I’ve been thinking about you for the last couple of days. haven’t heard back from you on tumblr yet. that’s ok. you have every right to own your privacy and space. an anonymous message on tumblr to me is a good way to maintain a safe distance. it’s like ‘this is what I can give right now‘. i totally respect that. i might not ever hear back from you again and that’s ok too. doesn’t mean you’re not on my mind.
i’ve been thinking a lot about the It Gets Better project too. some people loved it. some people criticized it because they say it emphasized waiting for the world to turn into rainbows, sunshine, good credit, a hot boifriend, the end of racism, the end of classism, and a whole lot of making it rain with hundred dollar bills coming your way the second you graduate high school. almost every spectrum-loving weirdo i know has feelings about it. i felt like it was more of a call to emotional and vulnerable story-sharing. whatever thoughts that you wanted to share with lgbtq youth that fell into those categories were welcomed.
from how i see it, the it gets better campaign started as a gut reaction to this one very specific type of violence against us. it’s violence we commit against ourselves because the world makes it very clear it doesn’t want us. so many people kept it super real, shared their coming out stories, and added their voices to a queer network of beautiful and supportive faces. had that many of us ever come together in solidarity on the internet before? when i take a second and think about i’m stuck in a really good and pure place.
i did and will always align myself with those movements. yet i know that part of that alignment is based on critique. we must critique all the things. we’ve gotta analyze the structures that put all these movements into place, even if they’re movements that are meant to be for the collective us. and i get that whiteness, wealth and cis-male privilege are inherent in the IGB project just because of the patriarchy. but along with critique of all those things, i’ve stopped expecting any movement to 100% suit me and my intersectionalities. and even movements that don’t come from that place (on purpose or inherently) don’t always speak to everything i need or examine every single area of injustice in my life. I’m sure that even a movement for queer latinas in the bronx wouldn’t give me everything i need. that’s ok. i’m learning that my job as a queer in the world, as someone that walks with some degree of privilege and oppression is two-fold: start my own movements and improve upon the good work of others. the igb project was a good work. like baseline stellar. when kids write to you and say that something helped them live a little longer or with a little more sanity, it’s good work that does that.
but sometimes i think we all missed a step, or at least i know for sure that i missed a huge step. i missed the part after the It Gets Better video movement where you stick around and create a huge consistent support system for all the kids that embraced the movement, that made videos themselves, and put their faces out into the world. it’s like we hi-fived them but didn’t take their hands and walk with them.
i know that many of us work in non-profit sectors, doing the good work, volunteering at the local spots that need love, the dog shelters and animal sanctuaries. so many queers and allies live social justice oriented lives. but in this one very public instance, i’m not sure if we got it right. did we do right by the teens that were exposed to it?
i don’t know. i do know that this person hit me up and told me that the video helped. this baby queer’s tumblr message struck such a wicked chord. this girl’s message read like i’d written it to someone about myself as a teenager (and now too). chubby. latina. on tumblr. going through school. trying not to hate myself. talk about a smack in the face, a wake-up tumblr message. maybe i was supposed to keep making videos and create a consistent dialogue with queer youth, maybe we were supposed to keep it up and make solid connections with young people and mentor them through the shit storm. (maybe some people did and they just didn’t get any attention for the afterwards? i don’t know.)
and by mentor, i mean just being an ear and offering some perspective if wanted. there really aren’t ENOUGH older/younger queer friendship/mentorship things happening. i know that they exist. duh, but as like a movement as something that we collectively value and work to achieve/maintain, how high on the list is mentorship? it asks a lot. can’t just text QUEER MENTORSHIP to 3333 and make a donation to someone somewhere. can’t just buy a rainbow thong or hoodie in support of being there for a teen in need. a form of mentorship can exist through the internet i think, maybe i just have to be consistent and ok with vulnerability.
the joy in the it gets better movement (for me) was the very visible and public community that sprang up around it. i want to keep that joy moving and going and not just drop the ball on something i felt so connected to.
so i’m gonna try to be better. i made a video in response to a Chubby Mexican Lesbian but it wasn’t enough. it was more like me just responding to make sure she knew that i was here. so what if i’m here and they’re there. i want to tell them more things and be more vulnerable so that they know it’s ok. i made a list of things i still wanted to say to her.
this blog post was a way for me to get out my feelings so that I could focus on the important stuff while making videos. the videos are for her.
2nd Response to a Chubby Mexican Lesbian: Self-Loathing