I am so moved by the number of people who have joined the It Gets Better campaign through The Trevor Project. Tonight I caught the video Stephen Colbert made – out of character and speaking in sincerity – and it resonated with me. Like me, Colbert is a straight ally. And like me, Stephen Colbert was teased in school.
Lemme say a little something before I turn it over to Mr. Colbert.
When you’re a regular victim of a bully, it’s absolutely horrifying. You back away, you want to stay at home, your stomach ties in knots, you want people to like you, and you feel like you’ll never get anywhere in the world past grade school. You might even find yourself calling people hurtful words. I hate to admit I called a lot of people “sluts” and “faggots” when I was in junior high – without even understanding what it meant. I was dealing with my own hurt – being teased for my glasses, for developing at an early age, having frizzy hair or not wearing the right brand of jeans.
But people grow up. Some still remain jerks, and even become famous or get elected to office. Some people you’ve known all your lives might suddenly turn on you. But eventually, as you grow, become comfortable with who you are and find people who understand you, it does get better.
I have very close, old friends that encompass every letter in the LGBT community. Some of them came out to me. It’s not easy. You can have every friend and family member loving you no matter what, but there will be parts that hurt. It’s that way for anything, really.
Even when you are an adult, there are still going to be people who will ignore you, will judge you, will proclaim that they know where you’re going or what you’re doing. Just remember that’s not on you; they are dealing with their own issues in life. What we can do is point out hatred and bigotry when we see it, and be as vocal about it as possible. Too many people have lived in silence, hating themselves just for being who they are. Too many people have died too young, before even giving themselves the chance to blossom.
It gets better. It does. And whether you are straight, gay, bi, transgender, whether you’re male or female, too fat or too thin or too tall, or don’t meet someone else’s standards when you feel your most comfortable – it’s okay. You are not alone.
Take it away, Stephen: