I’ll Never Do An “It Gets Better” Video

Distractions, Queer stuff

I thought about jumping on the band wagon and doing one of those hip and trendy “It Gets Better Video” that everyone is doing but I sort of have to take myself out of the equation.

See, in grade school, I was the bully.

Okay I wasn’t a good bully, not like some character out of a Steven King novel, materializing out of nowhere at the last page of a chapter and relentlessly terrorizing the hero for three hundred subsequent pages. No, I was just a jerk.

In grade 5, there was a kid I absolutely hated. Time has eroded the reason why but I remember standing in line to get back into the school after one recess and thinking that That Shillkin kid need a face full of knuckles to shut him up. At the time I was a weedy kid. Thin and unremarkable. As my gaze drifted over the crowd I saw Peter. Peter Hickling. Now HE was a bully – taller and thicker than any other kid in his grade, yet stupid as a cedar plank. Probably why he was a bully. Hum. Probably why I was a bully…

The next day I took a dollar to school and got Peter alone. I offered him cash to punch That Shillkin kid. He’d get paid when the job was done, preferably after school away from teachers. Yeah, that’s right I was a little thug.

Later, as I walked home from school, right in front of the St Francis Xavier church, in broad daylight, Peter and a couple of his friends cornered me and shoved me down for that dollar. I never learned if I got what I paid for. Sort of.

I did decide from that moment on I would never interfere with anyone’s life in a negative way, ever again.*

Of course, as a teenager, I broke that rule so many times – like a politician to a prostitute.

All of the times I broke that rule were stupid, dramatic teen crap, but the one time I regret the most is calling a gay kid in school a “fag”, yet knowing exactly what I was at the time. It’s a stain on my moral past I just can’t seem to erase, no matter how much club soda I use. I’ve since come clean to him via Facebook (yay internet!) but ultimately, being Italian and ex-Catholic, the embarrassment of that still sits around.

So while I agree utterly with the whole “It Gets Better” campaign, I don’t feel I have the right to speak about it.

…which I’ve just done…

But you know what I mean. I guess I’d say “Yeah it does get better, but don’t mess up the foundation of how things get better.”

Oh and also, “Clothes get better too.”

*I know how hypocritical it is to say this yet I work in Online Marketing. Shaddap

5 thoughts on “I’ll Never Do An “It Gets Better” Video

  1. cb

    I keep thinking I might do a “It gets Bitter” video. You know– about the realities of turning 41, and living alone, eating dinners for one, and having a cat.

  2. postbear

    why sweat it? you’ve been out for about fifty years now, the whole igb campaign is really targetted at people a whole lot younger than you, and unless you have something relevant to say to them or an interesting perspective to offer, you’re not adding anything significant. think of it like pride – great to show your support and all, and people of all shapes and sizes really ought to be represented, but we’ve all seen plenty of happily married middle-aged queermos, so consider the slot filled.

    then again, a former bully might be just the person to offer a needed twist, but you don’t offer huge bully cred in your examples. if you do decide to make a former-bully-now-goodguy video, make up some crawlspace victims or anything that would add drama.

    maybe someone should make a series of “it gets worse” videos showing the flipside of all this – clunky straight hillbilly former bullies, all now listless thousandaires in third marriages, grossly unattractive, living in trailer parks and working part time at the grease exchange (and with all the rest of the stereotypes piled on for full nonsense effect). to the webcams, amateurs.

  3. Brahm (alfred lives here)

    Good post. So you were one of those guys who locked me in my locker!

    I have mixed feelings about the It Gets Better videos — I love them for the intent and the heart, I wish were married to a proactive “make it better” stance.

  4. Don

    Yah, I won’t be doing an “It gets better” video either. I do agree with the underlying reason for doing them but the onslaught of robotic cherubs chanting “It gets better” has become disengenuous. The truth being that things do get better after high school but then the really tough shit happens after that. How you decide to handle it is what makes that journey personal and interesting.

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