Sunday, October 03, 2010

We taped 25 gay people and families today!

Our video-making marathon for the It Gets Better Project could not have gone better today. Everything fell magically into place—from the donated shooting space to the fabulous friends who volunteered to shoot the videos, coach the people in front of the camera and even bring us food (bless you!) to Dan Savage himself flying in to add moral support and super-awesome celebrity cred to the event—which made the entire day a breeze. Plus everyone showed up on time!

And when we were done taping all our volunteers in the donated room at the Center on Halsted, the GLBT community center in the heart of Boystown, we carried our equipment a few blocks down the street to a Chicago Gay Men's Chorus rehearsal, where 100+ voices sang some slightly cheesy but heartfelt alternate lyrics (if you think they're really cheesy, then I totally did not write them) to Frere Jacques for a delightfully unique take on an It Gets Better video. And cheesy or not, I teared up like a leaky garden hose the first time I heard the chorus sing it for the camera. Somehow the confluence of my simple lyrics, the earnestness of the singers, the contrapuntal harmonies and the relentless forward motion of the canon transformed my cute little idea into something profoundly moving.

Plus, I randomly ran into WGN-TV entertainment critic/reporter Dean Richards this week, and I randomly floated the idea of maybe getting some media coverage for the event. Tons of adult gay people know about the It Gets Better Project, but we're not its intended audience. I hoped that if a mainstream news station like WGN could cover us, then little bullied suburban and rural gay kids who may feel terrified, alone and despondent would know there's a place to turn for hope. Which isn't going to end the bullying, but hope is a step in the right direction ... and often all we as gay adults can offer these poor kids. Dean asked for a press release, which I promptly wrote and passed off to him … and when we got to the taping location today, a whole WGN news team showed up. And even though they didn't use my interview in the segment (ahem) we got a big fat piece on the 9:00 news tonight! Woot!

Didja see me? I'm in a purple shirt for a tenth of a second in the background of one scene early in the segment. Which means I'm the star!

We got a ton of work done today, but we still have a ton of work ahead of us editing six-plus hours of video … which yet another fabulous (and Emmy-winning!) friend has volunteered to do. And you can bet I'll be promoting the hell out of our videos right here on my blog when they're all edited and ready to be seen. Stay tuned!

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