Do you know the "It Gets Better" project? In response to last year's spate of gay-teen suicides, writer and editor Dan Savage launched a series of online videos in which adults tell teens: Hang on. High school isn't forever. You will have a good life. Some have been fabulous, burning their way across the Internets; I'm assuming you've seen those. Most are ordinary people, testifying to how much better it got when they waited. Had this been around, it certainly would have eased me through some of the agonizing teenage years when I was fighting the recognition that I might be one of them. You know. Like the girls' gym teacher. That way.
Right now the ItGetsBetter.org site is featuring a short, sharp video posted by Representative Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, which includes this:
I didn't happen to be born gay, but I've known an awful lot of bullies throughout my life. It's interesting that they all grew up to be insecure jerks.
He also talks about overcoming crippling shyness, which was so severe that when he eventually tried public speaking, he fainted on stage. Twice.