Skepchick Quickies 9.23

  • It Gets Better Project – Dan Savage has started a project on YouTube to reach out to gay teens and tell them that life gets better after high school. He is doing this in response to the death of Billy Lucas, a gay teenager who was bullied for being gay and hanged himself.
  • The Blogess visits the Stanley Hotel – The Stanley Hotel is the setting for The Shining and is purported to be haunted. The Blogess reports, hilariously, on her adventures there. From Gavin.
  • Your pain means nothing to me – A great article on CAM approaches to pain management. From w_nightshade.
  • Cola boosts your baby’s personality! – I just loved how the phrasing of this old ad resembles how quackery is marketed today.


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Kudos to Dan. It is a good piece of advice. We could do similar outreach for skeptics, nerds, and geeks.

    Now I’m thinking about the opposite, however. Suppose high-school is as good as it ever gets? (shudder)

  2. I love the Cola advertisement. I immediately printed it out and put it on our bulletin board here at work.
    (I trust everyone in my department to have sufficient critical thinking skills to realize that it isn’t actually good advice)

  3. My nephew recently came out. I was a little surprised since he’s a senior at high-school. I would have waited till after school.

    Still, I have to admire his courage. And I’m happy that society has changed that much.


    Although studies are continuing, my own personal experiment in ‘Life’ indicates that high-school is not, in fact, as good as it gets.

  4. Any parent could tell you that cola boosts their kid’s personality….If by that they mean “caffiene and suger-supercharges your kids.”

  5. a) Good on Dan Savage.
    b) “I felt bad for all the people who were going on the tours but couldn’t see our room so I invited 42 people into my hotel room so they could all attempt getting groped unwillingly. Feels a lot like college. ” — best ‘ghost hunting’ description ever.

  6. I love Dan Savage, for this and other reasons.

    My son came out at 15. He was VP of his high school’s GSA, did peer-to-peer counselling, won a humanitarian award – and was hassled in gym class by fellow students and the fucking gym teacher. [And this at a school that was supposed to be one of the most supportive of gay students. I didn’t find out about that until after he’d gone off to college, or there would have been one very dead gym teacher. Well, one very destroyed legally, anyway.]

    At one point, we housed a gay friend of his, who had fled his home when his father tried to kill the kid with a butcher knife, saying ‘God wanted’ him to do so. [That kid, unfortunately, later got into the drug scene and is now HIV+. Having one’s family offer nothing but loathing leads to depression, leads to self-medication…]

    We also used to turn up at potlucks for the [predominantly gay] homeless kids helped by the city – to our surprise, the guy in charge told us how grateful he was that we did – not for the large pot of pasta, but because these kids needed to see that it was possible to be accepted by adults.

    The horror stories my Offspring related were hideous, ranging from kids being tossed out on the street to the lesbian girl who was raped by her stepfather to “show her” what “real women liked”. It’s not surprising that the suicide rate is high amongst gay kids. If Dan Savage’s project can save jut one of them, it will have done such good.

  7. @davew:
    Good point, while gay teens might need it more than most there is a whole swath of people for whom the high school experience ranges from hellish to distinctly unpleasant.

    This is primarily because of the brutal conformism of high school. I think this article sums it up nicely.

  8. @Aquavid: No, but I remember the Coke I had this morning…

    Thanks everyone for clicking through to my friend’s article on pain. His blog is excellent, and is a great example of how skepticism can be spread throughout other communities by dedicated individuals (in this case the sporting community).

  9. “Now I’m thinking about the opposite, however. Suppose high-school is as good as it ever gets? (shudder)”

    For some people (probably in many cases the perpetrators of the bullying), it is. Think about people who relive their high school football moments for their whole life, or talk about shit they did in high school when they’re 40. I barely think about high school because my life now is so much better. Some people peak early.

  10. @noastronomer Actually, waiting until senior year is pretty rare. He spent a long time in the closet. Kudos to your nephew, and I hope he does well – it’s hard being young and gay.

    I came out at 11, although my personal identity has changed some over time. Being queer in high school sucks, being queer in middle school was worse. Being a bisexual transgender adult? It kind of rocks actually. I’ll be doing a video for Dan’s project too, and I think it’s a WONDERFUL idea.

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