“We’re not an immediate solution and fix,” she said. “It’s more about developing and sustaining a cultural change, calling attention to the local work being done. One of the things we do is the World Café, where we bring together students, teachers, clergy, police officers, and parents. A kid will tell a story about something that happened, and people will just be agape, like, ‘that happened at our school?’ A lot of times, people are just unaware of what other people are going through. A lot of eyes are opened.”
Reinhart said that visits by the It Gets Better Project don’t generate much controversy, and there aren’t significant security concerns.
“We’ve been protested a couple of times but no serious opposition,” she said. “We don’t think extensively about security except to be alert and aware.”
Indeed, Reinhart said, support has come from surprising places.
“We were visiting a town in Kansas that had two high schools,” she said. “Gay kids had no way to gather, to communicate with each other, because social media isn’t safe. A rep for the local clergy said he had an all-purpose room in his church that nobody used. So that issue was fixed. We actually rehearse our show in the basement of a church. It’s one of those urban, Gothic churches that have struggled recently, so they decided to open their doors to any community organization that needed a home, and they actually started gaining membership.”
Speaking of the show, Reinhart is quick and eager to point out that it’s a lot of fun, despite the seriousness of the subject matter.
“It’s not depressing,” she said. “The real message is persistence and engagement to change your situation or somebody else’s through small acts of humanity, that with individual acts of confidence, you can push through some horrible moments. That’s the core philosophy. Suicide among the transgendered is still unacceptably high.”
Contact this contributing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to go
What: It Gets Better Tour, with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles
Where: Hall Auditorium at Miami University, 501 E. High St., Oxford
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25
More info: 513-529-3200