Conservative Elected Officials Release "It Gets Better" Video

Comments

1
Better late than never. While they absolutely must do more, this is a step forward and you have to walk before you can run.
3
While I commend the sentiment that led them to make a video, couldn't they find a video producer who had a clue?

Scripting, directing, editing, and especially sound are simply awful.
4
"...no national conservative elected official or leader in the United States has been able to bring himself or herself to say 'please don't kill yourselves' to LGBT kids..."

Didn't Obama make an IGB video?
5
@4, so did Hillary Clinton. So yeah, the GOP in the US is representin'.
6
This is just like the Target video. They're just trying to ride coattails for free advertising.
7
Oh look, it's the "HURR OBAMA IS A CONSERVATIVE" meme again.
8
@7: Would you argue, then, that Obama is a liberal? His economic and social policies are very much in line with the Canadian, British and French conservative parties.
9
@7. Well he certainly isn't a liberal or a progressive. Maybe he's an independent or a libertarian if he isn't a conservative. No wait, I know, he's a fake populist, corporate flunky POS!
10
I get the feeling that Justin, the kid at the beginning, is a page who started this whole thing, and the only one that really cares about it. He's the only one who shows any real emotion. The rest of them are just phoning it in.

I also think it's telling that not a single one says, "I'm gay, and it gets better". The Conservatives would really prefer it if you'd keep that information to yourself.
11
@7: Obama IS a conservative, and a Democrat by party affiliation (or, at least, his actions are in line with more Conservative platforms than not; whether that's actually him is something of a question - that book just came out suggesting he has little to no control over his own cabinet - but barring further evidence, yeah, he's a Conservative). He's spent most of his energy trying to maintain the status quo, except where he has expanded our military involvement, drug policing, fossil-fuel mining, police-state tactics (surveillance, enforcement, and torture), and corporate welfare (including support for mandating public participation in a corrupt for-profit health insurance system)*. We'll see if OWS and the upcoming election does anything to change his actual policy, but as far as I can tell, the guy isn't Left of center at all, he's just not a batshit-crazy Christian fundamentalist theocrat.

*To be fair, I know he's pushed a few policies I though were good ideas and actually Leftist, I just can't remember them, as there has been a lot more Right-wing and Centrist shit.
12
I think that any conservative [Canadian or American] that wants to join the IGBP should be welcome. However, they should include in their message that they are an example of progress as they _have changed their mind_.

Anyone who does not acknowledge past error, or worse continues to vote for bigotry, is just a cynical piece of shit for whom it should get worse.
13
John Baird is somewhat of an open-closet-case, I believe, so his might be valid. The others? I'm not sure.
14
Actually, the least they could do is nothing...which is what conservatives are doing here in the US. So this is a little more than the least they could do. Not much, but a little.
15
I think they were shamed into doing it, especially as the repetitious dialogue was dreadful (and some of them really had a tough time emoting with any hint of credibility those few otherwise well-known and pertinent motivating words), only because it was a kid in Ottawa who killed himself.

But, in the end, a video is meaningless unless it's followed by honourable intent and real actions.

OTOH, can I say I'll look forward to the opposition parties throwing those words back in their faces every time the government proposes some new regressive bill.
16
It's one thing to say that they could come around, which they can and should (and some have), but the problem is that this rainbow-washing is intended to cover up their consistent bigotry. All of these members were sitting in the house when they voted against, time and time again, a bill that would recognize gender identity as a protected group under the civil rights act.

It's all in rant form here: http://demarchy.tumblr.com/post/11709535…
17
What I object to is the fact that John Baird, arguably one of the most powerful men in Ottawa, will not follow up his "It Gets Better" message by adding "And I should know because I am gay." That fact is an open secret here in Ottawa, but never mentioned because "politicians' private lives are private." If someone like him is afraid to come out, what chance does a 15 year old kid have?
18
@ 8, that's because conservatism in France, Canada and Britain is called "being moderate" in America.

19
@18 No, it's because the christian morons haven't completely taken over politics in those areas. In the US it's more about "my church is better than yours" instead of actual politics.
20
John Baird may be out to friends and family, but he's certainly not out publicly or professionally. And in his professional life he practically *defines* "bully". His participation in this pathetically-executed panderfest basically tells kids "it gets better, BUT ONLY IF YOU STAY IN THE CLOSET."
21
I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, even if these conservative MPs are doing this video for purely political reasons (to get more support), still they're putting their names behind it. This can't be undone. On the other hand, if they're not being sincere, then their message does become meaningless.

Let us hope that some of them are indeed seeing the light, and that this video is a consequence of that. I'm far from sure about that, but one can always hope.
22
One of them is well known to be gay; but, he can't admit it publicly. This is hypocrisy.
23
I have problems with both sides - the makers of the video and the critics. For many reasons I agree with the critics regarding this video, it was the absolutely least they could so after causing all the damage they have.

However, I have serious problems with this as well:

"MP Randall Garrison, the New Democratic Party critic for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, said the Conservatives' video "fails to understand the basic concept" of the campaign, adding that message only works if delivered by openly gay people." (National Post, October 22 2011)

As a victim of intense bullying throughout high school, I had found this project to be something that could speak to not just lgbt teens - but all bullied teens. It speaks to a kind of pain a lot of us can relate to and something we can unite on. Or did I have it wrong all along? Does the "it gets better" message only work if delivered by openly gay people?

24
I watched most of this video; but, aside from the very thoughtful opening comments by the younger guy, it all seemed very contrived, as nearly all the MPs featured were saying almost exactly the same things, as if reading statements off the same photocopied flash cards. It gives me absolutely no idea what they really think or feel (needless to say, I don't know much about Canadian politics).

Hence, I guess this video is well-meaning (?); but I don't see it having much impact on the lives of kids who need the message. The videos made by poor Jamie's friends are WAY better at conveying genuine feeling...

--Karen Olsen
Seattle, WA
25
What does any one of the people in the video know about being bullied for being gay or for knowing that it gets better. I'm sure none of them (especially the Tories) heard the CBC documentary exposing the bullying and harrassment of senior in an old folks home in Toronto, but both staff and other residents. As a seventy something gay man, I can tell you, it is through a thickening of the skin and the help of loyal friends, one learns to live with the abuse, but the hate mongers persist
26
@11: How could Obama not have control over his own cabinet? He can fire them at will. What book is this?
27
Martinz: I understand that bullying in high school is a tough thing to bear; but, you have no idea how terrible it is for gay youth. Imagine your experience a hundred times worse and you might come close to what it was like. Bullying has to be stopped...that message applies to everyone gay or straight; but, I speak from experience that it is on a different plane when you are being bullied because you are gay.
28
Hi Dan. This is Dany Morin, NDP MP for Chicoutimi - Le Fjord. I also agree that this video is a good first step for the conservatives. We (the NDP) will reintroduce shortly our bill to protect trans people and I expect that every conservative in this video will vote for it. Otherwise, this video would have meant nothing.

Keep up the good work, your podcasts helped me a lot in the past. ;)
29
I can't speak for or about Canada -- not familiar with the politics up yonder -- but while I would hope for any bigoted American politician to come around, I don't want to see American Republicans in an "It Gets Better" video unless they become a clear supporter of gay rights in all other areas. If they try to talk out of both sides of their mouths -- calling us degenerate barbarians to their base and then trying to cheer us up from all the bullying we get from their base -- it would be worse than making no video at all.
30
Uncut Rod - To that I would say a knife is a knife and we all bleed the same. The message that It gets better - is (or at least I thought so) something that people outside the lgbt community can connect to. This isn't about being a part of some exclusive club. At least it shouldn't be. It's not a matter of "my pain was greater than yours". If that is what it has become, then the message has been lost and it isn't what I thought it was or could be.

And for the record - you have no idea what my experience was so how can you automatically say it was somehow less worse than what a gay youth experienced? Different - yes. Worse? Does it matter? A victim is a victim. We should all stand up together, gay or not. That's how you make a difference.
31
They did make an attempt, so it wasn't completely the least they could do, but it was a very close. As a Canadian, I was hoping, when I saw that the Conservatives had made an "It Gets Better" video, that John Baird would use the moment to come out publicly. (Although, I went to high school with Baird and, ironically, I don't remember him ever being bullied over being gay. I do remember him being harassed over the. fact that he was such an enormous political geek. At the age of 14, he'd stand up and pick fights at all-candidates meetings. We all thought he was nuts.)

What annoyed me about this video is that all these MPs read the same script: not a single personal story. The power in the "It Gets Better" videos is in the personal messages. It is in hearing people say "My life sucked as a teenager, and look at how great it is now." Even Baird could have done that and stayed in the closet. ("They laughed at me when I went around handing out Conservative pamphlets at recess and look at me now!")

The irony that none of these MPs said a single unscripted word is not lost on any Canadian - Prime Minister Harper is known to do his best to control every word out of his members' mouths. I can't imagine that a bunch of suits spouting platitudes is going to reach a single teenager in pain, gay or straight.
32
It will get better once these assholes are voted out of office. trust me, it will get better.