It Gets Better

It Gets Better

There have been quite a few things I wanted to blog about lately but couldn't seem to set the time aside for. However, one thing I absolutely didn't want to miss out on was this message of hope from Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns to GLBT youth—and the thirteen-year-old boy he used to be.

I think these messages (You can check out many more It Gets Better videos on the YouTube channel.) serve two purposes. The first is to communicate to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people (who are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, according to a Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey) that life does get better—much better, that they'll find acceptance, build full, satisfying lives and leave the bullies behind in the dust.

The second message here (as we read between the lines) is that the bullies who are abusive to GLBT youth are small, frightened people at heart who will either be left behind or evolve and grow into better people themselves. We can't tolerate the actions of bullies of any age. They need to know we won't. Not in our schools, our shopping malls, our streets, our homes. Every person who broadcasts an it gets better message also contributes to the growing societal belief that it is completely unacceptable to stand against someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The more we hear this, the more often we discuss the issue and make our views known the less bullying in general there will be. Children aren't born to be bullies. They learn it from us and it's time to teach them something else.

On a slightly different topic (I say slightly because Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is quite the bully himself), I'm sure Stephen Harper was stunned at Canada's failure to obtain a UN security council seat. Who knew that other countries actually pay attention to a country's foreign policy when voting on these matters! Yes, other countries have noticed that our foreign policy has been exceedingly sucky lately, just like our environmental policies. In fact, we suck so much that many of us don't notice just how much Canada sucks except when other countries tell us so.
"It is hard to see what human rights principles guide Canada when it alone of all Western nations allows one of its own to continue to be held in Guantanamo or when its government is willing to padlock Parliament to avoid scrutiny of the country’s treatment of Afghan detainees."
Yep, we suck so, so much that sometimes it appears that our human rights record is being inspired by China! Just ask G20 protester Alex Hundert...or no, don't because he's not allowed to talk to the press due to bail conditions he was coerced into signing while at a Toronto East Detention. Allegedly, officers there threatened to keep Alex in solitary confinement for the rest of his trial unless he signed them...and still he initially refused. Alan Young, a law professor at Osgoode Hall, characterizes this aspect of Hundert's bail conditions as, "basically putting a gag order on a citizen of Canada, when it’s not clear that the gag order is at all necessary to protect public order."

Oh Canada, what the hell has happened to you?

Finally, I want to mention that at long last I was able to watch Nowhere Boy, a biopic about John Lennon's teen years. I first saw the trailer over a year ago and have been waiting and waiting for this to hit North American screens. In some ways (I devoured John Lennon biographies as a teenager) this felt like a movie I've been waiting over half my life to see.

Having said all, that it's obvious I had really high hopes for this film but Nowhere Boy exceeded them. The facts about John Lennon's messy childhood are well known but I wasn't prepared for the complex and highly emotional treatment Nowhere Boy offers us. For the last half hour or so I just felt like bawling my eyes out. Cool as the trailer is, it makes the movie mostly look fun. And I'm not saying there's a shortage of crazy antics and barbed quips in Nowhere Boy because there's plenty of that too but this film is much deeper than that and Aaron Johnson (who was fantastic in Kick Ass) absolutely shines his heart out here. I was in awe of his performance. Major kudos to director Sam Taylor-Wood and star Aaron Johnson for making a beautiful movie about John Lennon's beginnings.

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