I have to say that I am on board with Megan in the idea that the It Gets Better campaign should be expanded to pretty much anyone that is verbally or physically abused in adolescence:
shouldn't people be doing this for more than just gay kids? A lot of kids are horribly bullied--weird kids, smart kids, new kids, whatever--and some of them, too, kill themselves. And even the many more who don't might need to hear that it doesn't just get better for gay people, but that Aspergers nerds and fat kids and everyone else who gets singled out by abuse really can go on to have a happy, meaningful life that they're very glad they aren't missing out on.Really, she's right. But a backlash argument has occurred, which made my ire rise:
I'm mildly put off by the people who want to include 'many other teens' in this message. Yes, it's true that lots of kids get harassed and bullied, not just gay kids. But the problems faced by gay kids is far worse. GLBT teens are 4 times more likely to kill themselves than straight teens. Hard fact. And in a lot of places, it is perfectly acceptable to harass gay kids, even while administrators discourage bullying of other kids. Gay kids often can't seek support at home from their own homophobic family. So I think it is important that this campaign is directed specifically to GLBT kids, and not just generally to kids that get bullied.This is a bit misleading. The commentor is basically suggesting that nerdy kids, new kids, kids with mild mental disabilities...all should be lumped into "straight kids" to prove that gay kids are more suicidal. But are gay kids more suicidial than goth kids? And what about gay kids vs. the growing population of straight kids being raised by two gay parents? Megan is not saying "all straight kids should also have a It Gets Better campaign" rather she is suggesting that gay kids can benefit from it...and since they aren't the only ones that get bullied or feel alone or have few adult rolemodels...perhaps other groups of teens could benefit too.
TAE makes no attempt to hide that he was a hardcore nerd in high school (and still is, really). I didn't have a lot of friends in high school, and most of them were not in the groups that one would consider popular. I was small, talked fast, and thought faster. That made me a target. But it gets better. I now work as an engineer at one of the top research institutes in the country doing cutting edge research. I'm working on my own research too, and plan to own my own company in the next five years. I have a few good friends. The social hierarchy forced on me in high school has evaporated, as the jocks went off to sales positions, the popular girls are pharmacy reps and nurses, and as college and grad school went on I sort of filtered down into increasingly geeky circles until I find myself now, surrounded by brains like mine.
But, you can imagine, my ten year high school reunion came and went without me getting very excited. In fact I was more interested in not going than anything. To all you high school nerds out there, pining for friends, for relationships with the opposite sex, for acceptance, let me just say this: high school sucks. College is awesome. Hold out a little longer, use your nerdiness to get into a great school like MIT, and embrace what you are. And if ten years later, when your reunion comes around and the popular kids start sending you Facebook invites and messages encouraging you to come...don't feel guilty if you hit 'delete' and move on. The reason you have no interest in high school reunions is because life after high school gets so much better for you. The reason the popular kids are so interested in high school reunions is because after high school, their reign at the top basically ended, and they miss it.