Life After Bullies

How the “It Gets Better” movement is giving fresh hope to LGBT teens.
It gets better, image by Kristin

Photo by Kristin

Writer Dan Savage was tired of silently empathizing with bullying victims. Shocked by the tragic suicides among LGBT teens in recent months, he made a YouTube video to tell teens “It Gets Better”—it’s possible to live happily as an openly gay adult.

The project went viral as thousands of videos flooded in from LGBT adults, eager to offer their personal stories as reassurances of hope for struggling young people. Gay parents boasted about their fulfilling family life, a Marine and a police officer kissed in uniform for all of YouTube to see, and a lesbian minister urged teens to have faith.

As gay characters are increasingly appearing in TV shows and the Episcopalian church has begun formulating a same-sex marriage rite, it seems clear that to be LGBT is becoming more positively embraced by our culture.

At the same time, high school is as tough as ever for LGBT teens who struggle to feel comfortable and accepted. Many teens–especially those who have been bullied–can’t imagine a life beyond  oppression and loneliness.

Fortunately, New Jersey is leading the way with an anti-bullying Bill of Rights. And the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization founded specifically for LGBT teens, has a 24/7 crisis prevention hotline. To raise money for the organization, Broadway stars teamed up to sing Jay Kuo and Blair Shepard’s original song, “It Gets Better."

More Videos From the "It Gets Better" Project

Video: The NYC Youth Pride Chorus records an "It Gets Better" message.

Video: LGBT teachers show solidarity with their students, even when it means they have to do it in disguise.

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