It Gets Better Shares Their Message of Equality

FullSizeRenderOn February 23, 2017 the It Gets Better Tour through the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles conducted two performances at Talawanda High School in the Performing Arts Center.  The eight actors/singers brought stories and music with an anti-bullying message.  Performer Tyler told freshmen and sophomores a story about being bullied by students for his sexuality when he was in highschool  The experience was made worse by his teacher who laughed along with the bullies.  Tyler decided to take action and put together a gay/straight alliance and by the end of his time in highschool there were 15-20 kids in the club and he felt like he had created a support system.  He told THS students:  “Find your community and know that you are not alone.”  He also said that standing up to a bully can be as helpful to the bully as it is to the person being bullied.  

Another performer, Nick, told students “each individual is who they are and that’s okay” and the group sang their rendition of “Perfect.”

Amber, who grew up in Cleveland as a mixed-race student who attended an all-girl’s Catholic school discussed the experience of entering the cafeteria for the first time and seeing all the African American girls eating on one side of the cafeteria while all the white girls ate on the other side.  She said she didn’t know where to sit and when she went home and told her mom her mother responded “that’s ridiculous, you can’t act a color.”  Amber was bullied in highschool and struggled with racial identity.  Now, she says, she has realized that she doesn’t have to choose a race and can just be herself.  She told THS students that she came to understand that “I could blaze a trail for queer women of color.”  The group then sang India Arie’s “Strength, Courage, and Wisdom.”

Jason told students that when he was 17 he came to terms with being gay and when he came out to his little sister he was surprised by her response.  She said, “we all know that and we were wondering when you were going to come out.”  Jason’s story shows that we cannot make assumptions about how people will react when we reveal ourselves to them.  He advised that direct dialogue is important when establishing relationships.

The It Gets Better Project has a mission to use music to create awareness and expose communities to their message of equality.  The touring group will perform at 7:30 pm on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Hall Auditorium on Miami University’s campus.  This is the second time the tour has come to Oxford.

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