This was on news.com.au:
Why it’s harder being a gay teenager today than in the 1970s
T’S tougher being a gay teenager now than it was in the 1970s, rights activist and popular US advice columnist Dan Savage says.
Rather than making things easier, increased awareness of gay culture means high schoolers who don’t fit the popular mould are now more likely to find themselves being bullied and harassed, Savage said.
“I think it’s gotten worse for gay teenagers,” he said. “One of the advantages I enjoyed at school 30 years ago that you could fly under the radar.
“I was a weird kid with no interest in girls, I liked musicals and I liked to bake and I like to read and people did not automatically assume I was gay.
“Nowadays, there’s an awareness… that an interest in musicals, an interest in baking and a disinterest in girls if you’re a boy – case closed, you’re a fag,” he said.
The 46-year-old, who writes the popular Savage Love column, is the advocate behind a YouTube project aimed at helping bullied kids with the simple but effective message: it gets better
When he launched the campaign last year he hoped 100 people would post clips with personal messages of support for teenagers bearing the brunt of schoolyard harassment, but he was not prepared for the wave of global support.
Within days of its launch, hundreds of submissions, including a number from Australia, had been posted to the It Gets Better YouTube channel.
There are now more than 10,000 clips racking up more than 40 million views with President Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and UK Prime Minister David Cameron among the heavyweights who have volunteered to be a part of the project.
Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Glee’s Matthew Morrison, Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Ellen DeGeneres, and the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, and Pixar have also lent their weight to the project.
“It has saved lives, it has saved kids lives,” Savage said.
There are now It Gets Better off-shoots in the UK, South Africa and Israel.
Savage hopes Australia is the next country on the list.
I don’t really think I agree with him. Firstly, not one in high school picked up that I was gay despite my unusual disinterest in girls. Secondly, I’ve had a number of very positive experience with high-school students. Including meeting one group of catholic school girls who wanted to make a gay student their school captain. In fact, some of my run ins with HSers are changing my perception of their group!
The It’s Gets Better project is awesome though.