This is the video I co-created for the It Gets Better Project. You can learn more here: It Gets Better Project
The production quality leaves a lot to be desired, the wording could be more eloquent, but that’s not the most important aspect of this video to me.
When I was in medical school, the cover of the national medical student publication proclaimed that homophobia was the last accepted prejudice in medicine; the American Medical Association denied membership to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender physicians. In my own training I heard anti-gay slurs in operating rooms and received feedback from well meaning teachers embedded in homophobic expressions (one senior resident said to me,”Ted, you’re holding that suturing needle like a faggot.”) As a student, I really wasn’t in a position to say anything, because it was a reality that a person’s career could be cut short just because of who they were. At the same time, I was the recipient of incredible kindness, and great opportunities, by people who had been there, and wanted to make sure that those who came after them would make it better for the next generation.
The last time I recall being the direct recipient of anti-gay attitudes was about 3 years ago, when a senior physician leader pulled me aside and said, “Ted, this ‘gay rights’ thing just isn’t catching on.” This time, I was able to let him know in a happy, friendly way, about his error in judgement, person to person, across the medical hierarchy.
More recently, two very dear friends of mine were victims of a brutal hate-based assault in New York City. People of all ages, all parts of society are still being harmed.
So for me, the most important aspect of this video is that I am able to participate, as I have been doing for my entire career, as a doctor, more recently as an employee of Kaiser Permanente (which scores a perfect 100% on the Corporate Equality Index and Healthcare Equality Index), to change attitudes and behaviors toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the medical profession, in health care, in employment, in society.
What I have seen is that the world is ultimately becoming kinder and more compassionate rather than less; what used to be normal in many parts of society is now abnormal. I’m here to help that process along. When I was a student, I was hoping this is the way it would go, and I am so glad to find out that it has, which really confirms that love always wins.