WATCH: Joel Burns, Fort Worth City Council proclaim Bullying Awareness Day

The other day we told you the city of Fort Worth was set to proclaim Bullying Awareness Day on Oct. 12, which will mark the one-year anniversary of gay Councilman Joel Burns’ “It Gets Better” speech. Courtesy of the city’s YouTube channel, below is video of Burns addressing the council on Tuesday morning and reading the proclamation. A press release from Burns’ office, along with the full text of the proclamation, is after the jump.

—  John Wright

FW to proclaim Bullying Awareness Day

Joel Burns

Oct. 12 is the one-year anniversary of openly gay Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns’ legendary “It Gets Better” speech. (In case you’re wondering, as of this posting, the video had 2,664,269 views on YouTube.) To mark the occasion, the Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday will proclaim Oct. 12 as Bullying Awareness Day, according to a press release from Burns’ office:

On October 12, 2010, Councilman Burns used his personal time at a city council meeting to speak to citizens, parents and educators about their responsibility as adults to end bullying. His message also included a personal plea to those youth who were considering suicide to stick around for a life that will get better and a message of hope to empower youth to speak out and stand up for anyone who might be experiencing bullying. Subsequently, the video of Councilman Burn’s speech went viral and garnered international attention. To continue the conversation about bullying and the effects it has on children, and ultimately the city as a whole, the City of Fort Worth is proclaiming October 12, 2011 Bullying Awareness Day to encourage its citizens to do their part in ensuring that all children have a safe, caring and respectful place to feel safe, learn and socialize.

—  John Wright

Rangers spokesman says team won’t consider making ‘It Gets Better’ video until after playoffs

On Thursday I came across this excellent piece by Karen Ocamb, news editor at the LGBT magazine Frontiers, about what the Los Angeles Dodgers’ “It Gets Better” video means to her. Ocamb recalls how she once met the gay son of iconic former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who later refused to acknowledge that his son was gay and had died from AIDS. Ocamb said she’s harbored ill feelings toward the Dodgers ever since — and almost didn’t post the teams’ “It Gets Better” video on her blog, LGBT POV.

“Then I watched it,” Ocamb writes. “Since I don’t watch Dodgers baseball, I don’t know who these guys are. The HuffPo identifies them as coach Don Mattingly, James Loney, Matt Guerrier, Jamey Carroll, A.J. Ellis, Rod Barajas and Hiroki Kuroda saying, ‘you are worthy,’ and ‘you’re not alone, we’re on your side’ in English, Spanish and Japanese.

“I suspect they know about the legendary Tommy Lasorda and may know that Tommy Lasorda Jr. was gay and died of AIDS,” Ocamb writes of the Dodgers who appear in the video. “But whether they do or not doesn’t matter. I was moved by their sincerity – and dare I say – it got better for me seeing how the Dodgers had changed.”

Ocamb’s moving piece prompted me to again reach out to John Blake, executive vice president of communications for the Texas Rangers, to find out whether the team has made a decision about filming an “It Gets Better” video. If you’ll recall, when asked about an “It Gets Better” video last month, Blake told Instant Tea the team was “considering our options and the timing of any initiatives.”

The Rangers begin the playoffs this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays in Arlington.

“I really have nothing new to report,” Blake said in an email Thursday evening. “We plan to look at what the best approach may be once the playoffs conclude.”

Watch the Dodgers’ “It Gets Better” video below.

—  John Wright

WATCH: American Airlines says, ‘It Gets Better’

Fort Worth-based American Airlines became the first airline to contribute to the It Gets Better Project by recording the above video through GLEAM, the company’s LGBT employee group. A full press release is after the jump.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Texas State music theater students perform Andrew Lippa’s ‘It Gets Better’ song

Playbill.com reports that gay composer and Tony Award nominee Andrew Lippa has released an “It Gets Better” song performed by students in the music theater department at Texas State University in San Marcos. Lippa, known for composing the music from The Addams Family and The Wild Party, teamed with the students while serving as Texas State’s first composer in residence. Watch the performance below.

—  John Wright

Petitions call for Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers to film ‘It Gets Better’ videos

Sam Maden, 12, is petitioning the Boston Red Sox to film an “It Gets Better” video.

The San Francisco Giants have become the first professional sports team to release an “It Gets Better” video. Watch it below. The Giants’ “It Gets Better” video was filmed partly in response to a petition from activist Sean Chapin that gathered more than 6,000 signatures.

Not surprisingly, Chapin’s petition is inspiring others, including 12-year-old Sam Maden, who’s petitioning the Boston Red Sox to make an “It Gets Better” video.

A quick search of Change.org today reveals that Maden’s “It Gets Better” petition is one of dozens launched in recent days and directed at pro sports teams, including both the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys.

“You guys are real heros to many people here in Texas and have a voice,” Sam Medal of Plano writes in a petition letter to the Rangers CEO, which would be Nolan Ryan. “Please use that voice to let lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth kids know that suicide is not an option, that over time ‘It Gets Better.’”

Thus far, only 124 people have signed Medal’s Rangers petition, but that’s much more than the 14 who’ve signed a petition directed to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and launched by Gabriel Gorre of Smithtown, N.Y.

We couldn’t find any petitions for the Stars or Mavericks, which is a little surprising given that the Mavs are currently in the NBA Finals and, based on owner Mark Cuban’s views, might be the local sports franchise that’s most likely to actually film an “It Gets Better” video.

If the Mavs go down 2-0 to the Heat on Thursday, they should probably film one as soon as they get back to Dallas just to remind themselves that “It Gets Better.”

Seriously, though, could someone please start a Mavs petition?

—  John Wright