I'm totally swamped so I haven't been able to write anything for Slog about the president's contribution to the IGBP. So I'll just post this... this...
...this horrifying Skype interview I did on CNN this morning from the Indiana Memorial Union here in Bloomington. I know I'm not supposed to care about shit like this at a time like this, but... Christ... I look like a cancer patient making a hostage video in someone's windowless basement. My vanity—and my huge, shiny forehead—almost prevented me from posting this. But here it is.
And in case you missed it: this story from the BBC is the single best news piece written about the IGBP. And what I told the BBC about Hillary Clinton's IGBP video also applies to Barack Obama's video:
The videos have resonance for children, gay or straight, who are picked on at school. But Savage says they are particularly important for gay or sexually unsure children. Those young people, he says, often cannot cry on the shoulders of their parents. Scared to talk about their sexuality, they feel isolated at school, at home and at church, where they are told their feelings are immoral and wrong. "The bullied gay kid has no-one," he says, later adding that this is why Mrs Clinton's video is "a big help".
"To see the Secretary of State take time out of her insanely busy schedule to reach out to 13-year-old gay kids in little towns who are getting harassed by their families, their churches and the little bigots at their schools, that can really make a difference," Savage said. Mrs Clinton's involvement is doubly important to Savage while policies exist to prevent gays from serving openly in the military and same-sex marriage. "Discrimination against gays and lesbians on behalf of federal, state and local governments, cheered on by the Christian right, legitimises anti-gay bullying," he says.
The It Gets Better project has been criticised by some teachers for containing messages from adult film stars, drag queens and transvestites, which they consider too raunchy for young people. Savage scoffs at those claims, saying young people hear far worse things on TV and from their friends. And besides, he says, it is his project.
"I'm a sex writer and I'm not going to censor or police or exclude people," he said. "This doesn't have to pass muster with the Texas Board of Education."