Raw, adjective: 8. brutally harsh or unfair: a raw deal; receiving raw treatment from his friends.

Moved, touched, inspired by the beautiful "one story, many voices" narrative coming out of the It Gets Better Project. If you're not familiar with this powerful grassroots movement inspired by Dan Savage's initial "It Gets Better" video, created in the wake of media coverage of widespread bullying and gay teen suicides, you owe it to yourselves to sit quietly for a few minutes and take it all in.

The postmodern narrative here - lifting up truth rooted in experience, in the multifaceted spoken testimony of what it feels like to be alive in an outlaw's body in the early 21st century - is so incredibly powerful. It's a rich reminder of our shared humanity, of the universality of loneliness and uncertainty, and of the potential power for connection in simply speaking the unspoken.

Over the last month, I've had the particular pleasure of watching my fantastic friend Kate produce Pixar Animation's contribution to this narrative. Sit down, take a deep breath and spend a few minutes listening to Pixar employees' stories of what it feels like to be the Other. And then remember that we're all the Other at one point or another, and that the compassion that can unfurl out of that kind of empathetic awareness can fuel the kind of care and connection that prevents cruel tragedies like the one we witnessed at Rutgers earlier this fall.

It gets better. This is true, whether it's because people eventually learn to tell the establishment to fuck off, or because the establishment finally realizes that much of the great art of our world comes from the visionaries outside of the mainstream. May the outliers, the renegades, the misfits remind us that the coolest thing, the richest thing, the best thing you can be is a freak. Because it's the freaks who gift us with creativity and vision, spirit and passion. Who wants to be cool? Who wants to be acceptable? Isn't it ever so much more alive to be subversive and spirited and your own?

So be your own. Belong to yourself. It gets better. Pixar employees will vouch for that below. And they'll probably have you crying, as well.

It Gets Better
It Gets Better ~ Love, Pixar (YouTube)


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