IT GETS BETTER: LEHIGH VALLEY Video Submission

Take a look at what one little idea turned into:

What this project means to me:

I’m obviously an advocate for human rights. All the political aspects and statistics aside for a moment, the part of me that permanently lives in a world of rainbows and kittens and cartoon bluebirds singing in the air just plain doesn’t understand how homosexuality is still a negative issue for many people. I don’t get it. At all. There is not a single thing that anyone can say, not a SINGLE thing, that can justify to me how the love of two consenting adults is less than wonderful.

If one could try, for a moment, to consider all aspects of  life, it may shock most naysayers to realize how many queer people they know personally. What about your bank teller? The cashier at the store? The farmer that harvested your food? The person that drove the truck that brought your food to the store? The person that works in advertising and made the poster you saw for the concert you went to that ended up being the most fun you’ve had in years?

Recent political campaigns have only polarized people further – “us” versus “them”. In the midst of judging people based on their social class, their current job, who they date, what politcal party they belong to, their body type,  if they are religious or not, etc… (and all the while believing ” it’s wrong to judge people!”) we forget this one, teeny tiny fact – We all live on this same big, round ball. All of us. Every last one of us. And we’re all in this together.

When we support one another despite differences, we set an example for others. We awaken a part of people that may have forgot that within us we have enough power to shape our lives and our communities.

I want to mention that the video above came about in 3 simple steps. 1) I said “I want to make a collaboration video for It Gets Better”. 2) I called some local filmmakers to ask if they had interest, and without missing a beat they said “Yes, absolutely”. 3) I talked to Civic Theatre about giving a public space to shoot, and they likewise didn’t bat an eyelash to say “Yes, here is space for the whole day, take as long as you need.”

Done. It was literally that simple.

That’s not to say that things will always be that easy, or that you’ll always know the right people. But it does mean that taking an action – not just thinking “Wouldn’t it be cool IF…”, but taking the steps to contact people and, you know, actually do something, made this come together.

YOU have the power to do that. Yeah, I’m going to use the word “power” even if it sounds a little hokey. Because that’s truly what it is. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for what we can make possible, if we just begin the process.

Today, think about a project YOU would like to do…then do it. If it’s starting a new hobby, reading that book you’ve had on your nightstand for months, getting friends together to watch a film or have a dinner party, or take the time to think through ways you can begin something even bigger – you owe it to yourself to do it. You will benefit, and so will everyone around you. (Isn’t that nice?)

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems” – Ghandi

(“Truth and Love” print, $20 from MursBlanc; “Small Acts” print, $20 from the Big Harumph via Etsy)

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IT GETS BETTER: A Lehigh Valley Video Project

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the “It Gets Better” project – an internet based project where various people in support of GLBT rights and tolerance have had short video testimonials aimed at queer youth, to remind them that much of the harassment and injustices they face will get better in time.

The internet is full of video subissions, from various organizations to political leaders, to random folks wanted to lend their words and support. I’m so happy to announce that when I got in touch with some people to see if they had interest in helping make a Lehigh Valley PA submission, everyone immediately said “Yes!”.

So! On Sunday, Nov. 7th, ANYONE interested in participating can go to Civic Theatre of Allentown, from 1-4pm, where they will get a maximum of 3 minutes to lend themselves and their voice to be filmed. The point of the project is to remind people that over time, you get more comfortable in your own skin, and you find support from friends and community that are sometimes hard to come by when you’re a teen.

You are welcome to do this in any way that suits you best – read off a paper, just start talking, share a story, get mad, get excited, play an intrument… whatever you do best, do it and be proud!

Please go here to see the online event page, and spread the word: It Gets Better Lehigh Valley

Huge gigantic THANK YOU’S to: Sarah and Matt Fulton of Post Sputnik, you do incredible work that constantly improves and gets people excited about the Lehigh Valley. The fact that you will lend your equipment, talent and time to this project is humbling and everyone this affects will be forever grateful.

And also to Ryan Hill (my love!), Bill Sanders and Arlene Daily of Civic Theatre of Allentown, because despite organizing, planning and rehearsing the biggest production of the year, you all immediately wanted to help out and offered Civic Theatre as the public space for the filming to be held.

This project is for ANYONE that supports GLBT people and rights. There is a full, thriving community in the Lehigh Valley and this is a beautiful place for anyone to call home.