To My Grade 7 Self: Video Targets Teens' Homophobia Discrimination

The Huffington Post Canada  |  Posted: 04/26/2012 11:05 am Updated: 04/26/2012 2:46 pm

Part of the difficulty of getting older is in discovering how very wrong you were in your younger years -- and how much you wish you could take back about half of the things you said to other people.

Chris Studer, a student at the Western University, is doing his best to take back his own wrongdoings, particularly as they relate to homophobia. Studer's group, Get REAL (Reaching Equality At Last), aims to create an environment without discrimination on his campus, and hopefully, on university campuses across the continent. He's gathered together a few of his fellow students, both gay and straight, in an emotional roundup to testify to their own behaviour in grade seven (or age 12), and how they'd do it differently if they could.

Showing the flip side of the "It Gets Better" project, which was created by columnist Dan Savage to demonstrate to LGBT youth that life becomes easier after their teen years, "To My Grade 7 Self" combines the people who are now embarrassed by the hurtful words they once said with those against whom the insults were hurled.

Focusing on the painful power of language, "To My Grade 7 Self" might be coming from a university setting, but it falls right in line with the many books and articles about the things we all "wish we'd known" when we were younger. Will that help teach kids just how harsh those terms they throw around casually can be? It's hard to determine, but the concrete messages ("Those words are learned, and you can unlearn them," Studer emphasizes) could be a stepping stone.

We all have things that we did in our pasts that embarrass us to think about now that we've grown and changed. What do you regret from your early teen years? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @HuffPostCaLiv.

WATCH: Celebrities star in It Gets Better videos:

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CORRECTION: This article previously identified Western University as University of Western Ontario. It has been corrected, as per Canadian Press style.
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