Dan Savage’s brainchild, the It Gets Better project, has a special place in my consciousness. Whenever I think back to my own high school experience, or the experiences of my gay friends when they were teens, I feel so blessed and grateful to be in a time of change –as the dialogue slowly shifts from silence and fear to hope and acceptance. Even though there is still a long way to go, Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project has brought national awareness to what was once a silent and terrible epidemic of gay bullying. Dan Savage has started an LGBT media revolution for this generation, and after such an overwhelming explosion of hope, there’s no going back into the national closet.
Hate to Hope
Savage’s It Gets Better project website is a treasure trove of information and hope for LGBT youth, many of whom have not only been bullied, but may be suicidal. According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, an estimated 20 to 40 % of America’s 1.6 million homeless youth are LGBT because 26% of LGBT kids are kicked out of their homes when they come out to family members. While the It Gets Better project’s main focus is providing hope and not housing, there is no doubt that the IGBP is an important resource in challenging homophobia.
From High School Kids to The President
The message of the It Gets Better project is simple: live, make it through, and life will improve. To date, there are over 40,000 It Gets Better videos that have been viewed millions of times. The best part of this visual mosaic of hope is that everyone has made the videos. People from all walks of life have made an IGBP video – from high school jocks and middle school lesbians all the way to celebs like Lady Gaga and even President Obama.
Kids who need help or support can call a toll-free confidential hotline at 866-4-U-TREVOR. To learn more about the It Gets Better project, to donate, or to contribute or view the videos, go here.