Written by Scrappy Perez Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00
Adora: Teddy, have you heard about the series of interviews that Octavio Campos and Dale Penn are producing with Rick Delgado for their project, “Please Don't Hate Me”? They started the whole thing during Sleepless Nights after the suicides of young GLBT kids started last year. Now, if they get the funding, they'll be able to edit the interviews they've assembled.
Teddy: Yeah, Octavio told me about it. They want to start a series of “actions” and decided to document people they identified as “actionists”, people who are actually doing things to help gay, lesbian and transgender kids. They've decided to make an artistic documentary series. The idea is to use art to expand acceptance and inspire change.
A: They started with the people who volunteer to answer phones at Switchboard of Miami, which is the largest helpline in the country. I didn't even know that. Anyone in a crisis, gay or straight, can call 211 and be put through to an experienced professional. And, with the alarming statistics about GLBT kids and bullying, that service is really important.
T: What spooks me about the bullying and anti-gay pressure among the kids is that they must be getting this from adults. They're mirroring the intolerance they perceive in our society. Teens especially project values they perceive as mainstream because they're trying so hard to fit in and do what's “accepted”. So, they become like a barometer of values in general.
A: You know Teddy, I normally think things have improved for GLBT people, but the stuff about the bullying and the way schools have ignored it makes me wonder. I'm really glad to hear about the Switchboard and the “Please Don't Hate Me” effort. We have to help the younger generation… they're really our kids too after all.
T: Of course they're our kids too; and we all have to help them find their way despite the intolerance and rejection… and show them how it does get much better.