Rather than just this campaign on YouTube, there would be a bigger impact if kids’TV was required to be LGBT-inclusive, which is far from the case at the moment. Recently CBBC Newsround has been asking celebrities what life was like when they were 10 years old. One of the questions is did they fancy anyone at school.
Mollie from the Saturdays
Great news but tell it to the RC Church and the Black Churches who say its a sin!!!!! I once read a really great line: “I don’t have a problem being gay. Its the rest of the world that screws me up!”
no Tory politicians named, not even auntie Duncan.
Margot James did a video for Stonewall’s campaign:-
Most of the videos have very poor sound quality and seem to have been recorded at the recent Stonewall awards venue
Who are these politicians? It would mean more if there were people on there who were actually recognizable.
It’s good they’ve done it but why haven’t the big players stepped up?
No doubting the good intentions of all those politicians and celebrities who took part in Stonewall’s campaign. Unfortunately most kids, even if they see the videos, will know few if any of the politicians. But they might know the soap stars and one or two other people.
Ideally Stonewall should have tried to get sports personalities to take part. Sport is an area where Schools Out is doing particularly good work in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics.
Gilbert says “.. governments programme to tackle homophobic bullying”…
out of inteterest what is this programme , what’s the results , when did it start etc…
When is Stonewall going to try to make things better for those gay people who want equality?
I’m waiting to see Stonewall launch their marriage equality campaign.
They’ve had 5 years to organise it.
Why the delay?
Okay. Firstly, as a gay teenager, to me these videos seemed overly politicised and impersonal. I’ve watched many of the US It Gets Better project videos, and they’re personal and heartfelt and touching and they don’t even mention political issues. Secondly, to be honest, they were kind of invalidating the fear of coming out that young people have. Steve Gilbert’s telling me nobody really cares if I’m gay, and that my friends and family will respect me and value my honesty/bravery etc.From my mother’s comments I know this is not true. Many other young gay people also know this. I was talking to a girl last night who said she’d had no home for a while in her last year of school after she’d come out to her parents. Gareth Thomas did a program last year which featured a boy who was suffering homophobic bullying at school and who was so afraid that he wouldn’t show his face on camera. Mr Gilbert’s message is just not watertight.
Thirdly, Diane Abbott’s telling gay kids to make a difference and stand up for their rights. I thought this campaign was for the ones who are being bullied, who are scared to come out, who can’t stand up for themselves for fear of just getting beaten back down. It’s all very well telling someone, you’ve got to make a difference – try standing up for yourself when you’re the only gay kid in school and you constantly get ridiculed for it. If anyone should be standing up for gay rights, it’s those politicians, not young victims of bullying who I thought were the intended audience for the video campaign.
Fourthly, blatant rip-off of the excellent US campaign. Just saying.
And another thing: the US campaign got the President to make a video. I know we haven’t had a national tragedy like the spate of suicides over there, but Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron are notable by their absence.
thank you Oscar for remiding us what it is like to be a gay teen, your pointa are well made!
The only thing one can say is at least they’re trying. Not well, but it’s a start.
It’s time for the teachers’ unions and associations to step up to the plate and say that they will abandon any teacher that allows bullying, and for the teachers’ licensing panel to strike teachers off for inaction.
Have to say that Oscar’s experience is not unique. It’s a few years since I was a teen, but a while back I told a friend to not be frightened of coming out. I thought his parents would accept him, but how wrong I was. He was from a religious family and suffered considerable distress. So I’d never advise anyone again, especially if they’re worried about their parents, because things don’t always go smoothly. The Albert Kennedy Trust tries to to pick up the pieces for young gay people who find it impossible to live at home.
As regards the Stonewall videos, some were making political points, which Oscar points out. However, last year I remember Nick Clegg making a video about homophobic bullying in time for Anti-Bullying Week 2009. Whether they will keep to the Coalition promise should be apparent by no later than next week, which will be Anti-Bullying Week 2010. If there’s to be any new Coalition Government initiative I would expect an announcement by then.
Unfortunately I have the impression that Stonewall’s “rip-off” campaign is not very well done at all. And its message is not well thought out. The campaign and videos appear to have been desperately cobbled together, without any concern for a minimum acceptable quality. Perhaps some kids who come across the videos will be insulted that more care hasn’t been taken.
The American It Gets Better campaign was criticised from the get-go by some people because it took as axiomatic that gay teens are in a bad situation i.e. it didn’t, by its nature, challenge existing homophobia. Stonewall was aware of this criticism and so modified the American slogan to the rather curious and slightly nonsensical ‘It Gets Better Today – We Can Make It Happen’
There was a well-intentioned drama TV programme today about a gay teenager at a Catholic School who tries to commit suicide. It’s available on the BBC iPlayer until the end of Anti-Bullying Week.
The American project’s aim was not to challenge homophobia directly nor to address homophobic people/bullies but simply to address gay youngsters who are being bullied that the bullying won’t last forever. Dan Savage in his preamble made the point that gay celebrities such as himself who speak about LGBT issues are not allowed into schools to speak to schoolchildren, and a lot of the time it seems that teachers in the US act under a sort of non-official don’t ask don’t tell policy – LGBT issues seem rarely touched upon which makes it difficult for anyone to address young homophobic bullies in order to try to tackle the bullying. This is a problem not for the campaign but for the US government and school boards which unfortunately both seem overly populated by adult homophobic bullies perfectly happy to let the young ones get away with it on their watch.
Stonewall and the UK government: yes, you can make it happen. We, the teenagers whom you are addressing in your videos, are far less able. I would have more trust in you if you stated that you are making it better rather than just that you can but don’t appear to be doing much about it.
The Stonewall campaign has not been very well publicised either. I’ve heard about the US campaign in a few different places on the web, whereas this one I’ve pretty much only heard about here, and I doubt Pink News has a large teenage fanbase.
In short, good idea, not so good execution.