Mercer’s Rant: Even It Gets Better Can Get Better

There are, it appears, two ways to do an It Gets Better video.

After the suicide of Jamie Hubley, the son of an Ottawa Councillor and a vibrant, dynamic, but bullied, gay teen, many people were touched by his story and wanted to reach out to do something – anything – to try to tell teens that it does get better, that while the teenage years can be really terrible for some, life grows and changes and evolves and won’t stay the way it is now, no matter how dark it may seem at the time.

Even Conservative Members of Parliament and staffers participated in making an It Gets Better video:

It Gets Better

One can forgive the participants if the video seems, well, stuffy and bureaucratic. This is Ottawa, after all. And the sentiment is clear: There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Please, if you need help, ask for it. However, the video is unlikely to grab many teens except perhaps those who idolize members of the Conservative Party of Canada. Still, perhaps there’s something to be learned – even the It Gets Better videos can get better.

For example, there’s Rick Mercer’s latest rant – which, uncharacteristically for Mercer, is not a hilariously biting commentary on current society, but rather an impassioned plea for adults to start taking charge, holding bullies to account and start living our lives by example. “It’s no longer good enough for us to tell kids who are different that it’s gonna get better – we have to make it better now,” Mercer, who is openly gay, says.

There was also a clear call for public figures such as current sitting Cabinet Ministers who may or may not have appeared in the earlier It Gets Better video to own it. “If you’re gay and you’re in public life, I’m sorry, you don’t have to run around with a Pride flag and bore everyone, but you can’t be invisible, not any more,” Mercer rants. There’s too much at stake.

Rick Mercer’s Rant

What do you think? Should gay public figures make a point of telling the world they’re gay, so that young gay teens who may be struggling and are in desperate need of positive role models can look to them as symbols of hope? Or is someone’s sexuality none of anyone else’s business, no matter what business you’re in?


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Photo Credit: Hubley Family (handout)


Stella Nobrega-Garcia

Thanks for posting.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Gloria Morotti
Gloria Morotti6 years ago

Hopefully things will change before another student takes his life.

William K.
William K6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Denise L.
Denise L6 years ago

One thing I don't understand about bullying is where are the parents of the bully?

This is actually a conversation I started having with my children when they were toddlers. They grew up knowing that while I loved them unconditionally there were a couple things that were absolutely unacceptable to me 1-being unkind and cruel to others and 2-smoking.

I agree with Rick Mercer that people need to step up and be role models but parents also need to step up and make it their business to make sure their children aren't bullies

Marg Wood
Marg W6 years ago

leanne m. Is there a petition regarding this discusting "kick a ginger day?" Those boys should be charged with assault! Tell Robin Marty about this it needs to be investigated and brought to the publics attention.

Holy Lawrence
Holly Lawrence6 years ago

Such sadness that many cannot be stand-up and be counted for who they are. Stand tall be proud and know that others love you and support you - you are BEAUTIFUL!

Thank YOU for this article.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago


Wayne M.
Wayne M6 years ago

The "It Gets Better" message was a great starting message for hope, but now the real work begins – the job adults must face to make it better. I cannot help but notice that some of the M.P.s featured in this video have voted against equality rights for LGBT people and same-sex couples. Is this making "it" better – or merely giving a message of false promises?

Sally Dodge
Sally Dodge6 years ago

Perhaps it's time to look at the bullies as well as the bullied. I had a miserable life as a teen. I was one of the bullied. We're talking 50 yrs or so ago. I was the short, fat, unpopular girl, questioning my sexuality in a time when "queers" were spoken of with open derision. I was targeted by one boy in particular who made my life a living hell. To this day, I don't know what I did to incite his ire, but he was relentless. He'll never know how many times his hatefulness forced me to extreme methods of avoidance.

I recently found out he committed suicide less than 20 yrs after high school.

My point is, when you stop the bullying, you may be saving more than one life. This problem goes way beyond just picking on the gay kid, or the kid who's different in any way. We have MANY lives to save and THAT MUST get better!