NYT profiles ‘It Gets Better’ campaign

Posted on 19 Oct 2010 at 7:44am

We’ll start today on a positive note.

The “It Gets Better” campaign, launched by Dan Savage, has become a phenomenon. It’s the story of the LGBT community looking out for its own amid a wave of homophobia, anti-gay rantings from politicians and religious leaders and the teen suicides. Today, the NY Times profiles the effort:

The “It Gets Better” idea came to Mr. Savage, 46, while he was riding the AirTrain shuttle to Kennedy International Airport last month and thinking about Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old from Indiana who committed suicide Sept. 9. The local news media reported that Mr. Lucas was bullied regularly.

Days earlier, Mr. Savage had blogged about the suicide, and a reader had written: “My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas. I wish I could have told you that things get better.”

Mr. Savage said he felt the same way. But how to tell them? He gives talks at colleges regularly, but not at middle schools or high schools. “I would never get permission,” he said, blaming a system of “parents, preachers and teachers” who “believe they can terrorize gay children out of being gay as they grow up.”

His realization was this: “I was waiting for permission that — in the era of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook — I didn’t need anymore.”


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