Queering SFF

Queering SFF Corollary: Hal Duncan’s “It Gets Better”

The most recent QSFF post, “Writing Queer—Languages of Power,” dealt with homophobia, language and identity in fiction. Here’s a bit of a real-life corollary. The “It Gets Better” project has been huge on the public media, the internet, everywhere as an attempt to save the lives of queer teens, or at least make their burden slightly more bearable.

Speculative writer and all-around interesting guy Hal Duncan observed on Twitter that most of these videos would not have spoken to a teenage-him, and I personally agree. They are full of platitudes and well-meaning but unhelpful good cheer. They don’t connect, especially if you are or were a queer teen who was not just sad but angry.

So, he made his own “It Gets Better” video, and it’s the best one I’ve seen. It is honest, it is harsh, it is true. I can’t thank him enough for putting this video out there. I’ll admit, I cried watching it. It hit home in a personal and immediate way.

This video speaks to the reality of being Other, of suffering, and also of triumph. But you don’t have to believe me—just watch. Listen.

In the spirit of the speech: it’s fucking beautiful.

There’s your bonus Queering SFF content for the week—pass this video on to young people you know who need it. And older people, too. You’re never too old to be encouraged to be proud of yourself, to stand up and give a hearty “fuck you” to the people who are hurting you.


Brit Mandelo is a multi-fandom geek with a special love for comics and queer literature. She can be found on Twitter and Livejournal.

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