Monday, October 24, 2011

It Gets Better

Savage, D. and Miller, T. (2011). It gets better: coming out, overcoming bullying, and creating a life worth living. NY: Dutton.
LS5385: YA Lit / Informational Books

Though I am glad there are so many people who contributed to this book - young, old, straight, LGBT, famous, and not - I found it depressing.  Yes, most of the essays tell kids struggling as LGBT (or just being 'different') that their lives are precious and worth living because of all the future holds, the overwhelming message I got is that their high school years are just going to be awful and they need to suck it up and get through it.  I find this unacceptable on so many levels.  Many of the essays also talk about this huge support network that's "out there" for these kids if they'll just go looking, but I don't think that is always the case.

When you are fourteen years old and being bullied and mocked, to be told to just "hang in there" for the next four years seems impossible.  Four years is nothing when you're forty, but at fourteen, that's a lifetime and some of these kids are so beaten down (both literally and emotionally) that they don't have the strength to go on.

This book is definitely a step in the right direction and I hope is a comfort to any teen (or anyone) who is struggling with being able to be who they are without being persecuted for it.  And the list of contributors and their essays are impressive, and it is definitely an eye-opener for someone who hasn't experienced or witnessed the topics discussed in the book.  I hope for those people, it will help them become more sensitive to those who are singled-out and become advocates instead of passive observers.

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