happy new year … for me, one of the cultural highlights of 2010 was the youtube campaign started by dan savage and his partner terry called “it gets better” … the impetus was the sad suicides of gay youth … i haven’t done a video yet, but growing up in cowboy country prompted the following poem …

it gets so much better

hard to comprehend
i know
when you’re being bullied
by neanderthals
in school halls
who unleash
their insecurities
through cruelty
and intimidation
because you’re somehow different

it gets better
easy to say
from the perspective of distance
and years

when i think back
to the fears unleashed
by crude boys
threatening to hurt
or even kill me
because i wasn’t a jock
was effeminate
and easy to mock
i appreciate that terror
is impossible to see beyond

the profound dread
of threatened attack
with no physical prowess
or inclination
to fight back
even the prospective injury
not as frightening
as the thought
”i am not like the others
never will be
and it shows
i am marked
and everyone knows”

but somehow you survive
(not all of us though
and that is why
we try to show
it does
yes it does get better)

you move on to other places
“i can start anew
reinvent myself as someone who
will not accrue
the animosity
i’ve become accustomed to”

it isn’t true
you can not escape
your nature
your essence
your inherent effervescence

but if you’re lucky
or persistent
you’ll find others
to your unique
and special charms
and some who
are quite a lot like you
surprise, surprise
with a story
that belies
their current joie de vivre
whose camaraderie
gives you reprieve
from the horrors
of your youth
and leads you to embrace the truth
it does get better

and best of all
know you can find
someone fun
and of like mind
with whom to share
the starry night
the daily fare
the minor slight
the major share
of happiness
so overdue

oh yes
it does get better
for the likes
of you

posted by bill on December 27, 2010, at 9:56 am | filed under news, poetry | no comments »

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