I’ve been completely amazed with the It Gets Better Project. The sheer volume of videos alone is astounding, and then when I consider the diversity of class, race, ethnicity, language, ability status, gender/expression, (non)religion, it just completely blows my mind. It’s one of the few things that gets through my barrier of cynicism and restores a bit of faith in humanity.
Since I don’t have a video of my own (for technical reasons, see previous post), I wanted to aggregate a few of my favorites. I haven’t seen even close to all of them, but the ones I’ve collected stood out to me as particularly moving, or powerful, or just beautiful.
First, my good friend Kristel made a really awesome video, and I was blown away when I watched it, because parts of her experience echo my own. I am so impressed by the folks who are brave enough to share their own struggles with complete strangers.
This video of the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus singing True Colors made me cry like a 5 year old girl.
In this one, the students of Gallaudet University share their experience of oppression, and message of hope even in times of struggle.
I really enjoy this video from the folks at Google.
Most Adorable Video award, in my opinion, goes to Law and Order: SVU star (and one of my most favoritest gay men ever), BD Wong.
And finally, the kids in the NYC Pride Chorus put it way better than I ever could 🙂
Feel free to share your favorites in comments 🙂
h/t my friend Mel…
Look at it. Just look at it.
Isn’t it stupid looking??? In that, oh shit it might kill me, kind of way?
And in addition to the stupid lookingness of it… it is apparently known as a HORNY LIZARD.
A HORNY LIZARD, my friends. There you have it.
Today is mother’s day! And so, today I recommend grandmas. Obviously, I have the best grandma ever in the entire world (see below), but I still recommend yours because she might be a close second.
I don’t have any grandpas, I only ever met one and he’s been gone since I was about eight years old. I do have two grandmas, though, so I count myself lucky – and this one in particular is just fantastic. She is the warmest, sweetest grandma you’ll ever meet, and she is also hilarious. For example, when describing a cousin of mine who is very good at saving money, she said: “He pinches a quarter so hard the eagle shits in his hand!” I could not stop laughing. This grandma, she is most excellent. In addition to being hilarious, she also gives out candy and wonderful hugs in true grandma fashion.
My favorite grandma moment is from when my mom and my aunt decided to finally tell her that I’m gay, and that Liz isn’t my “roommate,” as they’d been saying. This happened about a year after grandma met Liz, and my grandma’s response to my mom and aunt’s very nervous revelation was pitch-perfect: “Oh hell! You think I don’t know that? I’m old, not stupid!”
She and I are a lot alike actually – she, like me, likes to sneak out in the middle of the night before Thanksgiving and eat all the pecans off the top of the pecan pie someone made. This is excellent, because it’s much better to get in trouble with her than to get in trouble alone.
And let me tell you – my grandma is a hell of a tough woman. She is 91 years old (but she looks no older than 70!) and has survived all sorts of serious health problems. She also has survived a tough life, growing up poor in an Irish Catholic mining community in Pennsylvania. A coal miner’s daughter, she married a scientist she met at a “mixer dance” and followed him out to Washington when he was assigned to work on the Hanford nuclear project in Kennewick. Although she was never able to afford an education, she served her country by working at the Hanford plant without even knowing what she was doing, on any job they would offer her – she worked so hard she was promoted almost every year.
She worked so hard, along with my grandpa, that they made enough money to send my mom off to Stanford, where she met my dad. I’m proud to say my family on her side came from poor, hard working coal miner roots, and within 1 generation of my grandma setting her sights on a better life, my mom was at Stanford, then at UW Medicine in the first class of women graduates. My grandma is so kickass, you guys.
Her health isn’t so great anymore (but she’s doing great for 91!) – but she’s quick to remind you that even though she’s in a wheel chair, her mind is just fine, thank you.
My grandma has amazing stories to tell, and she surprises me all the time with her wisdom and kindness. So today, I recommend talking to your grandma if you are lucky enough to have one – we forget too often that old people are worth talking to – and I bet that if you sit down with your grandma and have a chat, you will be proud to be part of the family she helped create.
I recommend Google Goggles today if, for no other reason, because of how hilarious it can be when it’s wrong.
Earlier today I entered a picture of this into Google Goggles…
Which Google Goggles apparently thought was probably this:
Actually, now that you mention it…
Today in our inaugural Alex Recommends feature, I am recommending Vitamin D!
A few weeks ago, I went to my doctor complaining of aches and pains, and generally feeling icky. It had been going on for months, and was really dragging me down. I was surprised that one of the first things she said was, “you’re probably really low on Vitamin D.”
If you’d asked me before this week, I would have said 90% of the things people say about vitamins are bullshit. I really still think that. Except for this one. Actually, this attitude caused me to not take her advice, and I didn’t take any vitamins at all for the next three weeks until I went to see her again. At which point my lab results had come back and she said, “Oh, your Vitamin D is basically zero. Please take some.” So she actually prescribed Vitamin D for me (50,000 units, once a week!), and told me to also take the over the counter stuff from the organic part of the grocery store.
Guys – It’s been almost a week, and I feel like a new person. Seriously, I feel better than I can remember feeling in a really long time. I have more energy, less pain, and a better mood than I can ever remember having. It’s almost embarrassing how simple the solution was!
When you think about it, it makes sense – we law students don’t get outside much (I for one am always inside since I work full time and am also in school full time, so it’s often dark when I go to work and dark when I come home), and to top it all off I live in Seattle so there’s never any sun anyway. Actually, after I looked it up, I found that the Pacific Northwest has the highest incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) of anywhere in the world. Some people think it’s because we’re all so low on Vitamin D.
I had no idea!
So today, I recommend to all of you law students: Get thee to a grocery store and add Vitamin D to your daily routine. I imagine that within 1 week you will find yourselves feeling much better, even if you didn’t know you were feeling bad. And how could you argue with something that can prevent MS, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and other nasties?? You can’t, that’s how.
And that’s it for today’s Alex Recommends. What will I recommend next? Stick around to find out!