been given this incredible gift.

I was going from Trigonometry to Chemistry, and I stopped by the bathroom on the way there, and some other girl was coming out of the bathroom and she shoulder-pushed me to one side and said, under her breath, "Oh my god, SO FAT." And I just -- I just giggled. Like, here is this pathetic, small-minded buffoon who is putting energy into trying to tear me down, and for what? Where is that going to get her? What is her end game? The whole thing just suddenly seemed so ridiculous, these people caught in their pathetic Louis D'Or court intrigue games when I was destined for such greater things, and I laughed out loud.

The girl sneered at me, but she looked kind of surprised, and I laughed again and said "Nothing. You better hurry along, you'll be late to class, go on!" and made kind of a shooing motion, and she and her whole cohort gaggled off, and I went to the bathroom and grinned myself along to Chemistry, feeling absolutely free. The bullying mostly stopped after that, though not completely, but it had so much of a lesser impact on me from that day on.

Sadly, I have no idea how to teach or replicate that experience. I think a lot of it is just "growing up," and you can't get kids to already be mature and self-confident when they're only 13 or 10 or 7. But man alive, I will remember that moment until the day I die, like it just happened, it's one of the great moments of my life.

So, if that -- or if anything else I can contribute -- is worthwhile and helpful? Sign me up, I'm in.
posted by KathrynT at 1:37 PM on September 26, 2012 [20 favorites]


I would totally be all supportive-ally and bring snacks to Portland-based activity related to this project and/or contribute funds and/or cheer in the background and/or cry sentimentally over the final project.

Also, I love pretty much everything about this plan. Yay!
posted by Kpele at 1:39 PM on September 26, 2012


I adore this idea. As a straight girl I don't think I have any good stories to share, but I'm aces at pointing cameras and fixing coffee.
posted by cmyk at 1:40 PM on September 26, 2012


We should make an "it gets better" video for young nerdy kids who get bullied in school.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:53 PM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can I be the guy who doesn't exactly understand this project without raining on the totally cool parade in progress? Maybe take my lack of understanding as a chance to clarify your objectives via my ignorance.

So the message here is to be what? "I was bullied. It sucked, a lot. Later I found a website full of neat people and it sucked somewhat less when I was able to be at a computer."?

To be clear I have absolutely no objections to this idea. I'm just not sure I get what the idea is, specifically how MeFi gets tied to the cause(s).
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 2:00 PM on September 26, 2012


MetaFilter isn't just a website. It's a community, and it goes far beyond being "at a computer".
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:06 PM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I was bullied. It sucked, a lot. Later I found a website full of neat people and it sucked somewhat less when I was able to be at a computer."?

I think it's more like...

"I was bullied. It sucked, a lot. Things in my life changed and it got better, your life can get better too. Love, the people from MetaFilter."

Because just like the Austin PD IGB, the thing isn't that "Hey go be a cop and it's okay to be gay" because that is likely still not totally true. It's more like "Hey you may have thought certain things about cops and their relationships with gay people but here are some cops who have been through what you are going through and can tell you that it gets better"

The more you see people in different places who are like you in some way that is important to you, the more useful it is to reduce feelings of otherness and "no one understands" and "I alone am having these terrible problems" So it's not about MetaFilter at all, though some people may mention that MeFi was useful to them, but reaching out to kids especially who are desperately unhappy and who feel very isolated and saying "This is something that is important to us as a community" and the more communities that say that, the less being GLBTQ becomes some terrible stigma just because maybe your family or your school or your local community are giving you a hard time about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:11 PM on September 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


I don't have a directly relevant life-changing experience to share here, nor a gender-related it-gets-better story. But sometimes the positive effects of a supportive community sink into the psyche in small ways.

I was at an academic dinner and seated at a table with a bunch of linguists, one of whom was very highly regarded. I was nervous, tipsy and overly chatty. We were all discussing popular TV shows and I made this wisecrack to this new linguist friend ... I can't even bring myself to repeat it, even in my own head, because I'm so embarrassed and it was just supremely wrong (although I didn't quite get that at the time). My words fell flat and he just looked at me, stunned. So I repeated it. This time, a few people at the table nervously giggled and so I just figured then that it was another dumb joke that didn't work. We moved on.

Much later, too much later, I realised that what I said had had a second interpretation that was very homophobic, and worse, directed at him. I've been carrying around my shame over that moment for years.

Remember that AskMe about people who catch themselves making involuntary noises when they remember something embarrassing they've done? It sometimes sneaks up on me like that, inflicting more public awkwardness in this weird sort of loop of self-punishment.

I try to think of any positive things that came out of that awful blunder and the only thing I come up with is how, because of MetaFilter, I'm able to see exactly what it was. In a compassionate, nuanced way. I think that if I hadn't read years of discussions about gender and sexuality around here, I really wouldn't have known what I had said, how it could affect people, and why. I wouldn't have been able to access the horrible shame I have about that moment, because it wouldn't have meant anything at all to me. It wouldn't have even been on my radar. I might not have even realised why the joke was so deeply unfunny.

I think all of that is a really good thing. You people have brought me a real and enriching awareness about the experiences and struggles of others; about things that I've not had to worry or think much about before. And now I care immensely about such things. That's something that I've been proud to carry around, for years now.

As a strong, compassionate and diverse community, we have a lot to offer this project. I think it's great that the ideas are taking multiple forms, formats, and that we're taking on the mobility and accessibility challenges as well. I'm super excited to see what we make of it all.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:12 PM on September 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


2or3whiskeysodas, here's the official project page. Here's the Wikipedia page.

The project was started by noted gay activist Dan Savage after several high-profile reports of LGBTQ youth (pre-teens and teens) who committed suicide partially because of homophobic bullying. Particularly in rural areas, LGBTQ youth might not know anyone who is like them, and might not have any support group at all. The videos are meant to be a way for peers (and occasionally allies) in the queer-friendly world to say to these kids, "I know life is awful for you right now, but I've been exactly where you are now and it got better for me, and it will get better for you, so please hang in there and don't do anything you'll regret because life is worth living."

Most people make individual videos talking about their own experiences, but a lot of groups have also gotten together to make group videos featuring LGBTQ members in order to say "hey, we welcome you and love you and we don't care what your orientation is". In my reading, that seems to have been the spirit in which the Austin Police "It Gets Better" video was made, and it makes sense to me that Metafilter as a progressive and diverse community with lots of outcasts who have found solace in the internet would want to send out this sort of message to potential members as well.
posted by Phire at 2:14 PM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


So the message here is to be what? "I was bullied. It sucked, a lot. Later I found a website full of neat people and it sucked somewhat less when I was able to be at a computer."?

To be clear I have absolutely no objections to this idea. I'm just not sure I get what the idea is, specifically how MeFi gets tied to the cause(s).


Well, "I was bullied and it sucked and later it sucked less" is part of the message of IGB, but another (more implicit) part is: "There are people out there who are rooting for you. There are people out there who want you to grow up and have the awesome life you deserve. There are people out there who will help you, and here is one way to reach them."

I think that's a pretty good message for Metafilter to get behind.
posted by kagredon at 2:14 PM on September 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'd love to be a part of this in some way, although as a straight white (getting oldish) white female, I don't have words or experiences to share.

It would be great to have a way to donate funds, since there are bound to be some costs associated with this and pitching in a few bucks would be a way for folks who otherwise wouldn't have a way to participate feel like they were engaged with the project.

Great idea, JPH!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 2:14 PM on September 26, 2012


I think it'd be cool to open this up to people who got bullied for ANY reason, not just because they were gay.

I was brutally ostracized as a kid, to the point where people who knew me expected me to die at an early age. But things turned out alright, and I'd like to tell kids that whatever happens to you in school is less than irrelevant, and that they will still have meaningful lives even if everyone they go to school with treats them like dogshit.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:18 PM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just not sure I get what the idea is, specifically how MeFi gets tied to the cause(s).

Well, the primary idea here, as I see it, is "I was bullied. It sucked. Like you, I may have even considered suicide. But I got past that terrible time and now my adult life is fantastic. It can be for you, too. Please stick around for that, because we're all looking forward to it."

The groups that have done IGB videos are so diverse that we're way down in the weeds as far as being a website community versus a school or a theatre group or whatever. It isn't that we're special -- the message is, in fact, that we are not special, that you can find these communities everywhere and it's especially easy once you grow up and get out of the stifling heteronormative high school environment.

I think it'd be cool to open this up to people who got bullied for ANY reason, not just because they were gay.

I love this idea as that's how I identify emotionally with IGB, but I also worry that it's fundamentally a different project. I wouldn't want to pull it there without checking with Savage.
posted by dhartung at 2:21 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd love to participate in some way, but I'm not sure I have the right story to tell--I was bullied, but it wasn't related to the fact that I'm gay.
posted by snorkmaiden at 2:24 PM on September 26, 2012


I was also bullied, though not because of my sexuality (and I'm straight, so I'm pretty much outside the project, as dhartung says). I'm glad to be an ally and help out however I can, though. I'm in Phoenix, AZ, and can shoot and edit video (though I'm a grad student, so I'm not exactly overwhelmed with free time).
posted by Alterscape at 2:28 PM on September 26, 2012


I think it'd be cool to open this up to people who got bullied for ANY reason, not just because they were gay.

Respectfully, I think that's a different project.
posted by liketitanic at 2:34 PM on September 26, 2012 [16 favorites]


Well, "I was bullied and it sucked and later it sucked less" is part of the message of IGB, but another (more implicit) part is: "There are people out there who are rooting for you. There are people out there who want you to grow up and have the awesome life you deserve. There are people out there who will help you, and here is one way to reach them."

GOT it. I have watched plenty of IGB videos and I think they're wonderful, but I think I've mostly encountered the ones from gay folks to younger gay folks, you know? If messages exist from communities that, like, have overlap but are not necessarily defined by sexual orientation then that's really cool, too. And if they don't then I see no reason why Metafilter can't be the first.

Cool deal, y'all.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 2:41 PM on September 26, 2012


If any of the transcribers need a proofreader, I'd love to help.
posted by heyho at 2:51 PM on September 26, 2012


I can help edit the video as well. I am versed in both Windows Live Movie Maker and iMovie.

For sharing/acquiring the videos, I have been LOVING ge.tt It is free and does not seem to have a size limit since I have used it to share my productions that are over 2g in size without an issue.
posted by TangerineGurl at 2:54 PM on September 26, 2012


A lot of people are offering to help but are allies/live in inaccessible places/don't have specific skills to offer or want to give money. One idea would be a "Team Metafilter" contribution to The Trevor Project a great organization and a direct beneficiary of It Gets Better. Maybe a slide at the end of the video could say "Metafilter members came together and donated 700 billion dollars to The Trevor Project."

It would be good if someone could contact the Trevor Project about how to do this (if people are into it)- I'm not able to help with this right now. They do have a "company" line in the online donation form, so if the Trevor folks were willing, people could donate and state their company as "Metafilter" and then the Trevor Project could let someone know what the total is? Something like that.
posted by cushie at 3:01 PM on September 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Would love to help in any way I can - money, presence, story editing, whatever. Please count me in.
posted by Megami at 3:03 PM on September 26, 2012


Y'all are making me cry. I'm so proud to be part of the Mefi Community.
posted by deborah at 3:03 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm in on this. Not sure how. I don't have the funds to travel the country with a camera and make recordings of people, so possibly it will have to be part of a crowdsourced project or just as moral support. But let me know what I can do.
posted by hippybear at 3:09 PM on September 26, 2012


Oh, and I'm in for some dough. I believe it does get better, but I'm not up for being in front of a camera.
posted by deborah at 3:09 PM on September 26, 2012


I would love to help.
posted by radiocontrolled at 3:11 PM on September 26, 2012


I avoid cameras like the plague, but I am absolutely available for transcribing or copyediting duties, or really anything else you might need involving the written word.
posted by Stacey at 3:20 PM on September 26, 2012


Okay, so, on further thought... I have an idea about how to shape the project, if it's crowdsourced.

Come up with a blank script. I mean, something which is a bare outline into which people can fill in their own details.

This isn't thought through at all, I'm writing off the cuff, but I'm picturing something like this:

"Hi, I'm [blank] from Metafilter. And I'm here to tell you it gets better. And this is how I know.

1) [details of things about being younger when it sucked]

2) [details about how things changed as years passed]

3) [details about being where you are now and how much better it is]

[insert here some copy which everyone reads verbatim as a wrap-up]"

Then the editing process can be one of those things where you have a single introductory person and a bunch of other people edited in like they're all adding their voice / examples to the mix, and finally either a giant collage or a bunch of people echoing the exact same wording one after another phrase by phrase to build toward the finish.

I can picture this in my mind. I may not be explaining it well.

Of course, this is derivative of other things I've seen, so someone may have a better, more original approach.
posted by hippybear at 3:24 PM on September 26, 2012 [14 favorites]


I think that sounds like a good idea. The group ones I have seen of these that were the most ... effective, were ones that had a bunch of people telling the same part of their story at the same time and having someone edit them all together. Plus, any sort of structure would be great. I'd be happy to be a recipient of donations if that is helpful or otherwise help nudge the project along.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:28 PM on September 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love MetaFilter so much. I love that there are probably enough people already volunteering to end up with hours of video (I'm probably comment 120 at this point).

I'm in Atlanta and am both an editor and a mental health counselor. If there's a way I can help, I'd love to.
posted by catlet at 3:34 PM on September 26, 2012


Honestly, the danger is in getting TOO much material. It might make sense (he said, not volunteering do any of the editing) to gather all the submitted videos together, sort them into batches of similar type (by whatever metrics make sense) and do several of them, maybe with one or two grab bag videos which show diversity too. I could easily see natural categories emerging: femme lesbian, butch lesbian, fey gay man, sporty gay man, gay nerd/geek, straight but not narrow, etc.

(sorry if I used offensive terms to anyone -- I'm writing quickly and am overtired)
posted by hippybear at 3:41 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What if various people who volunteered to edit each got a separate small batch of content and they did a fun creative competition out of it, a la the monthly music challenge? Then we'd have a variety of styles and perspectives and such. And then perhaps some people could combine them all into a mega-montage of the whole collection?
posted by iamkimiam at 3:45 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am in love with this idea, although I'm another straight girl with no A/V skills who doesn't live near other Mefites and so can't really contribute much materially, but I'm totally on board with it as a project and will gladly help publicize it when it's done.

For what it's worth, per Hippybear's comment above, I would stick with the grab bag idea only. I think one of the strengths of Metafilter is that it is full of a crazily diverse bunch of people from all over the world who nonetheless feel part of the same larger community (and community should absolutely be a core theme, I think).
posted by Superplin at 3:49 PM on September 26, 2012


Please oh please specify some time limits for people, especially sonascope.
posted by desjardins at 3:51 PM on September 26, 2012


What a great idea! I'd love to contribute.
posted by Mr Yak at 4:09 PM on September 26, 2012


I think that's great hippybear, because from a storytelling perspective there are some high points that we want to hit since what we're really conveying here is the universality of the experience of being young and queer. Essentially, for anyone who wants to share a story, you have to remember that approximately four sentences are going to be germane to the project and will be used. The more "sit around my campfire and let me spin you a sparkly yarn about when I was a pup" you are, the less likely that it'll be able to fit into the constraints of a group video like this. (It would be fine for your own video, and I encourage you to make your own if you so desire!)

Some answers to some folks:

- As others have said, "It Gets Better" was created for and targeted at queer teens, and I think MetaFilter's participation in "It Gets Better" should remain focused on the original audience the project was intended for. That's not to demean or diminish any other group's difficulties, but this is a fairly specific project.

- Allies are vital to the success of both this project and progress for queer folks generally. We want your help, and in some cases it may even be appropriate for you to share your story. In the video today from the Austin Police Department, I don't believe the Chief of Police ever came out and stated his orientation or gender identity. And yet, he shared his voice as an outsider (immigrant) who chose to support other outsiders and thus his story fit the metanarrative and made sense in a broader context. What we'll need to consider is how the stories of straight allies here on MetaFilter might fit into the broader context of the story we're trying to tell with this video. I think that for these purposes the most relevant ally stories are going to come from the perspective of "Hey I'm Me and I'm not queer, but I understand what you're going through because [specific example you've observed] and I know it gets better because [specific positive resolution to the thing you've observed], and I know it'll get better for you." But that's just my initial thinking on the subject.

- While I agree that projects like this might suffer from "too many cooks" I think that crowdsourcing has historically been a feature of MetaFilter and not a bug. I'm pretty confident that we can come up with a narrative that is representative of the community. That said, I'd like to request that mathowie and the mods maybe do a little thinking among themselves about the message that they're comfortable with the community sending. The broad strokes are really already out there and I don't think they're really in question. But, it might help to provide a little added direction.


And other thoughts:

- If you've got one, it would be great if you could record yourself wearing a MeFi T-Shirt. It's certainly not a requirement, and I realize that I might be alone in my unfailing devotion to those damn shirts (I have 5 and they're kind of my uniform). But in developing a personality and image for this video that could be a great start.

- Here's at least one concept for the video that I could envision playing out. A cursor appears on a computer desktop, opens web browser and goes to AskMe. The cursor clicks "New Question" and begins typing a question about being bullied, being alienated/alone, lacking support, and maybe even intimates that it is becoming too much. The screen reloads to the question's page, and the response counter starts tallying up the responses. The user clicks that to expand the (now more than a dozen) responses and we see several which are supportive and which begin to tell a personal story of surviving bullying or just general queer adolescent difficulty. Zoom in on a username, and fade to that person beginning to tell the story as it was narrated in the answer to the question. "Hi, I'm Username and I've been a MetaFilter member since xxx - and I'm a lesbian..." cut to another answer and follow the same kind of narrative building that hippybear and jessamyn mentioned above (each poster telling their story in essentially the same order). The other items that the responses would share would be along the lines of "here is an example or description of things that I dealt with as a young queer person" and then to change the tone of the message "but it got better for me. Now ___________ and life is awesome/great/just fine/benignly mediocre/whatever" and then finishing with "and it will get better for you if you hang in there."

- I think it is awesome that so many people want to share whatever they can to make this project happen. I think it is great that jessamyn is willing to collect any donations, and I would personally prefer to see those go directly to The Trevor Project rather than go to paying for the video itself (since I'm kind of certain that we can make this happen). The only thing I could think of that might be helpful to have a little funding for would be to actually get backdrops printed in the colors of the site, which we could then send around to some participants to film against. But a) I have no idea how much something like that would cost and b) I don't even know what kind of a thing we'd want for that.
posted by jph at 4:11 PM on September 26, 2012 [17 favorites]


I agree with PeterMcDermott. This project needs an experienced director.
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:27 PM on September 26, 2012


As a straight ally who lives in GA, I'd love to help!
posted by lucy.jakobs at 4:28 PM on September 26, 2012


I've directed things, I'm slammed this month but I can consult or point peole to people or info.
posted by The Whelk at 5:04 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to help!

I can do killer voice-over work.
posted by carsonb at 5:11 PM on September 26, 2012


It got better for this gay guy in Portland, OR, and I'd love to help behind the scenes. No AV skills but can organize the heck out of events and if baked goods or chocolate are needed, I'm your man.
posted by nenequesadilla at 5:12 PM on September 26, 2012


Here's my idea for how allies could participate: instead of filming ourselves talking, we could film ourselves looking offscreen, Brady Bunch style, "toward" a person who is telling their IGB story. So, when the stories are edited together, each story teller would be surrounded by supporters, visually reinforcing both that one of the reasons it gets better is that you find your community, and also reinforcing that Metafilter is a community where mefites find allies and support.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:45 PM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I live in the boonies and don't have a camera, but I think you all are awesome for doing this. Yeah Metafilter!!
posted by Elly Vortex at 5:47 PM on September 26, 2012


I don't necessarily agree that bullying and gay etc need separate videos. The crucial thing that we're trying to help the kids with is surviving the peer torment that they receive; the queer kids need a hand because their identity subjects them to the crushing torment of high-school peer bullying. If you identify the crux issue as surviving the oppression, it becomes less about WHY they're being bullied and driven to desperation, and just getting them past that point, whatever their gender identity.
As a non-queer, highly suicidal and terribly alone teen, dog knows I'd have given anything for that kind of support.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 5:57 PM on September 26, 2012


Whatever I can do to help (inc. funding) you let me know.
posted by griphus at 6:05 PM on September 26, 2012


I can't really help in any way, but this is a most fucking awesome thing you are all doing.
posted by dg at 6:37 PM on September 26, 2012


As a woman on the queer spectrum who face all sort of domestic.. turbulence for announcing that I was dating a girl [it's been six years and we're still together!], I'd love to participate in any way I'm needed .

I have an idea about the predicted problem of having too much video footage, or people not having access to video equipment. We could vertical split screen the credits and a montage of sign-wielding supporters. Pair that with some great happy/inspirational background music, and the deal is pretty much sealed for waterworks. Happy, heart-warming, waterworks.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:40 PM on September 26, 2012


Yeah, I've wanted to do something since the Dan Savage era, but I've procrastinated too much back then, so maybe now the time is more right...
posted by ovvl at 8:22 PM on September 26, 2012


rtha: "I'm in. I have no tech skills to speak of, but I could never ever have imagined that one day I'd be where I am, and I can talk about that, if nothing else. What a fantastic idea."

Well, if rtha's doing it, I guess I am too! For Metafilter, I will get over my ambivalence about IGB.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:34 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It got better.... but somewhere along the way I lost $5 to a guy named Matt from Portland.
posted by schmod at 9:22 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this idea! I also like Afroblanco's idea to do something similar for being bullied for non-GLBT reasons, like being a nerd, though I think that is really different and should be a different video.

I also thought it was a good point of MrMoonPie above to say that even if you are not GLBT you may have a message for this video if when you were younger you treated GLBT people as Others/bullied them, and now that you are older and smarter work for equal rights, etc.

Also like the idea of filming in MetaFilter shirts -- maybe that's what some donations could go to -- getting everyone who wants to film something a MetaFilter shirt?
posted by onlyconnect at 9:35 PM on September 26, 2012


I'm a bisexual woman married to a woman, and we just had our first kid together. It certainly got better for me. I'm in, if there's anything I can do.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:43 PM on September 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Look, if we're going to film in MetaFilter shirts, then Matt is going to have to actually release some for sale, which he's been threatening to do for quite a while now but I haven't seen any announcement that it's actually happening.

That is, unless you plan on only letting those who already have shirts participate. In which case, you're proving that there IS, in fact, a cabal.
posted by hippybear at 10:07 PM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I say this to all with much love: Don't use greenscreen unless you are a crackerjack professional at it. Please.

as a crackerjack professional who unfortunately is working 2 jobs and has no time to spare (sorry!) I can say that the above is good advice.

I love that you guys are doing this, and can't wait to see the results. I wish i could help!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:11 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to film or edit anyone in my city (Perth, Australia) who wants to be part of this. I've only met one of you, but I'm sure there are others lurking!

I like the idea of getting people from far-flung corners of the earth to participate, it underlines the idea of online communities as based on who you get along with, not where you live.
posted by harriet vane at 11:01 PM on September 26, 2012


I like the idea of this project but, as a trans person, I’m torn. Among those identifying with the fourth letter in LGBT, it might get better, but sometimes it doesn’t get better.

According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 90% of trans people surveyed report experiencing harassment or discrimination at work and 19% experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.

I don't mean for this comment to be a downer, and part of me still wants to participate in the project, but if I do, I could probably only muster “I hope it gets better” while remaining true to what I know.
posted by Handcoding at 11:32 PM on September 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm in. I know a few people involved in film I could record something with. But, umm, do we have to say our usernames? If so would it be kosher to say "I'm xxx" with xx being a sock puppet with no actual contributions? I guess I'm wondering how much being able to look and see a person from the video's involvement on the website matters. If it contributes towards the positive experience.
posted by Autumn at 11:37 PM on September 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would like to help, too, in whatever way I can. Happy to donate cash, assist with filming, etc.
posted by Defying Gravity at 11:44 PM on September 26, 2012


I was in an IGB video that the company I worked for produced. It was a surprisingly emotionally-raw and ultimately cathartic experience -- not just for me, but for quite a few of my coworkers who watched it, which really took me by surprise. While I think it's more than worthwhile if these videos help even one kid out of a dark place, I also think part of the videos' potential power is to enable those adults in a position to help such a kid to empathize more deeply.

All that said, I'm not sure what's being asked for here -- help with technically producing the video, or people wanting contribute video clips of themselves? I can't offer help in the former sense, but would be delighted to contribute to the latter.
posted by treepour at 12:19 AM on September 27, 2012


"I like the idea of this project but, as a trans person, I’m torn. Among those identifying with the fourth letter in LGBT, it might get better, but sometimes it doesn’t get better." - Handcoding

As a both queer AND trans(ish) person, we wouldn't transition if it didn't seem like a better alternative than staying as we were. Comfortable people aren't as compelled towards personal change! So while transitioning can have some awful surprise outcomes, most studies show a higher than 80% post-transition satisfaction rate (Tsoi 1993, Hembree, Cohen-Kettenis et al. 2008, for examples).

As adults we usually have a lot more options than most young folks. Encouraging struggling youth - whatever the source of their misery - seems like the least we can do for the generations to come. I could have used IGB a lot more than the statements of school faculty who both denied me high school graduation, and predicted my imminent institutionalization or suicide due to my sexual preference and gender variance. At a school I was sent to to protect me from even worse treatment at the hands of my public high school peers. (Ahem, I went on to a 7 Sisters college and did quite well, despite high school's venomous cruelty) I look forward to the time when a campaign like IGB is no longer necessary.

Now you all have a taste of why I think a Mefite IGB vid would be a great idea.
posted by Dreidl at 12:35 AM on September 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Before I read the comments I was like "Sure! I can get a little bit drunk and babble into my webcam for ten minutes." I'm gathering that may not be the direction you're going with this. That's probably better.
posted by granted at 1:20 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re: it getting better wrt trans issues: Personally, I could have really benefited from knowing that questioning my sexuality and my gender wasn't stupid, that it didn't make me Bad At Being A Human, that it was alright for me to do in the first place. That being trans was an option, and that it didn't mean I'm lesser, or dumb, or bad, or wrong. These are lessons I didn't learn until I was in my 20s, and if I'd had some reassurance earlier, who knows how things would work out? I'm not a success story, I'm not done with my transition, I'm not employed, I'm not mentally healthy as I still have depression and anxiety disorders, but - I'm a human being, I'm allowed to be myself, and it's alright to question and it's alright no matter what the answer is. That's the kind of reassurance I'd like to give to others. Not "it's going to become perfect," but just "it gets better" - because being told that you're Not a Bad Wrong Thing is better than not being told that.
posted by titus n. owl at 1:23 AM on September 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


I have an idea similar to FirstMateKate's montage of sign-wielding supporters, and I think it could give straight allies a way of being in the video without overwhelming it. I am inspired by ze frank's recent collaborations with A Show viewers again too. :)

What if we had a huge split screen montage at the end of straight allies all saying "We're straight allies at Metafilter and we support this message" (or something). It could do one of those zoom things so it starts with four people in split screen and zooms out until there's hundreds of us on screen, with all of our voices together. We would just need to agree on wording and then edit it together, which would allow lots of us to participate in a meaningful way without taking time away from igb stories from our lgbtq(qa2si) members.
posted by heatherann at 3:35 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd be really keen to record a short message. I grew up awkwardly in a little town in the north of England where it was difficult to even conceive of being anything but straight. Now I'm living some kind of charmed life in gay old Belgium. I've lost count of the number of times I've thought to myself "ah, if the 14-year-old creeky could see me now..."

I also look good in drag, if that helps.
posted by creeky at 3:52 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm mostly straight, but grew up in the Castro in the late 70's. I'm not good at monologuing into a camera, but if an Austinite were available to ask me questions about that time & its effect on my life & attitude, I'd be happy to answer them on-camera.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:34 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


This was a great idea, jph and I love the concept you came up with.

Also, it seems to me there's more than enough material for two videos if there's a group who wants to tackle general bullying. No reason it couldn't be filmed at the same time.
posted by zennie at 4:35 AM on September 27, 2012


comma!
posted by zennie at 4:36 AM on September 27, 2012


I'm not totally sure I have anything to say (or that I want to talk even), but if we need bodies for a montage of queer Mefites or something, I'm in.
posted by hoyland at 5:49 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this idea as that's how I identify emotionally with IGB, but I also worry that it's fundamentally a different project. I wouldn't want to pull it there without checking with Savage.

Dan Savage should be lauded for coming up with the wonderful idea of IGB, but I'm hesitant to use him as a moral compass, given his own cyberbullying record, for which his excuse was, basically, 'everyone else was piling on, so it didn't make much difference that I did too'.

Like a lot of people who are underdogs in one sphere (geeks are similar), Savage fails to recognise his privilege in other spheres. He is a brilliant meme-maker with a powerful megaphone and with that power comes the responsibility to fact-check.

There was also the time he said "Carl Romanelli (Green Party senate candidate) should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there's nothing left but the rope." so if the Metafilter consensus is that IGB should be be LGBTI-specific, that's a good enough reason without treating Savage as an authority on ethical discourse. Anyway, this thread isn't about him, so I'll stop there.

Personally, although I think this video is a nice idea, I worry that it will end up rather self-congratulatory and made to reassure the small Metatalk crowd what an inclusive, diverse community Metafilter considers itself to be, rather than designed with bullied queer youth at the forefront of every decision.

So, much as I'd enjoy sitting back going "Look, it's Hippybear! Cool, that's Restless_Nomad! Squee, Sonascope!", I don't think a succession of Metafilter personalities will mean anything to the target audience. If teens are familiar enough with the site to recognise usernames, I suspect they are not the isolated children that this can really help. I think the key, as Hippybear said, is to show diversity and I'd extend that beyond his categories to show that one's future does not have to be that of a nerdy liberal hipster...

I wonder if it would be appropriate for a mod to spend a segment of the video describing how Metafilter's stance on tolerance of homophobia has evolved over the years. Something about how it was realised that it's not good enough to have a space where anti-gay abuse is met with anti-anti-gay abuse, that in fact for an inclusive community we just need to refuse to tolerate it at all.

Finally, it's wonderful that Metafilter doesn't tolerate homophobic, racist or sexist abuse and hardcore harassment of any kind. However, there is still behviour that could be classed as bullying here, despite mod efforts to stamp it out. It would be wonderful if this project could lead to greater awareness of some of the less pleasant dynamics. Fun as pile-ons might be and nice as it may feel to ramp up the outrage in highly-charged threads, it's very easy for that to spill over into hounding minority opinions off the site. As upsetting as it is that someone on Metafilter has an offensive opinion or belongs to a group which is regarded as opressive, making their experience of the site miserable by habitually sniping at them across multiple threads is, in my eyes, a type of intimidation that can be described at bullying. That's not a reason to shy away from making a video; I doubt the Austin, Texas Police department is perfect either, but it is another reason why the video should be about life getting better, not about 'Yay, Metafiler'.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 6:50 AM on September 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


What if we had a huge split screen montage at the end of straight allies all saying "We're straight allies at Metafilter and we support this message" (or something).

I'm sure this is not what you meant, but it comes across like "us straight people give you queer people permission to put out this message." It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
posted by desjardins at 6:57 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


seems like you're getting more than enough volunteers for now, but I'm in for any non-technical Houston help.
posted by twist my arm at 7:06 AM on September 27, 2012


In Boston, queer, would love to to get involved. Also spend very little time with the computer and a hell of a lot with a very small person, so if someone could make an IRL event or something hen filming or whatever occurs so I (hopefully) don't miss it, I'd very much appreciate it.
posted by sonika at 7:38 AM on September 27, 2012


sonika has a hobbit friend! that's so cool!
posted by hippybear at 7:41 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Handcoding, I think that ("it might get better, but sometimes it doesn’t get better") is important information to give, too. A queer friend of mine mostly didn't like the IGB videos she'd seen - too many puppies and rainbows and bullshit in her mind. From that post:
I wanted an adult to actually say that the shit I was taking over who I was was bullshit and had to stop right now. I wanted a teacher to tell off one of the kids who harassed me, just one time. I would have wanted to have an adult in my life I could actually talk to, but imagining this was beyond me at that point. I just wanted some space to breathe.
Queer kids can smell bullshit as fast (if not faster than) non-queer kids. I don't think this video is meant to feed them more bullshit. Sometimes admitting the hard facts instead of glossing over the bad stuff and admitting that there is still a TON of progress to be made makes the message that it CAN get better more believable.
Overall, I think for me the amazing thing about the It Gets Better project is not the message but the call to visibility. I would have loved this part of it as a queer teen and I love it now as a queer adult.
Just some food for thought.
posted by jillithd at 7:41 AM on September 27, 2012


So this project is, at its heart, a suicide prevention project. I think we need to keep that audience in mind. And while I'll defer to professionals about the messages that are appropriate for people at risk of suicide, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that "sometimes it doesn't get better" is really not a helpful message for someone that is feeling alienated and hopeless.

I like some of the other concepts that people have pitched, especially some of the ideas about how to possibly incorporate allies in the video. Honestly, I think it can be as simple as calling a local meetup, getting everyone together and recording a 4 second clip of everyone shouting "It Gets Better!" together.

Busy Old Fool, I have some complex (possibly beanplate-y) thoughts on usernames v. real names and whether they matter. First off, no. The names don't matter. But they've (mostly) never really mattered for IGB videos. The Google employees who appear in their video aren't well known. I don't know anyone in the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus. So mostly, it is the message which is important. (Caveat: sometimes it has had a major impact when a public figure, like Hillary Clinton or Zachary Quinto, has done a similar video. But unless Hillary is MeFi's own, I don't think that's really an issue for us.)

Second, about usernames, I think that one of the messages that might be helpful/appropriate to come from MeFi is that "there are safe spaces out there for you." It's a subtle message (this is where the beans hit the plate), but allowing users to have quirky usernames and not use their real name hasn't been an impediment to the development of community here. For the dozens of folks I know IRL from MeFi, I still sort of have to dig around in my brain for "real" names when referring to them. Also, we've seen sort of the simultaneous genesis of internet communities... and cyber bullying. And since this is aimed at vulnerable folks, I think it is a relevant and helpful message to send that there are communities out there that are actively working to promote and create positive spaces.

Please keep the concepts and ideas coming!! I've made a list of folks who have commented in this thread in case this has to move over to email for planning/execution. I'm also making a list of suggestions that have been made (like closed captioning), and will be keeping track of those things as well and trying to match them up to people who have the right skills and availability to help with it!

We are ON for MeFi Music's October Challenge, thanks to unSane.
posted by jph at 8:43 AM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Busy Old Fool, i kinda see what you're getting at, but i think what really draws people to IGB has grown beyond savage at this point (i forgot he started it). it's the message that's important, not the man. similarly i think any squee we might feel at seeing well-loved mefites on video will be more of a behind-the-scenes in-the-know private feeling whereas a stranger watching *any* IGB video is usually struck by the universality of the gay experience.

plus the way the group videos tend to be cut, the format lends itself to individuals fading into the chorus of, literally, "it gets better." which is the point-- not one person making it, that would be a fluke, but thousands standing together telling you they've been through that shit and come out the other side.

i agree that metafilter can always be better, but goal-oriented community-building activities (best post contest, meetups, music challenges) are one way to remind everyone that there are people behind the handles.

on preview, jillithd, people who want to shift the focus to making it better bring up a good point, however as was addressed in the thread that inspired jph, IGB was initially a response to the rash of gay teen suicides and general bullying that the media has increasingly reported on in recent years. so the campaign actually speaks to your friend's experience of gay kids not being able to picture a happy future for themselves-- here are some images of happy futures, maybe yours looks like this, please stick around and find out.

i understand that's not getting things done like matching up every distressed kid with an actual person who can help, but if we take the Austin PD as an example, they're saying we in the APD want to help you, it's our job, also we've been through what you're going through and now we have stable, happy lives and families in a red state in a stereotypically not gay-friendly job. ta-da, (SOME) PROGRESS.

perhaps some smart mefites can figure out a way to integrate actual concrete steps/resources so that it's not just puppies and rainbows. and honestly, i don't think the problem is that gay people are wearing rose-colored glasses, i can see how a straight celebrity or school administrator might be inclined towards bullshit, but actual gay people tend to remember quite well what it feels like to be overwhelmed by ones current situation. i understand on the extreme end we're talking assault, getting kicked out of your house, etc, but even gay kids in healthier environments have problems finding their way.

anyways, i can't help but be reminded of this Winger speech. i'll see if i can't rustle up a straightjacket.

on 2nd preview, goddamnit i need to get up earlier. what jph said.

Metafilter: where the beans hit the plate
posted by twist my arm at 9:18 AM on September 27, 2012


JPH: I'm absolutely with you on it not being a big deal whether usernames, real names or pet names are used in the video. I was trying to say that it shouldn't matter whether the users in the video are prominent users on metafilter or rarely-seen semi-lurkers. As you say, it's the message that matters.

Twist my arm: Again, I fully agree with you that IGB is much bigger than its originator; indeed that was really one of my points, that we can come to a good decision about the best way to approach this without refernce to external opinions.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 10:07 AM on September 27, 2012


I am a straight ally and would be down to help, either with non-AV stuff in Boston or with some cash monies if they are needed.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:22 AM on September 27, 2012


And I apologize for using such a charged word like "bullshit". I absolutely do NOT think the IGB project is bullshit. So I probably should have worded that better. I just know that sometimes a kid who is hurting needs to feel that their hurt is valid, too.
posted by jillithd at 11:04 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't necessarily agree that bullying and gay etc need separate videos.…As a non-queer, highly suicidal and terribly alone teen, dog knows I'd have given anything for that kind of support.

Respectfully, and speaking as someone who as a teen was also not queer but alone and struggling with severe depression, I think that those of us who haven't been bullied for being queer should be careful not to take over or co-opt this particular project, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
posted by Lexica at 12:13 PM on September 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


I'm not gay but I'm in ATL, have car, and can cook/drive/carry/haul
posted by pointystick at 12:50 PM on September 27, 2012


I'm sure this is not what you meant, but it comes across like "us straight people give you queer people permission to put out this message." It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

No, obviously that's not what I was hoping for. More of a "straight allies affirming that we're totally welcoming and supportive of lgbtq people in our community" thing. And a "we're totally stoked about this video but happy to be a cheering squad footnote so that lgbtq stories get more airtime" thing.
posted by heatherann at 1:05 PM on September 27, 2012


Personally, I think that the inclusion of allies would be amazing especially if the message is that it sucked but there are communities/safe spaces that can help make it better. And then, ta-daaaah, like a stripper out of a giant cake: the allies appear en masse and they're like "omg haaaaay guys! we're the community and we're here to help make it better and oh did we mention that it gets better and you're awesome?" Just my thoughts.
posted by jph at 1:37 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, can I actually emerge from a giant cake? I feel like this may be my only opportunity to cross that one off my list.
posted by griphus at 2:16 PM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Idea for straight allies: something like "you don't have to do it all alone - we're working to make it better for you".

For those who are throwing around the concept of 'sometimes it doesn't get better' and wondering whether it would be appropriate, I think Hal Duncan's video (NSFW language) for the project might be an interesting watch.
posted by capricorn at 3:36 PM on September 27, 2012


Also, whoever is organizing this, send me a MeMail if you need people to transcribe/caption the video - I'd be interested in helping out.
posted by capricorn at 3:39 PM on September 27, 2012


Oh, I guess I didn't mention explicitly mention this, but I'm in NYC, so you can lump me into that category if you're doing it by locations.
posted by griphus at 3:43 PM on September 27, 2012


Metafilter: like a stripper out of a giant cake.
posted by kagredon at 4:19 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just as a note: MeFi is explicitly not a "safe space" as used in a lot of feminism/queer discourse. I'd be careful with that language.

However, we are, to swipe from the churches, an open and affirming space where it's OK to be LGBTQ.
posted by klangklangston at 4:28 PM on September 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


For allies, perhaps somethign we could do is donate money for an inexpensive camera, a tripod, and some sort of screen-hanginging thingie with blu, green, and gray sheets? They could vbe packaged up and shipped to people who don't have the tech and money to buy the tech but who want to be on camera. I don't know how much it would cost, and there'd be some trust involved, but it could be a tangible way for those of us who aren't QUILTBAG to contribute to the cause without making it an "allied approved" sort of thing which could be misread.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:02 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Omg I think my gay is showing cause I just read QUILTBAG and thought "wtf is that, like... Vera Bradley or something?"
posted by jph at 5:31 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm in! JPH and I can kiss and then look repulsed. Or something.
posted by pomegranate at 6:38 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would be happy to be a part of this in some way, if that is possible. I have general decent internet skills but other than that am not sure how my skill set would be relevant. I was president of my high school gay straight alliance is probably the only relevant fact about me.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 6:59 PM on September 27, 2012


Haven't had time to read all the commentary and updates here, but...

Yes, yes, YES. It should be done, and I would like to help from a personal or organizational standpoint if it can be helpful.
posted by rollbiz at 8:48 PM on September 27, 2012


jph, I like your idea of having an Ask thread kind of morph into people telling their stories. Something that allies might be able to do is narrate stories of those of us who, for whatever reason, aren't comfortable being recorded telling our stories.

As another trans person, I share in Handcoding and titus' concerns. For a lot of trans people, it doesn't get better. I think "it can get better", and "we're working to help make it better", are both more realistic and more reassuring messages.

Also, a lot of It Gets Better videos seem to assume that "GLBT" actually just means "gay and perhaps a little lesbian". I hope this video embraces the full spectrum of diversity among QUILTBAG folks.
posted by jiawen at 9:06 PM on September 27, 2012


Dunno what I could contribute from Dubai, but if people wanna play up the global aspect, something that's clearly from the Middle East could get done.
posted by ambient2 at 10:54 PM on September 27, 2012


If there is anything I can contribute in the DC area, I will. I may not be around MeFi as much as I once was, but the community and the issue are both very important to me. I'd love to be a part of this.
posted by mkhall at 4:49 AM on September 28, 2012


Can we make 30-45 second videos and then email them to a central locale for the choosing and the editing? I'm not sure how this works but we don't need to make it complicated..... Love this idea!!
posted by pearlybob at 4:51 AM on September 28, 2012


Okay, let me see if I got this right:

Queer
Undecided
Intersex
Lesbian
Trans
Bisexual
Allied
Gay

??
posted by desjardins at 9:17 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or is A for Asexual?
posted by desjardins at 9:17 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to submit a video, sure. I can't edit to save my life, though. =)
posted by andreaazure at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2012


Desjardins, A could stand for Asexual or Allied, depending on who you ask.
posted by mkhall at 10:50 AM on September 28, 2012


I know this is totally not mine to decide, but I've always wished that QUILTBAG would catch on more, because it makes so much sense. Not only is it a lot easier to say than "LGBTQ" (or longer variants thereof), but there's something really pleasing about the mental image of a big societal fabric that encompasses everyone and allows for unique and disitinct individuals to co-exist in one big comforting blanket.
posted by Phire at 11:14 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am in.

I am bi, and not due to orientation, (wow, this is tough to say as this is my first public acknowledgement) survived a suicide attempt this last April. I am so lucky I have more people than I thought I did that care about me.

Anyway, I have no real skills in editing, and I am poor. But, I can offer a face and a voice, and maybe that will be enough.

You guys are awesome. MeFi is awesome and I am so lucky I found you all.
posted by Samizdata at 1:02 PM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


jph, I'm happy to help edit, stand with the allies, cheer you on, whatevs. Neat idea!
posted by *s at 2:36 PM on September 28, 2012


That was really brave, Samizdata. We are here for you if you need us.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:02 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like the fact that MeFi is such a diverse population. Could we do something that reflects the international aspect rather than just N American focused; it might benefit stressed kids/teens in other countries if they heard "It Gets Better" in their own language. This a great idea and I'd like to support anyway I can.
posted by arcticseal at 4:18 PM on September 28, 2012


Now I'm going to spend some time trying to think of how to get people recorded against blue, green and grey backdrops...

I've got all the stuff you need there: green/white/black chroma backdrop, HD Camera, lights, mic and boom stand, etc.

I'm in the middle of flyover country, though, and there's only a few of our kind around here, but I dunno how that helps us. I suppose if there's anyone in the SouthEast who wants to do one, I could film them and send them in. It's actually all pretty mobile, and depending on the timetable I might could take it on the road a bit, but work isn't really going to make that possible until a long school break.
posted by absalom at 4:20 PM on September 28, 2012


... although, depending on the timetable, it would be no issue at all to take the train down to NoLa or (a bit tougher) up to Chicago and set something up. But, again, longer timetable than I expect this is.
posted by absalom at 4:22 PM on September 28, 2012


Rock Steady: "That was really brave, Samizdata. We are here for you if you need us."

And y'all are awesome as I said above. That's one of the reasons I would like to get a piece of the film, since I have been around this marvelous place for (sad to say) a major portion of my lifespan.

Actually, I am proud to call myself a MeFi, even if I don't make it off the Blue much.
posted by Samizdata at 6:25 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm playing life on the easiest setting, and I have not the skills nor the equipment nor the internet availability to be helpful to this project in any way.

But I wanted to let you all know I'm rooting for you.
posted by solotoro at 3:10 AM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know how much I can really assist in the project...

But this is a damn fine idea.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 12:02 PM on September 30, 2012


mrs_goldfish & I would be happy to testify. We would probably also like to mention that we now live in the Shenandoah Valley and are happy to take the region's suicidal quiltbag teens out for coffee at the Artful Dodger, etc.
posted by feral_goldfish at 6:30 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


can I submit this as like my directing audition tape? I can light people and good with editing together lots of different talking heads
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 PM on September 30, 2012


I'm basically a lurker, but I lurk a LOT. I love this idea. As a bi, butch feminist life has thrown me a number of pretty painful curveballs. I'm north of San Francisco (Napa area) and if something comes together in the area, I'd be wildly excited to tell kids like I was that it certainly can get very much better.

I'll follow this thread and would love to help. Good on this community for throwing so much support to this idea.

hugs.
posted by metasav at 10:38 PM on September 30, 2012


Hey, I am a straight...ish woman who just so happens to have the skills to provide stuff like titles, credits, light editing, and brief animations, and would be more than happy to contribute. This is awesome.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:30 AM on October 1, 2012


I also briefly thought of making a video (probably some dynamic text thing) addressing the use of hateful language on the internet in general (think Youtube comments, etc.) and pointing out that while can feel oppressive, most people in real life think that mean spirited ignorance is horrible. Just trying to think of a way to frame it to fit with the project, if it does.


In fact, if there is someone out there who has a similar idea and is a better writer than I am, I would be more than happy to narrate and animate your work.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:41 AM on October 1, 2012


Look, uh, fishpigs.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:42 AM on October 1, 2012


I am a straight male in San Francisco who would love to help. I am also a professional commercial editor and I have necessary camera equipment. I'd be happy to set aside a weekend to film people in the San Francisco area and would happily help edit.
posted by matt_od at 6:55 PM on October 1, 2012


Oooh, y'all, this is great! I'm a queer-identified organizer down in Charleston, SC and can offer strategic thinking and people power if this project goes in that direction.

One thought on messaging:

The It Gets Better campaign reflects common feelings of exile that many queers experience. It says to young queer folk that things will get better--once they are old enough to become independently mobile and haul out of their hometown toward the city. And this is a true experience for many LGBTQ youth. Queers are often asked to choose between their family and their desires, their home and their identity. Because the Mefi community is online, it is uniquely positioned to speak to rural, southern, or really any kid who cannot or isn't ready to leave where they are, who doesn't feel like leaving home is an option, or who wants to remain where they are. I think the Mefi It Gets Better Video could be especially powerful if it focused on resiliency--including finding alternative kinds of community.
I have a few questions to the group: How many youth read/participate in Metafilter? What does Metafilter look like to the audience it would be trying to reach?

I am so excited about this potential. Keep it up, y'all!
posted by gracedepapel at 10:44 AM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Okay everyone, I've drafted a bit of guidance for folks who want to be involved. I specifically left some things kind of vague because, as with most things on MeFi, I'd like to just see how the project evolves naturally. (And because, frankly, I don't want to set any rules that might inadvertently disqualify anyone from participating if they want to!)

MeFi It Gets Better Project

Purpose:
To contribute the personal positive experiences of MeFi Members to the growing chorus of voices giving hope to at-risk QUILTBAG youth, and providing them with resources such as The Trevor Project (US), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (US) or Kids Help Phone (Canada). Please feel free to provide resources beyond these.

The Trevor Project
866-4-U-TREVOR

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
1-800-273-TALK

Kids Help Phone (Canada)
1-800-668-6868

Phase One: Content Acquisition
October-November 2012
Deadline: December 1, 2012


• All MeFi Members are welcome to submit personal testimonials and messages of encouragement for QUILTBAG youth.
• Personal videos should be recorded and submitted to itgetsbettermefi@gmail.com for editing and formatting.
• Members are encouraged to wear MeFi t-shirts when filming.
• Members are also asked to film in a location that is quiet, to facilitate easier audio editing at a later date.
• Please keep your submission short, sweet and straightforward! Try to keep your video to under 2 minutes.


Members should only share the information that they feel comfortable sharing, and no specific information is mandatory for inclusion in the project. While no specific script is required, the following outlines the primary information that will help ensure that the project conforms to the standards of the “It Gets Better” project, and may be used as a template:

Introduction
Hi, I’m [Username] and I’m [sexual orientation/gender identity], and I’ve been a member of MetaFilter since [Date]. Out in the real world, I’m [job/hobby/interest/whatever/etc.].

Background Experience
I know growing up can be difficult. [If you have personally experienced any difficulties related to your sexual orientation or gender identity, please choose one specific example and describe it, ending with an encouraging message about how you overcame such difficulties, what resources you relied on, and what options are available for people in similar situations.]

Resolution
I want you to know that it gets better. It did for me, and it can for you.

Phase 2: Music
October 2012

All MetaFilter Members with musical talent are encouraged to take part in this month’s MeFiMusic Challenge, related to the MeFi It Gets Better Project. Participants are asked to compose and record (alone or in collaboration) music that can be used for the MeFi It Gets Better Project Video(s). This is free-form, go nuts.

Phase 3: Collection and Editing
December 2012

All participating members should submit their contribution by December 1, 2012 for final editing/formatting. A format will be chosen that will permit all interested members to participate in the final product.

Phase 4: Profit
Wait. What?

Some members have suggested that they are willing to make a financial contribution to this project, and jessamyn has volunteered to collect these donations and forward them in the name of MetaFilter to The Trevor Project. Please contact her for more details about forwarding your donation.
posted by jph at 1:04 PM on October 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Also, I just wanted to encourage people to call meetups for this project. Of the locations that people provided, a couple themes developed: NYC, Bay Area, LA, DC, Portland, Atlanta, Houston were all represented by at least a handful of interested folks. Scheduling your own meetups in your area should be just the ticket to getting things off the ground!
posted by jph at 5:49 AM on October 3, 2012


This had slipped off my radar, but I'm totally doing it after this horrible zit on my cheek goes away.

Y'all are awesome, and I wish you'd been around when I was 15.

My parents were recently in town, but they're gone now. I wish they were still nearby so they could participate too. My dad couldn't look at me for a few weeks after I came out (or, rather, after they dragged me out), but now he's pro-gay-marriage.

What a difference 20 years makes.

It DOES get better.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:08 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Working on a song for it now.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:37 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 90% of trans people surveyed report experiencing harassment or discrimination at work and 19% experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. "

I experienced both those things in my journey as well but it eventually got a lot better for me and it got better for a lot of my trans friends as well. Everyone's mileage varies of course but I have found out that if you can wait it out - it does get better. Which is kind of the point of thing .
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 8:09 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a song written for this. I think it will be worthy of inclusion, perhaps. Will record and post to Mefi Music within a couple of days, I think.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:54 AM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Second 'It Gets Better' Special Airs on MTV & LOGO Tonight (October 9) at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

Trailer.
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on October 9, 2012


It seems like there's a glut of video editors now, but I'm a Final Cut one if need be.
And I'm up for scoring some music if people are open-minded about what their music should sound like.
Totally sorry for how pathetically long it took me to get to this thread.
posted by chococat at 10:30 PM on October 12, 2012


Well this serves me right for not reading MeTa that often. I will so contribute. rtha, gingerbeer, other queer SF cabal types: who wants to do this meetup?
posted by spitefulcrow at 7:16 PM on October 13, 2012


I'd like to contribute. I'm very late to the party, as I don't read Metatalk, and just noticed the sidebar this morning.

I haven't read this whole thread. I don't have the time or patience. But I'm here, I'm queer, and I can contribute high quality video or ordinary quality (5D Mark III, or Flip or iPhone or a variety of other cameras).

Since I was outed by bullies, in 1970, life has been a wild ride. So here I am today, living in Switzerland. Farm out, man, what a trip!

If interested, give me the details.
posted by Goofyy at 4:08 AM on October 14, 2012


See this comment by jph for all the instructions, Goofyy.
posted by Phire at 7:54 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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