Monday, April 09, 2012

'Mormon students create controversial 'It Gets Better' video' and other Monday midday news briefs

Students from Mormon-run Brigham Young University have created their own "It Gets Better" video and it is causing controversy. According to the Associated Press(by way of Think Progress), by posting the video, the students could face excommunication from the church and expulsion.

And even some in the gay community have voiced a sort of opposition. One viewer of the video wrote me to say:

I find it a disturbing video and am surprised that the Its Get Better people allowed the Mormon church to highjack the project, since I fear that this video is more likely to lead to more suicide than to prevent suicides. One young person, in particular, seem in great pain and needs help--and not the kind of help he is likely to get from a Mormon psychiatrist.

My personal feeling is that anyone can and should be able to benefit from the "It Gets Better" message. But what do you think:

In other news:

Can anyone force National Organization for Marriage to follow the law? - A fellow blogging buddy of mine, Scott Wooledge from Daily Kos pushes the very apt theory that NOM is enters every state fight against marriage equality knowing that it will violate the state's disclosure laws.

‘Bully’ Rating Lowered To PG-13 - Very good news indeed!

Meet Todd Starnes, Fox’s Mouthpiece For Anti-Gay Hate Groups - I read this piece only once because it got me so angry. Just plain demagoguery.

High School Student Finds Strength to Come Out as Transsexual - I love and admire the strength of the next generation.

'Desert Outlook,' New LGBT Magazine, Launched By 'The Desert Sun,' Features Dianne Feinstein And Hank Plante - Good luck to them cause we need more media outlets talking about our issues. The ones we got sometimes get bogged down with frivolous stuff.

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Anonymous said...

while I'm glad that it appears that mormons are becoming more tolerant. I really hope these kids go a step furhter and realize they also have a right to 'eternal' companionship. Hopefully they realize that regardless of the leadership's keys they are only men holding these keys and as such have their faults and their prejudices. I would hope they wouldn't waste their life waiting for these leaders to wake up and realize the bigotry of their behavior but would live full lives seeking out their family so they also have the opportunity to live and grow as only this type of relationship will allow.

JayJonson said...

See the blog on this video at I think the Mormon Church is attempting to highjack the It Gets Better project to improve their image. I worry about the kids in this video, especially the one who has been in a psychiatric unit. He clearly needs help, and not the help he will get from a psychiatrist at BYU.

Anonymous said...

It is their prerogative to attempt to improve their image, but it is worth noting that some editing choices would have made this a more hopeful and positive video for the It Gets Better campaign.

My first (and most important) suggestion is to drop the young student Mark's intro to the video, where he states that he can't promise that it will get better. Is that the kind of message that the It Gets Better project would sign off on? That's a no-brainer; cut that shit right out, except maybe for the actual catchphrase when he quotes it. The kids want to hear that there is hope out there, not that the world's a bleak depressing place to live in.

All of the personal stories in general need to be cut down, to about the length of those in, say, the Google staff video, which to me was the perfect length. Emphasize the positive "God loves you" and "I found help and so can you" elements when choosing what stays in the picture; try to remove some of the elements, for example, where Jack and the blond girl with glasses repeat the "I've been there" statements about parents disowning and so forth, maybe choose about one or two from each and intercut them, and don't dwell on what they were called.

Music creates mood, and mood is everything. There is a depressing piano piece going on throughout most of it until the hopeful semi-techno sound fades in at about the 7:47 mark. More of the latter, less of the former. Create a positive atmosphere that will encourage feeling better.

Also, this is a very Mormon specific video, which is understandable given the BYU setting. Keep as many of those elements as possible, but not to the detriment of the video's length.

an anonymous marketing consultant who appreciates that Mormons are becoming more tolerant but wishes they had better editors and more outside assistance.

Donny D. said...

Alvin, I have to agree with you about frivolous stuff that our LGBT media too often get caught up in.

From my point of view, a lot of that is our communities' unfortunate tendency toward fawning worship of celebrities and Hollywood.

JayJonson said...

Anonymous: why would you want to help improve the image of the Mormon church? So they can raise even more money to block gay rights? So they can help smooth Romney's journey to the White House?