There’s been a lot of talk about the It Gets Better project and how “It Gets Better” is mostly true for cis-gendered, white, gender conforming, able bodied, middle-class gay and lesbian youth. This is an alternative project aimed at youth for whom it very well may NOT get better.
The You’re Not Alone Project asks for video contributions from everyone, but especially those who are queer, trans, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, people of color, immigrants, disabled, or any other often-ignored part of the queer umbrella. The message is not that it gets better, but that queer youth are not alone. We’re a large, diverse community that can offer support and understanding, even when change is slow in coming.
To participate, upload a short video (less than 10 minutes) to the video service of your choice. The goal is to communicate your own experiences in your own “words”–speaking, singing, signing, using art, dance, whatever medium you prefer–with the theme You Are Not Alone. All languages and means of communication are encouraged. Focus on queer youth in general or on a particular population. You might tell a story, talk about your identity or your community, or provide resources for support. Don’t forget to tag your video with You’re Not Alone and any keywords that are relevant. Once you’ve uploaded, submit your link to me at one of the following:
You can also e-mail the link to yourenotalonevideos [at] gmail [dot] com.
If interest is high, I will buy a domain for the project and post an index of all these videos on the web. Please reblog and share widely! This won’t work unless we get a diversity of voices to contribute.
There’s been a lot about children and gender identity on my radar screen lately, from stores with gender-neutral children’s clothing to the media ridiculousness surrounding little Shiloh to the tragic murder of a 16-month-old little boy whose mother’s boyfriend didn’t think the infant was “man” enough. I’ve also been tapping into my own inner-child potential as I try to resolve issues with depression and finding my gender identity.
Childhood, ideally, is all about play. Children who are given safe spaces to exercise their curiosity and explore their surroundings as they grow up are more likely to be well-adjusted adults. Adults, in fact, could learn something from children. It’s amazing how a problem changes shape and how solutions present themselves when you take a step back and approach the problem with your imagination guns a blazin’.
And that’s the thing about childhood. Imagination doesn’t do well with boxes. It’s about exploring possibilities, playing, learning. As we get older, society draws lines and we all learn where those lines lie. We learn that boys do this and girls do this, and we learn behaviors that society considers “appropriate” to our gender. And for those of us who don’t feel 100% comfortable with our gender, it may take years to unwrap those neat little packages we’ve been dressed up in and try to find who we are, independent of this thing called “gender.” It may take a lot of play.