It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming
Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living
Edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller
Dutton. 338 pages, $21.95
Homophobic Bullying: Research and Theoretical Perspectives
by Ian Rivers
Oxford University Press. 232 pages, $35.
THE SUMMER OF 2010 was either a goldmine or minefield for news junkies, depending on your appetite for negativity. An oil spill of unprecedented size, two seemingly endless wars, and freeways fraught with out-of-control Toyotas made the usual roster of natural disasters seem tame in comparison. More of us were at home watching TV news than usual, too, waiting for the announcement that the economy is righting itself and we can maybe go back to work sometime this century. There was no lack of badness to focus on, so it took a little longer for their names to register. Justin Aaberg. Billy Lucas. Tyler Clementi. By the time we were paying attention, there were four more names added to the list. Seven young men, each bullied or tormented for being, or perceived as being, gay—and each of them had taken his own life. What was happening?