Sue Kerr

Pittsburgh Pirates Released 'It Gets Better' Video: Now What?

Filed By Sue Kerr | May 14, 2012 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, The Movement
Tags: Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh, GLSEN, It Gets Better, letting the ball drop, LGBTQA response, next steps, Pittsburgh Pirates, straight allies

Pirates-It-Gets-Better.jpgI must admit I was disappointed that the local media ignored the Pittsburgh Pirates "It Gets Better" video. Given that the Pirates ownership is very conservative and that the commitment of the team to partner with the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh and the local chapter of GLSEN is very strong. I thought it was a winner of a human interest story.

Nope. It got a mention in the sports "notes" section and some references on Outsports. And that's petty much it.

It would appear that no one really cares.

So I was heartened to find a link in my inbox to a YouTube video, called "Han's Response to It Gets Better"

Wow. They went to the game, they watched the video with open minds and they shared their feedback - "It Gets Better' might be overpromising when the truth is that people get better in their ability to cope with a world that considers us second class citizens, be it on the school bus or in the board room.

They didn't diss the project and they certainly showed up when so many adults in Pittsburgh's LGBTQ community didn't.

I've been mulling working with four or five local small LGBT organizations on social media capacity building and I was hoping to use youth messaging as a theme. Now I think that I need to meet with Han's and the others in the video to have that dialogue. While I believe that the organizations must raise their social media savvy, perhaps the messaging should be more independently driven by the young people.

It is sort of exciting because a funder expressed interest and the groups are interested. The bar is so low in terms of our LGBT Pittsburgh social media presence, that we have a lot of latitude to do some cool stuff and really focus on capacity. That's great.

But Han's makes an excellent point. (Let me clarify that Han's name is spelled as if it is Han with a possessive "s" but in the audio, it appears that her name is Hans - I am guessing she identifies as she based on various cues but I am very open to being corrected - I mean no offense.)

Going back to the issue of media coverage - I'm barely finding news or political blogs that post the actual video - I have to do that in their comments. They write about the intent to make this video and then... nothing. And these are allies! Pirates fans who post completely unintelligible tweets about someone diving for something and betraying his mother because of his RBA and so forth. They can't post a video as a simple acknowledgement that this is a good thing? What's up with that allies?

Some of the biggest social media fans in town who are both Bucco fans and youth advocates wrote nothing. Nothing. They express condolences when a 15 year old commits suicide about being bullied, but they don't take two minutes to post a link to this positive response? Really?

All I can say is that it isn't going to get better if you let these moments go. I read the comments of your followers. I know you hang with folks who promote the "Trannies & Grannies" event and I know you laughed when shock jocks posted horrific adult bullying pics of Katie Anne McCloskey. I read, I pay attention and I know that you aren't delivering.

If a conservative owned baseball franchise can make one of the only videos that uses the words "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender" in the context of bullying - can't you step up? Because your silence on "Trannies & Grannies" speaks volumes on where your real values lie.

This isn't a fundraiser. Its not a "cause" I'm asking you to champion. It is news. And it is the lives of LGBTQ kids right here in Pittsburgh.

We can do better.

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