What started as a simple YouTube video from Seattle’s own Dan Savage and Terry Miller in September of 2010 rapidly became a social phenomenon – and a perfect example of the power of the internet to bring a voice to those without the words.
In the original video, Dan and Terry expressed a desire that many of us that have crossed the Coming Out Rubicon also have had – to tell those who are just facing coming out, that on the other side of the river that it does “Get Better”. In the wake of multiple youth and teen suicides, the LGBT community was faced with a social crisis and a question of how to circumvent the hatred expressed by not only the communities that these kids live in, but frequently by the parents themselves, and talk directly to the kids struggling with the process of coming out.
30,000 videos and 40 Million plus views later, the It Gets Better project, is a success. Frankly, if you can motivate the President and Secretary of State of the United States to take part, then you’ve done something right. The special will also feature messages of hope and support from Dan Savage and Terry Miller themselves, as well as from Zachary Quinto, Margaret Cho, Chaz Bono and many others.
Tonight, MTV and LOGO will present a televised special featuring three people who are exploring different phases of their lives; including a transgender
ed man who’s looking to marry his fiancee, a teen boy facing coming out to his school and family, and a young lesbian seeking acceptance from her mother for both her and her girlfriend.
If you aren’t going to be home, set your DVR’s and VCR’s. The special is sweet and emotional, inspiring and frequently hard to watch. At times, I found myself uncomfortable – because there were some unsettling reminders of what life was like 20 years ago for me when I was first finding my way out of the closet… and it’s frankly disheartening to see that in spite of how much things have evolved, and changed for the better, all too often, the fear and trepidation associated with being young, gay and closeted remain the same.
“It Gets Better” will air on both MTV and LOGO tonight at 11 p.m (and possibly 8 p.m. if you have DirecTV).
ItGetsBetter.org is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s 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, and seek help.