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In high school, everyone gets bullied for being different. But gay and lesbian students get it worst of all. These kids are told that somethng that is fundamental to who they are is not only different but wrong. And the worst part of it is, unlike those who get picked on for being too short or wearing the wrong kind of shoes, it is not only the kids who are doing it. Adults are doing the bullying as well. Many of them grew up in a different time, and are passing their closed-mindedness on to the next generation. But the tides are changing.
As the recent, and tragic, suicides of gay teens showed us, bullying can be lethal it is a serious thing. And it is up to us to do something about it. Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project compiles videos, many from high-profile celebrities, telling gay and lesbian youths that there is hope, that although life seems cruel now, they do have a future.
In California, the state whose famous Proposition 8 delivered a huge blow against same-sex unions (and may end up being the definitive gay marriage battle in the courts), the state senate recently passed a bill mandating that gay history be taught in schools. This bill would hopefully show LGBT that there are people out there like them, fighting for their rights, and there have been for many years. It could also teach all students to be more open-minded.
It will be a hard-won fight, but it gets better.