Have you checked out Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” YouTube project, yet?
Initially in response to the growing number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered teens who have committed suicide lately after suffering discrimination and bullying, sex columnist and LGBT activist Dan Savage created “It Gets Better,” a YouTube video project designed to spread the message to LGBT teens that, hey – it gets better.
Ellen DeGeneres also made a video (I actually caught her video yesterday during Dr. Phil’s episode on cyber bullying, teen suicide, and the tragic death of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi), and this morning I scanned through the massive list of videos and saw entries from Kathy Griffin, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Jason Derulo, and Perez Hilton.
Of course, this isn’t about the celebrities supporting this campaign.
This is about the teens – right now, especially those of the LGBT community – dealing with bullying, harassment, abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Kudos to the celebrities who’ve jumped on board to say “Hey, I’ve been there,” or “Hey, you’re not alone,” but there are also immensely supportive messages from other teens and adults across the country (maybe the globe? I don’t have any statistics on that) who’ve been through it and survived. mattypoppins1, for example, who dealt with starting high school, coming out, and losing his friend in the Columbine shooting during the same year, and AmericanAlejandro, who dealt with a teacher who witnessed him being bullied for being gay and did nothing about it.
No matter who you are – your age, your sexual orientation, your location in the world – I encourage you to visit the “It Gets Better” YouTube channel and watch these videos. Listen to these stories. See these people who’ve experienced harassment and bullying and abuse and survived.
Maybe they’ll encourage you to reach out to a friend, or seek help, or realize there is life beyond what you’re going through now. Maybe you’ll be inspired to make a video of your own and share your own story or offer support.
Maybe they’ll just open your eyes.
For even more information about the project and connect with others, visit the “It Gets Better Project” Facebook page. And, if you’re a teen who needs help, please visit The Trevor Project or call its national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth at 1-866-488-7386.
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