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It Gets Better, Love Pixar (2010)

by on 2010/11/23

A geek in the making much of my life, it should come as no surprise that I was occasionally set upon in the playgrounds of my youth. All the logic in the world would have trouble calculating the times I’ve been teased for being “so gay”. Truth or not was less an issue than the threats I came to dread.

By and large, I was lucky. The bullying remained mostly confined to those threats. Things rarely progressed to violence, yet the fear would cripple me still. Whether my demeanour was the cause or the effect of the attacks, these encounters kept me solitary, initially defensive, and later defiant.

It’s easy to expound for, while I may have been changed, I never did suffer too much. I’ve lived all my life in big liberal cities, in a big liberal country, unharmed. Now it’s easy to enjoy the fruits of endurance, to live in the present, ignoring or editing the past. But drawing a curtain over the darker stages doesn’t mean others aren’t facing similar experiences, with less confidence, less support, and less hope.

The people at Pixar have obviously struggled with comparable trials of their own. The difference is, they’ve done something concrete to help. Sympathetic to the issues of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) youth, their employees have collaborated on a short video, their contribution to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project. Theirs is just one of many worthy submissions, the first one that I saw.

Pixar is, of course, the pioneering animation powerhouse, renowned for their consistent contributions to the industry: their storytelling, production values, and technical innovations. I count several of their films — including CarsThe Incredibles, and Wall-E — among my animated favourites.

In my lifetime alone, the advances in media technology have come so far so fast; it’s easy to deceive myself that attitudes have also kept pace. I want to believe our rights and freedoms have grown since the times when cinema portrayed homosexuals as psychopathic deviants.

The unfortunate truth is, we still find excuses to marginalize, to differentiate and victimize. When children are bullied to the point of suicide, something is seriously wrong. I for one applaud Pixar and all those offering support. There aren’t enough stars to quantify how important a film like this one is. Just watch it . . . and then share it.

  1. Grushenka Geusebach permalink

    I too spent much of high school and junior high stuffed in lockers… For reading books, wearing weird clothing, refusing to talk to male-type people. This is an absolutely amazing, beautiful, heart-breaking, uplifting piece. I hope everyone, everyone, everyone gets to see it.

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