Wednesday, July 06, 2011
BOTM: It Gets Better
If you are LGBTQ, or if you have been listening to the news about bullying, you've probably heard about the amazing It Gets Better project. Begun by Dan Savage after hearing of the tragic and numerous suicides from kids who were bullied for being LGBTQ, or rumored of being LGBTQ, the project surpassed everyone's expectations.
It began with one video, one simple YouTube video in which Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller explained to LGBT teens that it DOES get better. They hoped for 100 videos. They've achieved over 10,000 including one from President Obama.
The book, in the other hand, is a collection of some 113 stories from people as different as Ellen Degeneres, Suze Orman, Hillary Clinton, David Sedaris, Meshell Ndegeocello, and the list goes on and on. The people writing the stories are gay, bisexual, transgender and straight allies. They are doctors, military personnel, scientists, students still in High School and students still in College who've already seen that it does, indeed, get better. There are people in rural areas, and in cities like NY. There are also people of different races and religious backgrounds. In short, it's a sample of the diversity that life has to offer, and it shows that it gets better for anyone and everyone. Almost all of the people that wrote a story either considered or tried to kill themselves. Every single person who had considered it, or actually attempted it was happy that they didn't succeed. Their life got much better.
This book, and this project are a life affirming ode to the power of change, and to the power that lies within us to create that change. I greatly admire Savage and his husband for creating such a powerful project.
This collection of stories are invaluable, and I recommend that you give it as a gift to any teen that has been, or is being bullied. If you can't think of anyone to give it to, but you would still like to help, the It Gets Better site has a list of ways in which you can help.
As a last note, if you are considering killing yourself, take a moment. Breathe, and then get help. I myself can tell you that after dealing with extreme bullying in HS, my life got so much better. Don't give up. Just get help.