The New 60
BY Robert Levithan
November 08 2010 4:15 PM ET
Activism has been successful in part. I am proud to have presented the
first production of the play that introduced the brilliant James
Lecesne’s Trevor to the world. Now the Trevor Project, the telephone
helpline for LGBT teens, is saving lives. What I am perhaps proudest
of is that I may have provided a safer context for my gay nephew’s
childhood and coming of age. By living my life as an out gay man, I
laid the groundwork so that he, the Lambda Literary Award–winning
author of Boy Meets Boy, David Levithan, would never have to worry
whether his family would accept him. He once told me that when he was 9
years old, he looked around the apartment I shared with my then-partner, Mark, and thought, Two men, one bed. I get it.
Thankfully, we now have hundreds of out role models. A quantum leap from the Dark Ages, a.k.a. my childhood.
The New 60 is about it getting better as we age. Again, I was lucky; my
father at 60 was vital and active. He and my uncles were role models
for aging with vitality into their 70s, 80s, and 90s. Not everyone
So, young (and not so young) men and women, LGBT,
straight, whatever: It does get better, as we get to know who we are
and as we move beyond the limits of prejudice and internalized
prejudice. Whether we realize it or not, we are all role models:
Speak up and take action. Come out if you can. Don’t lie about your
age. Be proud of your ethnicity, your sexuality, your gender, your body
type, your unique qualities. The consistent theme of It Gets Better is
that the very traits that make you an outsider when young bring you
joy later in life! Survive. Thrive. Celebrate.
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