About the It Gets Better Project
Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted — even tortured — simply for being themselves.
Justin Aaberg. Billy Lucas. Cody Barker. Asher Brown. Seth Walsh. Raymond Chase. Tyler Clementi. They were tragic examples of youth who could not believe that it does actually get better.
While many of these teens couldn’t see a positive future for themselves, we can. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.
What is the It Gets Better Project?
In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
Two months later, the It Gets Better Project (TM) has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring over 10,000 user-created videos viewed over 35 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of "Glee", Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more. For us, every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it.
The website www.itgetsbetter.org is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN.
On March 22, 2011, six months following the launch of the campaign, the It Gets Better Project book was released. The book , It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living is on-sale wherever books are sold. It includes essays and new material from more than 100 contributors, including celebrities, religious leaders, politicians, parents, educators, youth just out of high school, and many more. All proceeds from the book will be donated to LGBT youth charities. For more detials and to purchase the book, visit HTTP://ITGETSBETTER.ORG/BOOK.
Who is Dan Savage?
Dan Savage is author of the internationally syndicated relationship and sex column Savage Love and the weekly podcast Savage Lovecast. He is editorial director of the Seattle weekly The Stranger, where he was formerly Editor-in-Chief. He is a regular contributor to PRI's "This American Life" and has been featured as a Real Time Reporter on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."
Dan heard about the suicides of Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas and had a reaction so many LGBT adults had. “I wish I could’ve talked to that kid for five minutes before he killed himself,” Dan recently said. “I’d tell him that however bad it was in high school or middle school...it gets better.” The It Gets Better Project was born.
Listen to Dan and his partner Terry talk about their stories and how the project came to be:
What is The Trevor Project?
The Trevor Project, a benefactor of the It Gets Better Project, is determined to end suicide among LGBT youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including a nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone. Please visit their site at WWW.TREVORPROJECT.ORG.
If you are considering suicide or need help, call the Trevor Project now: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).
What is GLSEN?
GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), a benefactor of the It Gets Better Project, is a national education organization working to ensure safe schools for ALL students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. GLSEN works to convince education leaders and policymakers of the urgent need to address anti-LGBT behavior and bias in our schools; protect students by advancing comprehensive and effective safe schools law and policies; empower principals to make their schools safe places to learn; and build the skills of educators to teach respect for all people.
For more information on GLSEN, visit WWW.GLSEN.ORG.
What is the ACLU LGBT Project?
The It Gets Better Project supports the ACLU LGBT Project, an organization that works to create an America free from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression, or HIV status through impact litigation, public education, and advocacy. The Project’s programs on behalf of LGBTQ youth include helping students stand up to discrimination, harassment, and censorship. The Project provides an individualized response to every youth who reaches out to us for legal help.
Have a heart for somebody just like you. They aren't different but for sexual preference, so why treat them differently? Go now, make your pledge, donate, buy a shirt, spread the word, and stand up for gays everywhere. http://www.itgetsbetter.org/