LGBT Youth: It Gets Better!

What do you say to a kid who’s being bullied for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?

Especially in high school, LGBT kids often face a barrage of verbal abuse, online harassment, and physical attacks. The shaming and pain can eat away at a teenager’s self-worth, and, especially if they lack support from the people who they need it from the most, they often feel scared, alone, depressed, or suicidal.
But writer Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller have one simple thing to say to kids who are struggling to survive abuse:
It gets better.
“However bad it is now,” Dan says, “it gets better. And it can get great. And it can get awesome—your life can be amazing. But you have to tough this period of it out, and you have to live your life so that you’re around for it to get amazing. And it can, and it will.”
To help life get good, Savage’s global It Gets Better project gives LGBT kids hope and support for getting through high school, often the most difficult time in life to be gay. In the YouTube video that spawned the project in 2010, Dan and Terry talk about the bullying they endured as teenagers—and how much better their lives have gotten since they met, fell in love, adopted a son, built thriving careers, and became accepted by their families for who they are.

The It Gets Better website features five especially cool features:
  1. A timeline detailing HOW it’s gotten better for LGBT people of all ages around the world.
  2. A pledge to speak up against intolerance and to provide hope for bullied teens.
  3. Help and resources searchable by state, plus information about 24/7 support lines.
  4. Info on how to get the It Gets Better book into schools and libraries.
  5. 50,000 videos and counting from both famous and ordinary people talking about how it's gotten better for them, and how it will get better for others. Kids and adults can also upload their own videos. Check out this video with actor George Takei, "the personification" of the fact that it gets better:


If you haven't yet, head on over to 31 for 31 to check out our School Bullying Prevention Difference Makers.

Image from It Gets Better's Facebook page.
Erin Harris Image
About the Author

“I believe that more often than many people think is possible, we can prevent problems from getting out of control. We can make each other safer.”

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