Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NYU Athletics Department Delivers Inspiring “It Gets Better” Message

First, let me apologize for my absence. I needed to take a break from blogging for awhile, but I am rejuvenated and back.

This It Gets Better video made by the NYU Athletics Department is a great way to reenter the blog world. It is an inspiring and important message from athletes, coaches, administrators, gay and straight. I truly believe that this video and the message it sends are the way of the future in athletics. We still have struggles and too many programs in which LGBT athletes and coaches cannot compete openly, but we are moving ahead. Watch it and enjoy. I dare you not to smile.

8 comments:

Wyman Stewart said...

If I assume this NYU video is meant to help decreate suicide and other potential self-destructive behavior of various non-straight sexual identifiers, which I believe has been the stated intent of making these videos, then I would have two criticisms of the NYU video.

1.) Only Scott Donie, I believe his name is, offered personal testimony that he had been bullied in the past, for being Gay. Unless I missed it, after watching the video twice, no one else offered such testimony.

This, to me, is an important shortcoming, if this message is meant for high school seniors and younger. I think they will say to themselves, "Yeah, one guy was bullied. One bullied guy succeeded. That's not me."

2.) "It gets better!" What gets better? Are you less bullied in college? Less bullied if you take up sports? Less bullied if you survive 4 years of high school? It gets better because the bully gets tired of you, if you wait out all the bullying you're suffering now?

It's a nice slogan; pretty words. I am sure there will be some positive effects, which is better than nothing. Overall, the message will not reduce suicide, nor bullying.

The Big Apple, along with some other major cities, are more homogeneous and tolerant of everything, including some things forbidden by law. You might inspire some teens to run off to such cities, thinking a nirvana exists in these areas. However, since most teens live in areas that are vastly different in many ways, you need more than a "It Gets Better" message.

You need to teach some practical survival tips. What helped Donie survive, beyond being a strong individual, who could take it or fight back?

Personally, I have asked myself this question: Should every student entering school be psychologically evaluated, with thorough follow-ups, every school year? Given, as individuals, children will be strong and weak in the areas evaluated, should a psychological program, like an education program, be employed for each child?

Now, realizing people with agendas invade such well-intentioned ideas, I am frightened by my own sugguestions. However, I don't think it is rational to think saying, "It Gets Better" will end suicide or bullying.

I didn't smile, but that's my nature. My concern for the survival of any human life, however different it may prove to be from my own life, is not viewed without concern. When I read of anyone dying younger than I am, but especially the young, it bothers me. I have sat and wondered how I lived to the age I am. I think the NYU message and others like it, simply give groups of people the chance to slap each other's back with self-congratulations. You have solved nothing. When it comes to suicide, I wish you had.

I hope I have added something positive to the discussion by being a contrarian. It's better than nothing, but not good enough.

Wyman Stewart said...

It might be nice if you take a minute to let your reading audience know when you abandon your blog. I have noticed other bloggers extend this courtesy to their readers; not all, but many do.

Another point about the "It gets better" video I noticed is this: It harps almost exclusively on Gays, paying faint lip-service to others your blog claims to represent or stand up for.

Even if the majority are Gay, aren't the other groups going to feel somewhat ignored? Are they less suicidal or less bullied?

I am no marketing expert, but I am guessing, you must speak directly to an audience you intend to hear your message, to make an impact on them. You are speaking to a multiple audience, therefore they must feel inclusion.

Anonymous said...

Seems the men's basketball and wrestling teams missed the filming. Imagine that.

Elly said...

Hi Pat
sorry this is a bit OT. But you are referenced in a new book on 'declining homophobia' I thought you may be interested to read my review:

http://www.genderandeducation.com/issues/homophobia/

Thanks

Elly Tams
www.dreleanortams.wordpress.com

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I have to say it is really a good post. I have learnt a lot. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

pay per head software said...

Sports are a great way to help people to join together without political affiliation, ethnic differences and sexual orientation together, economical status and it should be like that.

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