The “It Gets Better” project inspires

High school is not always a fun place to be for gay teenagers. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens, or LGBTs, face amplified bullying and ridicule every day. Many of these teenagers are forced to keep their sexual orientation a secret to avoid cruel judgments from peers, friends and even family.

Leesville students recognize this problem, as evidenced by the Day of Silence, where many students ceased speaking for a day to commemorate the thousands of LGBTs that keep quiet about their sexuality.

Dan Savage, author, created the “It Gets Better Project” 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.”

Savage started this project after hearing of multiple gay teens that committed suicide after being bullied. “I wish I could’ve talked to that kid for five minutes before he killed himself,” Savage said on the website.“I’d tell him that however bad it was in high school or middle school…it gets better.”
So Savage then created the “it gets better,” web page to convince tortured LBGTs that there is hope for a happy future.

The project achieves this goal in a variety of ways. Upon visiting the website, one is immediately asked to take a pledge to “spread this message to friends, family and neighbors, speak up against hate and intolerance at school and at work and provide hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other bullied teens by letting them know that “It Gets Better.”

After taking this pledge, website visitors can view thousands of videos submitted by hopeful gays, lesbians, bisexuals and supportive heterosexuals. These videos assure viewers that things may seem bad in high school, but poor treatment improves over time. Video submissions range from average middle aged men, to transvestites, to famous people, such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Anne Hathaway, the cast of Glee and even Ke$ha.

According to the website, itgetsbetter.org is “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.”

While the website is probably the easiest place to gain access to the movement, the project is also available in book form, titled It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, in which over 100 contributors submitted essays and personal stories all dedicated to showing gay teens that life does get better. The book is available in almost all book stores.

The project also sells T-shirts for $30 dollar donations and continuously spreads their message through Facebook and Twitter pages.

Through this website, gay teens can not only find hope that bullying is temporary, but also find unity with an entire community of people facing similar issues. Leesville students can support the project by visiting the website, gaining knowledge, taking the pledge or even submitting a video to share personal stories of hope and acceptance.

The “It Gets Better” project is one movement out of many against gay prejudice and harassment, but the struggle is far from over.  Leesville students should do all in their power to support individuals’ personal choice and diminish bullying.

About the Author

Katy Huis, Editor-in-Chief
Katy has been on staff since her sophomore year, starting as a staff writer. With hard work and diligence, she earned a junior editor position and ultimately became Editor-in-Chief her senior year. She will pursue a degree in journalism in college.

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