My generation grew up without the Internet. We learned how to find information through a card catalog in a library – both seemingly foreign to most kids today. While I may sometimes lament the way the Internet has reduced simple social interaction, it is invaluable as far as giving otherwise-isolated kids a way to connect and feel less alone.
Back in the 90’s, I found my escape through magazines and books, and the limited entertainment that offered a peek at the possibility of a gay life. Whispers of being gay were shrouded with the most horrendous connotations, and there was no greater insult than calling someone a ‘faggot’. If only there was a way to see that being gay wasn’t a bad thing, that there was no need for all the shame. That would have made all the difference.
One of my lifesaving discoveries was xy magazine. Say what you may about its porny-leaning tendencies showcasing young guys, it was the only thing I had. It wasn’t so much the stories or the photo lay-outs that resonated, it was the letters from other young men like myself, those who were searching for something that made sense, something that unlocked all the other issues that arose from being gay.
Today, there is easier access to information and to others who are going through the same thing, and for all those young gay men and women feeling sad and alone, it’s a great thing. My pal Dan recently alerted me to a new site aimed to offer a centralized source of information and help for gay kids everywhere EqualizeYouth.org ~ (http://equalizeyouth.org). Started by Derek Gerson (who himself was inspired by the ‘It Gets Better’ video project), it will contain stories, blog posts, memes, videos and more of other gay youth and supportive allies. Right now it’s still in the infant stages, and looking for those willing to lend a helping hand in getting it off the ground. Check out its fundraising efforts at indiegogo.com/equalizeyouth, and then get involved directly with the site. The only way that this endeavor will succeed is if we help to spread the word. That’s what I’m doing here, in some small way. Now it’s your turn. On behalf of Dan and Derek, I thank you.
For further information, you are welcome to contact Derek directly at Derek@equalizeyouth.org.Back to Blog