Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A message from Tim Gunn

I'm posting this video for a number of reasons. No, I'm not a tormented LGBT teenager. But my mother works with LGBT young adults who are homeless. It may seem like these kids have it even worse than the typical kid tormented by sexual identity questions. But I'm not so sure. A kid who is struggling with his sexual identity because of pressure from friends and family isn't that different from a kid forced to live on the street and turn tricks to survive. One's struggle is internal, and the other is fighting against his surroundings, but in both cases they're in a difficult situation due to intolerance from others.

I assume Gunn made this video in light of the story of Tyler Clementi, a young musician who committed suicide when his roommate broadcast a romantic encounter of his on the internet. Gunn urges young people in a similar situation to get help at the Trevor Project, an anonymous hotline for LGBT youth. I can't even describe how awful I feel to think about kids like Clementi, or kids thrown out on the street because of their sexual orientation. It's a mix of profound sadness and pathos, with a raging indignation at how unjustly these kids are treated.

The other reason I'm posting this video is that I inexplicably love Tim Gunn. I just think he's really cool. He hosts a TV show called Project Runway, and is apparently quite the fashion authority. I am by no means a regular viewer of Project Runway, but ever since my wife introduced me to the show about a year ago, I enjoy watching it now and again on our cable TV. I am normally not at all interesting in fashion, and I loathe the campy, self-important, queenish caricatures that TV usually feeds us of gays. But I guess that, though he certainly tends toward the self-important and queenish, I like Tim Gunn because he is a genuine guy that excels in what he does. This is probably why I like Project Runway, too. Though I have little use for fashion, I can respect the young designers who compete on the show. They aren't sitting around and talking mediocre bullshit about fashion. They are responding to real design challenges, practicing their craft. And that's always interesting.

1 comment:

  1. The Trevor Project is a critical resource for all LGBTQ youth, and I'll see that the kids I work with know about it. Homophobic parents need treatment as well. Imagine a 14-year-old riding down the Eisenhower Expressway and telling his dad he's gay, whereupon the dad pulls over, reaches across, opens the door, and pushes him out of the car. Dontel, who told me this story, has been in and out of suicide crisis treatment centers ever since.