Monday, June 27, 2011

This is him!

Dan Savage poignant "It Gets Better Campaign" came about because of a grim reality regarding how marginalized gay and lesbian kids feel and the bullying that further isolates them. This past weekend, I was reminded of the happier side of Dan Savage's campaign - the part that addresses "The Better"...

There is a young man (18 years old to be exact) who lives in my complex. At first glance he looks like a tough city kid. His Boston accent, stocky build which mimics his gigantic father and cigarette permanently hanging from his lips makes him look anything like his friendly, easy-going personality. This kid (let's call him Adam), comes from a solid blue collar, take no crap kind of family. We've been neighbors for a few years now and while I don't know his whole story, I do know that he's gay.

As far as I was aware, he was closeted (maybe he still is). However, the other day he told me with quite a bit of pride that his boyfriend was coming to visit him. I was happy for him and told him so, but it wasn't until I saw him later this weekend that I realized how happy. On Sunday afternoon as my partner and I were driving through the courtyard we looked up and saw Adam with a friend. When Adam recognized us he lit up and started shouting as loud as he could pointing to the other young man. "This is Him!" I think he must have said it 2-3 more times at the top of his lungs. He was so excited and proud. And seeing this young, tough-kid from Boston all excited to be with his boyfriend and be shouting it for all the world to hear made me think you know what Dan Savage is right, it does get better. And if you're lucky like Adam - you don't have to wait that long to realize it.

25 comments:

Handsome Homebody said...

I don't think it will ever get better for me... I'm not fully out but not fully in either... but in my 40s and almost impossible to meet guys where I live... and moving is NOT an option... but hey I keep trying with match.com and who knows... it may...

truthspew said...

Well, it got a whole lot better for me in my late 20's. I found the one I've been with for nearly 20 years now.

And thanks for that story about Adam. I'm glad he's happy.

DeepBlue said...

It gets better compare to the 80's, although not evenly (thus HH's comment above). It all depends on where you live! It gets better faster in big cities.
And it will get better, unfortunately too late for many of us! Makes me happy to hear thoses stories about young lads.
Let's admit that the Internet plays a big role, connecting people like they never before!

kevinaries said...

Nice to hear. Thanks for sharing this tiny story that's full of hope!

mistress maddie said...

Now THIS is the best pride post I read all month!!! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Dwight Supremacy said...

This is just total awesomeness!

Blobby said...

Love the story.

I did film my "IGB" vid months ago - and I understand where some might say it won't / can't get better.

But it does. Honest.

I won't say it is not tough - it is, or can be. And there are still places I don't feel comfortable being affectionate with my husband, but giving up some of what you care about because it makes others uncomfortable falls farther and farther off my radar. It's their problem.

I know they make it our problem, but that's how they win.

HH - I'm always open to talking if you ever need.

VpO said...

Great story!

SteveA said...

That's such a great story - happy endings! There's always hope, but really being brave is so hard - I'm happy for them!

David Dust said...

FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC post!!

Is someone chopping onions?? My eyes are suddenly all watery...

XOXOXOXOXO

Alan Bennett Ilagan said...

I don't know why this moved me so much, but it did. Maybe it's the simple fact of seeing someone so happy, for what should be taken for granted. I wish them the best.

Bob said...

Great story. I can see that kid's face in my mind.

It got better for me the instant i said the words.
Then there was no more hiding or lying or feeling any kind of shame whatsoever.

Tony (LT) said...

This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read anywhere ever. Besides the kid being so over the moon and so proud of it, what makes it really great is that I get the feeling that his knowing and seeing you and your partner around for how ever many years helped him realize he doesn't have to be ashamed. You guys probably helped him out without even realizing it.

Kyle said...

As the Countess DeLave would say: "Oh, l'amour, l'amour, how it can let you down. Hmm. How it can pick you up again."

What a beautiful story BosGuy. The more we can be all we are the better off we all are. There is certainly nothing like the effect love has on us. For good or ill it takes a hold of us.

I'm just beaming hearing the story.

thegayte-keeper said...

It sure does! Thanks for sharing this story!

Loki's Log said...

What an amazing post. The thrill in witnessing Adam's freedom must have been exhilirating. Clearly you and your partner have set the type of example to him that he felt so compelled to share with you both. Wow.

behrmark said...

Empowering story!

Mike D said...

Wonderful story. I know the happiness he is feeling. Thanks for sharing.

Will said...

A lovely story and there are a couple of collateral sub-stories that suggest themselves:

A) If this young man has his boyfriend staying with him at the family home, it means his parents are OK with their son just the way he is, which is great and indicates just how far the culture has shifted.

B) He's typical of a generation that is completely comfortable in its gay identity and will, in a couple of decades and in concert with the previous pretty gay-friendly generation, be taking over government and other national institutions to shift the culture even further.

There is a lot of work to do for those gay/lesbian boys and girls who aren't growing up in enlightened communities, but your story is so encouraging.

Lenny Donnarumma said...

Love! XO

WranglerMan said...

It's a good story. And the "It Gets Better" campaign is well-meaning and well-intentioned. When you are feeling as if no one else in the world feels the way you do, the realization that there are others out there like you is reassuring.

But what about the gay kid living through hell right now? Telling him or her that it gets better doesn't alleviate the pain or suffering that they are living at this moment.

We need to do more than campaigns like Dan Savage's. His is a start, but only a start.

Dean Grey said...

So very sweet!

How I long for the day when I can finally meet someone and say, "This is him!"

-Dean

Russ Manley said...

What a sweet story. So different from when I was his age - his life will be very different too, and I hope, better.

Which is what we're all fighting for.

Writer said...

OMG, just saw this post, and I thought my day couldn't get any happier! :D

Jason said...

What an amazing story, I am so happy for this young man. I hope he has a happy fulfilled life and is able to find love (maybe he has with the boyfriend) and get married and live happily ever after. That is all gay people want, to be in love and live their lives happily. I am 34 and when I was 18, I was tormented by society because I was perceived as gay, even thought I had not come out yet. But it does get better, I came out when I was 22 and have been with my partner for nearly 12 years now. I never want to see a kid be tormented for who they are.