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Give 'Em Hope

September 23, 2010

I'm a gay male and have been seeing a terrific guy for a couple of months. Two years ago, during an uncharacteristically wild few months in my life, I had a threesome with a couple, and as it turns out, my boyfriend is very good friends with them. We see them socially and have even all had dinner together. Nothing has been mentioned by anyone, and I've never told my BF. I feel guilty—not because I slept with his friends, but rather because a threesome is inconsistent with his perception of me. I don't view threesomes as morally wrong, but I'm worried he does. Should I tell him?

Threesome Complications

Yes, TC, you should tell him.

He's going to find out eventually—this isn't the kind of secret that keeps—and the revelation will be much more damaging if he finds out about it from the couple or from a malicious third (fourth?) party. And while a threesome may be inconsistent with his current impression of you, TC, that's something he might be able to get over. He's much less likely to get over the realization that you were keeping this secret from him or that you're so stupid as to think that this kind of secret can be kept.

And why are you so sure he would have a problem with it? Right now he's operating under the assumption that his boyfriend isn't the sort of guy who has threesomes. And you're operating under the assumption that your boyfriend thinks threesomes are morally wrong. We know that his assumptions about you are wrong—you are the sort of person who has threesomes—so it stands to reason that your assumptions about him could be wrong. He may not have any problem with threesomes. Or foursomes.

You're the kind of person who can have a threesome and remain on good terms with the couple involved, TC, and that's a selling point, something in your favor, and nothing you should be ashamed of.


The time has come for you to use your influence to pick a day between now and the November election and declare it Masturbate to Christine O'Donnell Day in either the state of Delaware or the entire United States of America. This needs to happen, and you're the only guy who can do it.

Hiding At The Elusive Fuzz Under Christine's Knockers

For Savage Love readers who don't read anything else: Christine O'Donnell is the Tea Party wacko who won the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in Delaware. She is famous for three things: getting her loony ass endorsed by Sarah Palin, viciously gay-baiting her straight primary opponent, and opposing masturbation because it makes the baby Jesus cry.

I'm all for masturbating to Christine O'Donnell, HATEFUCK, but why limit it to one day? So I hereby declare every day between now and November 2—when O'Donnell's nomination costs the GOP a Senate seat—to be Masturbate to Christine O'Donnell Day. Rub one out for freedom, people!


I just read about a gay teenager in Indiana—Billy Lucas—who killed himself after being taunted by his classmates. Now his Facebook memorial page is being defaced by people posting homophobic comments. It's just heartbreaking and sickening. What the hell can we do?

Gay Bullying Victim Who Survived

Another gay teenager in another small town has killed himself—hope you're pleased with yourselves, Tony Perkins and all the other "Christians" out there who oppose anti-bullying programs (and give actual Christians a bad name).

Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.

Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.

"My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas," a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. "I wish I could have told you that things get better."

I had the same reaction: I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

But gay adults aren't allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don't bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.

Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don't have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.

So here's what you can do, GBVWS: Make a video. Tell them it gets better.

I've launched a channel on YouTube—www ­.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject—to host these videos. My normally camera-shy husband and I already posted one. We both went to Christian schools and we were both bullied—he had it a lot worse than I did—and we are living proof that it gets better. We don't dwell too much on the past. Instead, we talk mostly about all the meaningful things in our lives now—our families, our friends (gay and straight), the places we've gone and things we've experienced—that we would've missed out on if we'd killed ourselves then.

"You gotta give 'em hope," Harvey Milk said.

Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. So let's show them what our lives are like, let's show them what the future may hold in store for them.

The video my husband and I made is up now—all by itself. I'd like to add submissions from other gay and lesbian adults—singles and couples, with kids or without, established in careers or just starting out, urban and rural, of all races and religious backgrounds. (Go to www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject to find instructions for submitting your video.) If you're gay or lesbian or bi or trans and you've ever read about a kid like Billy Lucas and thought, "Fuck, I wish I could've told him that it gets better," this is your chance. We can't help Billy, but there are lots of other Billys out there—other despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don't think they have a future—and we can help them.

They need to know that it gets better. Submit a video. Give them hope.


mail@savagelove.net

 

Comments (285) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Thank you, Dan -- I love the idea of the It Gets Better Project. It reminds me of Stephen Fry's letter to his younger self, which makes me cry every time I read it:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/apr…
Posted by Fangdoc on September 21, 2010 at 5:17 PM · Report this
2
Oh, and BTW... Terry's quite the hottie! Good pull there, man.
Posted by Fangdoc on September 21, 2010 at 5:19 PM · Report this
3
So Kurt Cobain faked his death and married Dan Savage...who knew?
Posted by moo2 on September 21, 2010 at 5:31 PM · Report this
4
Excellent, Dan. Just the sort of first-rate reaction I would hope for from you. As someone who lived through incessant bullying for his first 18 years (though not for being gay), I heartily applaud the new channel. Teens DO need to hear from older folk who aren't related to them and have no hidden interests at heart that yes, it does get better with time and you WILL learn to accept yourself and WILL find others like yourself.

This is something that is never said enough to any teenagers, but especially to those ostracized by their peers. Kudos for giving them the support.
Posted by Tucatz on September 21, 2010 at 5:33 PM · Report this
5
Wonderful column, Dan. I'll spread the word about your youtube project!
Posted by dakoneko on September 21, 2010 at 5:35 PM · Report this
6
Dan: As a school administrator, I am going to ensure that our kids know of this, and have access to it. One of the kids I taught, years ago, killed himself. This project has a chance of helping many such kids. thanks!
Posted by hb on September 21, 2010 at 5:54 PM · Report this
7
Dan Savage, I want to kiss you. As a teacher and head of a GSA, I am so happy this exists. The video was wonderfully touching and could make a difference in so many lives. Thank you.
Posted by other coast on September 21, 2010 at 6:11 PM · Report this
Robin8 8
Dan sort of beat (heh) me to it. I say let's declare EVERY day Masturbate to Christine O'Donnell Day. Heck, the minute I found out about her wacko views on masturbation, I went straight to the bedroom, got out my Albolene cream, and jilled off all over the full-length mirror. Granted, I was about to start my period, and orgasms are very therapeutic for relieving cramps and back pain. so I probably would have done it anyway. But this one was extra satisfying.

And anyway, I must admit she is pretty. Maybe we women should mount an e-mail/letter campaign telling Christine how much we'd love to eat her pussy, if only she weren't so hell bent on stopping the whole country from having sex (and good luck with that): http://www.connexion.org/gay-news/politi…
Posted by Robin8 http://shutyoureverlovingpiehole.wordpress.com on September 21, 2010 at 6:20 PM · Report this
TeachingThomas 9
linking it up on my site, and sharing the video now. Would love to see this played in classrooms across the country...

Posted by TeachingThomas http://teachingthomas.net on September 21, 2010 at 6:31 PM · Report this
10
I posted this to my tumblr (www.iknowaboutstuff.tumblr.com) to support the project. I also want to say that your speeches and videos have really had an impact on how I view relationships and I'd like to thank you. My relationship is honest and fun and GGG due in some part to your ability to succinctly, and with a sense of humour, sum up the issues facing couples in LT relationships.
Posted by iknowaboutstuff.tumblr.com on September 21, 2010 at 6:42 PM · Report this
11
Great column, Dan. Curiosity about your camera-shy husband was a definite incentive for me to view the video, and I'm sure that will be true for many others, so I'd like to thank him in particular.

I respect and understand Terry's preference to live privately and if this is his only public on-camera moment I believe he chose the right time and place and cause.
Posted by Functional Atheist on September 21, 2010 at 6:44 PM · Report this
TeachingThomas 12
Sharing and spreading the word about this project as we speak. Thank you so much for the idea, and I can't wait to see where this goes. I too would love to see this as part of the curriculum in schools across the country.
Posted by TeachingThomas http://teachingthomas.net on September 21, 2010 at 6:47 PM · Report this
13
Dan,

I applaud your project. I know it was prompted by a particular horrific case of homophobic bullying, but I think it would be great to expand this to address all the freaks, geeks, losers, fags, bitches, sluts, and lowlife who are made to feel like their life will never get better. They all need to hear the message. That it does get better, and really soon! Two or three years until you're a legal adult, can move away from that bullshit and see how fantastic life can be!
Posted by MathGuy on September 21, 2010 at 6:48 PM · Report this
14
Dan,

I applaud your project. I know it was prompted by a particular horrific case of homophobic bullying, but I think it would be great to expand this to address all the freaks, geeks, losers, fags, bitches, sluts, and lowlife who are made to feel like their life will never get better. They all need to hear the message. That it does get better, and really soon! Two or three years until you're a legal adult, can move away from that bullshit and see how fantastic life can be!
Posted by MathGuy on September 21, 2010 at 6:52 PM · Report this
Julie in Eugene 15
I know you'll get plenty of accolades for this, but I'd just like to say that this column gave me chills. Way to use your powers for good, Dan...
Posted by Julie in Eugene on September 21, 2010 at 7:35 PM · Report this
16
This channel will be pimped as far and wide as I can possibly pimp it. Thank you, Dan, for starting this, because this will save lives.
Posted by bluesunshine on September 21, 2010 at 7:48 PM · Report this
A_Charmed_1 17
Thank you for sharing the story of Billy Lucas. It made me cry and now I am angry as hell. Is there anyway that those who bullied him can be tried for manslaughter or something? Anything to make people see that bullying behavior will not be condoned. Bullies are cowards!
Posted by A_Charmed_1 on September 21, 2010 at 7:51 PM · Report this
despicable me 18
Thank you so much for this Dan and Terry.

I'll be doing my part to ensure that this message gets broadcast far and wide by sending the link to everyone in my contact list. If anyone knows of somebody in a similar situation, please direct them to Dan & Terry's channel. Let them know that it really does get better and that hope and help are out there.

Take good care all. Peace.
Posted by despicable me on September 21, 2010 at 7:59 PM · Report this
Canuck 19
Wow, I am completely impressed, Dan. After you posted that awful story, I think so many of us wondered what could have been done to help, if we had known a kid like Billy Lucas. Your video project idea is brilliant, and hopefully will go viral. For all the joking on Slog, it's good to take a moment to let you know (again) what a real difference you have made to so many people. Raising my glass to you right now. Cheers.
Posted by Canuck on September 21, 2010 at 8:08 PM · Report this
20
dan, you just get more awesome. this is a wonderful project. thank you.
Posted by superbobin on September 21, 2010 at 8:12 PM · Report this
21
That was amazing. I'm not gay, or bi, or trans, so I haven't much to contribute in the way of a video, but I'll definitely be posting this to my Facebook to help spread the word.
Posted by Ems on September 21, 2010 at 8:25 PM · Report this
22
Great idea! This is a great help and something I wish I had been able to see in my teens. Thanks a lot for sharing and I hope this catches on and spreads far and wide.
Posted by bigdman on September 21, 2010 at 8:31 PM · Report this
23
Forgot to add something..

Although meant for young gay teens, this is fantastic for everybody who is or has ever been bullied and picked on. And what can us straight people do to get involved?
Posted by bigdman on September 21, 2010 at 8:34 PM · Report this
24
Word = spread, indeed. Consider it done.

And your spouse is definitely a hottie...kudos on all fronts, Dan.
Posted by brandX on September 21, 2010 at 8:36 PM · Report this
25
Thank-you for the video Dan! Very inspiring!
Posted by beec on September 21, 2010 at 8:40 PM · Report this
26
God or Spirit or Universe (or whatever you believe in) bless you, Dan. The message of your "It Gets Better" project will save kids' lives. You'll save kids' lives.
Posted by wtfwjd on September 21, 2010 at 8:55 PM · Report this
27
The video and YT channel was a wonderful and loving idea. Thanks to you and Terry both for telling your stories. I hope the kids that need to see this do, and they can feel hope and love and then find the strength to make it through the hell of high school.
Posted by Laurie in SF on September 21, 2010 at 8:58 PM · Report this
28
Goosebumps!!!
Posted by Utard on September 21, 2010 at 9:25 PM · Report this
29
How is it, Dan, that you literally seem to shit pure gold? Whatsoever you tackle, you do it with a stunning balance of outrage and humor. I cried reading the article and smiled at the stories of your, Terry, and DJ's life together. Thanks, again and again and again.
Posted by larrychoiceman on September 21, 2010 at 9:34 PM · Report this
30
What do you think about the most recent gay-bashing minister outed? The media is all over Eddie Long for 'enticing' two boys to have sex. This gives all LGBT people such a bad name. "All gay men are predators." Is there anything we can do?
Posted by Makenna on September 21, 2010 at 10:00 PM · Report this
31
I'm straight but I was bullied so mercilessly in high school I developed BDD (body dysmorphic disorder). Can we straight people give encouragement to the other bullied and otherwise miserable youth with your project?
Posted by ladyrockess on September 21, 2010 at 10:05 PM · Report this
Neptune 32
Such a great idea! I hope it catches on and becomes widely known!

And your video was wonderful and wonderfully surreal! I actually - FINALLY - just read both "The Commitment" and "The Kid" with in the last month, so it was awesome to actually get to see the two main characters interact! Wow! Thank you both so much for sharing!

Also, I will never understand why so many ridiculously photogenic people are camera-shy! And the way you watch Terry talk is heart-meltingly cute, Dan. Had to say it.
Posted by Neptune on September 21, 2010 at 10:20 PM · Report this
morningbella 33
Dan, you are one of my personal heroes and one of my favorite authors. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your books, columns, and other projects. That youtube video made me respect you even more (didn't know that was possible!). I have become so much more comfortable with my sexuality through reading your work, actually learning it does get better after high school, and looking to positive role models for people like me who do not fit into the cookie cutter mold of what sexuality is "supposed" to look like in the U.S. Thanks!!
Posted by morningbella http://www.facebook.com/amanda.cappelletti#!/amanda.cappelletti on September 21, 2010 at 10:32 PM · Report this
morningbella 34
Dan, you are one of my personal heroes and one of my favorite authors. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your books, columns, and other projects. That youtube video made me respect you even more (didn't know that was possible!). I have become so much more comfortable with my sexuality through reading your work, actually learning it does get better after high school, and looking to positive role models for people like me who do not fit into the cookie cutter mold of what sexuality is "supposed" to look like in the U.S. Thanks!!
Posted by morningbella http://www.facebook.com/amanda.cappelletti#!/amanda.cappelletti on September 21, 2010 at 10:41 PM · Report this
fannerz 35
@2: I know!! I was gonna comment on that on the youtube page, but thought that ought to be the arena for respectful and hopeful messages. But I guess "you could end up with someone as smokin' as Terry" is a pretty hopeful message ;)

Posted by fannerz on September 21, 2010 at 10:51 PM · Report this
36
Wonderful idea Dan, and you can bet I'll be making a video. I wasn't bullied nearly as much as this boy must have been, but damnit, if I can make just one tiny bit of difference....

Unfortunately, I can't quite bring myself to masturbate to Christine O'Donnell, as she makes my lesbian-boner run away in horror D= I would if I could, but I can't.

Keep it up Dan, you're my hero.
Posted by MaryM on September 21, 2010 at 11:15 PM · Report this
37
I was very moved by the video, I admit it.

But on the other hand, there's a certain percentage of kids viewing it that you can't help making false promises to: some gay kids are simply not going to grow up to have lives like yours. Some kids' families aren't going to accept them the way yours have; some kids are not going to end up with long-term partners (much less hot ones!); some kids aren't going to be taking vacations to Paris (or, for that matter, afford surrogate motherhood to become parents themselves).

It's certainly true that a lot of kids are really going to benefit from this video. Someday, though, you're going to hear from or about some viewers who will grow up to be disappointed and depressed when they never realize the idealized, and very lucky, model of gay life that you're presenting here. It would be more honest of you to say that, too.
Posted by Sancho on September 21, 2010 at 11:43 PM · Report this
morningbella 38
I think the point they are getting across is that there is hope, not that everyone's life will turn out exactly like theirs. The goal is to help extremely depressed/ suicidal adolescents make it through junior high/high school. I am pretty sure that kids who watch that video won't be like, "Wow, Dan promised that I will find an attractive, loving life partner and live happily ever after" and get upset when that doesn't pan out. Kids are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. The message is clear and will do much more good than bad.
Posted by morningbella http://www.facebook.com/amanda.cappelletti#!/amanda.cappelletti on September 22, 2010 at 12:06 AM · Report this
39
Hey Dan, Stranger copy editors, and fellow readers.

It is currently not known if Billy was gay. We may never know. It may not matter to some people, but it seems the family may have feelings about this. See the FaceBook tab under "Discussions". So few facts are known. It's possible he was gay and the family did not support him when he was alive and desires to hide it after his death. That would be extra horrific if it was true.

Here is the best news I could find so far:
http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/eas…

There's nothing on this in the Chicago Tribune or most media websites as of Sept 22nd, 13 days after his death.

It's horrible Billy is gone. He had been suspended from school that day for an attempt to stop those with a long history of bullying him. Being called gay was part of the abuse.

I'm a teacher and I've asked Dan back in 2005 to write a book for gay teens in schools. I got in trouble for sending a kid to the office every time he used "gay". I'd make a youtube video but Dan's request is only for people who are gay.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Billy-Luca…

ps: As another teacher said, youtube is blocked in most schools.
Posted by lilbaby103 on September 22, 2010 at 12:06 AM · Report this
40
Definitely a "happily ever after" story for you and Terry (whom, I might add, is GORGEOUS). I hope that some of the anti-gay-marriage Republican types stumble across this video, too. I can't imagine anyone with a spouse and kid(s) watching it and not being able to understand that you are two wonderful fathers who love each other deeply and deserve the same rights that they have.
Posted by veganlola on September 22, 2010 at 12:17 AM · Report this
41
I was a straight but weird kid who was bullied. "It gets better" is a message everyone needs to hear. High school ends and you will find a community and friends you can connect with and who will accept and love you for who you are.

@37: you are missing the point - Dan may have a very nice life, but even without all those good things that Dan has you will still escape the horrors of high school and find a life worth living.
Posted by Dan2 on September 22, 2010 at 12:22 AM · Report this
42
I teared up listening to you talk about your experience in Paris with your little boy. Reaching out like this is SO important. I'll send this link to everyone I know.
Posted by Amanda on September 22, 2010 at 12:35 AM · Report this
43
Great idea Dan (and ridiculously wholesome looking family, by the way). I'd like to echo several comments above saying that this kind of message could benefit all sorts of kids.

I can't contribute, being a straight female. But as a former victim of bullying I would love to tell the young victims of today, gay or straight, that it does get better, and that even if it feels eternal, the dark days of high school are over in a flash. Please do tell us if you decide to open the project up to more people, though I do understand your motivation for targetting GLBTQ teens especially.
Posted by Lynx on September 22, 2010 at 2:03 AM · Report this
44
Dan,

Wonderful to do that video!!! God bless you for it and may it be the catapult to something big and to save many, many young men and womens lives.
Posted by monikab on September 22, 2010 at 3:20 AM · Report this
45
What an adorable couple you guys are! And what a touching, wonderful gift to give those young people who are struggling! Thank you for your wisdom and generosity!
Posted by Susan Rhoades on September 22, 2010 at 3:56 AM · Report this
46
I am not gay but was bullied all through middle school and high school and even at times in college. I am still bullied occasionally today at the office (I am 25). I have not found "a community of friends I can connect with and that will love me for who I am." It is at times difficult to see how it will get any better.
Posted by This is not something you want to say non-anonymously on September 22, 2010 at 5:04 AM · Report this
47
@39- youtube may be blocked from the schools' hardlines, but they can't block the kids phones.

oh, and.... holy smoking hot terry.
Posted by drivel on September 22, 2010 at 5:53 AM · Report this
48
and @37- dan and terry didn't finance a "surrogate mother," they had an open adoption, there's a big difference.
Posted by drivel on September 22, 2010 at 5:54 AM · Report this
49
I spent Jr and Sr year of High School at a prep school (as a boarder). They kept drilling into us the myth that these were the best years of our lives, that the friendships we made there would be the most important of our lives. As one of the major outcasts, I remember thinking that if I believed that shit, I would kill myself because I didn't think I could stand living if things were just going to go downhill. College was such a blessing. There was a moment in grad school when it came to me that if someone told me life couldn't get any better, I would be content, because I couldn't imagine every being happier than I was then.
Posted by knitpicker on September 22, 2010 at 6:00 AM · Report this
Moderate 50
@46: Seek out your community. Go to meetup.com and search for something that interests you. You have compatriots. It gets better. You only have to look for what you need. In the world today, no one needs to be isolated. But believe me, I know how hard it is to take that step. I REALLY really know.
Posted by Moderate on September 22, 2010 at 6:23 AM · Report this
51
Dan Savage at his best. Yea!
Posted by gonzo on September 22, 2010 at 6:47 AM · Report this
52
Could you also create a regular web page that students in schools where "social networking" sites like YouTube and Facebook are blocked could access? Open it up to any adult who was bullied in school, and let contributors post written messages of support. You'll widen both the range of contributors and your potential audience.
Posted by My Name Here on September 22, 2010 at 6:50 AM · Report this
53
I just shared that on my facebook page. Now I need to go blow my nose and dry my face, 'cause I'm bawling my eyes out.
Great video. Beautiful family.
Posted by NWMoon on September 22, 2010 at 7:26 AM · Report this
54
If it happened a couple of years ago and it's only been two months with the new guy.. JUST BE HONEST. COME CLEAN. DROP THE HORSES***E. Honesty always rings best. Good luck to you Mr. Threesome;)!+~+
Posted by MostBeautifulVoodoo'CosOfU+~+ on September 22, 2010 at 7:46 AM · Report this
Serenity 55
I love this project idea - the girlfriend and I are making a video tomorrow night for this as part of celebrating our four year anniversary together. Maybe we'll make another video too... =)
Posted by Serenity on September 22, 2010 at 7:46 AM · Report this
56
I just saw the video and I had to wipe a few tears. I am female and heterosexual but I was nonetheless picked up at schoool (nerd type, tiny, always reading, talked differently...) Thirty years later I am an Ob-gyn working in my dream place, married and happy, and still reading like mad. I would have needed a video like that when I was a child, too. The project can be useful for other bullied kids besides gays, too.
Posted by ferfer on September 22, 2010 at 7:51 AM · Report this
57
amazing video... I'm in my cubicle trying to weep silently... and I just sent it to my boyfriend of 8 months...
Posted by zakzak on September 22, 2010 at 7:55 AM · Report this
58
Someone posted they aren't gay, bi, or trans and can't do a video but will add the link to their facebook. Why can't you do a video? You can talk about how you viewed people who were different when you were younger. Experineces in school about bullying and the use of slurs. How things have changed since you have gotten older. And more importantly how you accept people for who they are. It's great to have people "like me" to be a role model but it's also great to know that there are so many people who are supportive as well. Teens need to understand that outside of their smaller world there is a larger world where they are accepted and loved.
Posted by CharzRI63 on September 22, 2010 at 7:57 AM · Report this
59
I think this is the best thing you've ever done, Dan. This will save lives!
Posted by ggg on September 22, 2010 at 8:06 AM · Report this
60
dan, that video was really touching. thank you
Posted by new york state of mind on September 22, 2010 at 8:09 AM · Report this
61
My husband's brother and sister in law are the worst kind of fundamentalist "Christians." They have six kids by now, and show no signs of stopping. We have been told to our faces that we were not named godparents for any of them because of our association with gay people. So, I figure, statistically speaking, they're bound to end up with at least one gay kid. (To say nothing of karma!) I'm going to save your video for when that happens, and my husband and I have to step in and play the role of supportive adults during the drama that will undoubtedly ensue...
Posted by Magpie on September 22, 2010 at 8:18 AM · Report this
62
Shared on my FB page. How you smile at Terry is the cutest thing, Dan. Thanks to you both for doing this.
Posted by Gloria on September 22, 2010 at 8:26 AM · Report this
63
Thank you, Dan, for recognizing in your column that people like Tony Perkins don't speak for all, or even most, Christians. Many Christians don't feel the bible prohibits homosexuality in contemporary society at all. An even larger group, ambivalent on what the bible says about homosexuality, remembers that Jesus specifically told his followers that they are not be judging people, that they are not authorized to enforce their understanding of God's law on anyone else, and that they are commanded to love and respect others.

So thanks for remembering that we're here, and brainstorming regularly how to marginalize the Perkins, Becks, and Grahams of the world.
Posted by CBBaltimore on September 22, 2010 at 8:37 AM · Report this
64
Just make it a foursome, dude!
I mean, if threesomes are morally wrong, then surely all us gays will burn in hell. ...
No, wait! ... That's exactly what they said we would do! ...
Posted by hellforcertain on September 22, 2010 at 9:08 AM · Report this
65
Oh, the video made me cry hopeful tears. Thank you for this positive, moving response to a tragedy that happens far too often.
Posted by Viv on September 22, 2010 at 9:18 AM · Report this
sluggerB 66
This is such a brilliant idea. Good work.
Posted by sluggerB http://www.philebrity.com/ on September 22, 2010 at 9:19 AM · Report this
67
If this goes viral, and I'm hoping it does, there is equal chance the right wing people will create more mockery of gays. They will say the gay community created a poster child for a straight kid.

Screw the haters. Dan has never lost any debate with them. Everyone should just be aware of this so the hate message can be fought.

The boy hung himself, and verbal abuse about being gay was directly related. Many neighborhoods are so biased against gays that even a straight kid is pushed to suicide for being labeled "gay".

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

Don't give the haters any more fuel for their fire. Don't label the kid gay until more info comes out. Do support any effort like this to create more systematic supports.

Can someone creating a video add the 800 phone numbe? 800-273-TALK Here is the FAQ on the teen website.
http://sptsnj.org/faq.html
Posted by lilbaby103 on September 22, 2010 at 9:22 AM · Report this
68
Another suicide hotline for gay or questioning youth

(866) 4-U-TREVOR
(866) 488-7386

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Posted by lilbaby103 on September 22, 2010 at 9:35 AM · Report this
69
Dan, this is so awesome. I just posted on my Facebook page. You and Terry are so adorable!
Posted by LASue on September 22, 2010 at 9:42 AM · Report this
70
Masturbate to Christine O'Donnell? I'd sooner jack off to Larry Craig, and I'd sooner die than do that!

I will, however, most likely be jackin' it to Dan & Terry later tonight, speakinna threesomes.
Posted by wayne on September 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM · Report this
71
Hi Dan: I just posted this on my FB page. Really awesome project. You and Terry are adorable!
Posted by LASue on September 22, 2010 at 9:44 AM · Report this
macavitykitsune 72
Bi woman here (mostly into girls, really) and I never went to school to be bullied, but I got a fair bit of bullying and maltreatment from family growing up, wound up with a truly shitty body image for a very long time, which I'm growing out of, and they're still trying very hard to stuff me back in the closet.

My girlfriend and I (both avid readers of your column and your blog) both own accounts on a blogging site called Dreamwidth, and we've just been inspired to start up a community there with the same name as your project, with links to the videos and to your column as primary resources and inspiration. It's a small site, but it has a very high proportion of GLBTQ account owners, and I'm sure we can get something meaningful going with this.

Here's the link: http://it-gets-better.dreamwidth.org/

Thank you so much, Dan, for reaching out to a silent majority like this. I heard the "you're too young to know you're bi!" at the ripe old age of 18 (although I make allowances for growing up in a village in India) and I'm sure kids who come out earlier have that even worse - to have the community reach out to them in a caring, inclusive way will make a lot of difference to them.
Posted by macavitykitsune on September 22, 2010 at 9:50 AM · Report this
73
I am an educator as well, and I can't wait to get home to see the vid, as yes, facebook is blocked here. Yeah, Savage Love pops right through with all its piss and shit stained glory, but go on and stop that youtube *rolls eyes* Lol!

I am a straight girl as well, and totally agree with the other posters about how bullying can be so pervasive in schools, regardless of reasons (I grew up fat), and if indeed, my "Golden Years" of high school were indeed my best, I would have offed myself for sure! When I think of people who truly have their glory days in high school, I think of Al Bundy. Thank goodness for college...I am sure teen viewers can modify content in their minds to suit their needs. Can't wait to see Dan's hot hubby!
Posted by badgirl on September 22, 2010 at 10:15 AM · Report this
74
This was a great post, but my only beef is that it hasn't been established that Billy Lucas was gay. He may very well have been, but he also might not have been. The horrible treatment that the poor kid experienced qualifies as anti-gay bullying, but that doesn't mean he actually was gay.
Posted by AJD on September 22, 2010 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Hernandez 75
Excellent idea. Truly excellent and great use of this platform you have toward postive ends. I have some friends who I'll be sharing this with in the hopes that they will post videos too.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on September 22, 2010 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 76
Dan:

I'm not always your biggest fan, but today, I most certainly am.

My best friend in junior high (also in Spokane) killed himself a year after I moved away, for what I suspect was reasons similar to Billy Lucas. Watching you and Terry together makes me incredibly sad to know that my dear friend missed out on what would surely have been an amazingly good life.

Much good fortune and happiness to you and your family.

G
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on September 22, 2010 at 10:43 AM · Report this
77
You two are so beautiful. Wonderful video.
Posted by juststoppingby on September 22, 2010 at 10:46 AM · Report this
78
Hey, Dan. Did you get the idea for the "it gets better project" from this comment?

[found here: http://www.queerty.com/teenager-justin-a…]

I think we're at a point where it's evident that school districts (some, not all) are just NOT going to accept it. Instead of waiting around for them to do it, it may be time for LGBTA folks to go to them, especially in some of the "redder" parts of this country.

It would be nice to see people organizing around this issue – the school won't stop bullying? Unacceptable, but probably not changeable either, so how can it be countered? Perhaps with LGBTA mentoring or something similar.

I hate that this is happening and more I hate that it's being ignored, but it seems that the timeline for social change here is a long one, in the meantime, I hope some quicker, but no less powerful, actions can be taken.
Posted by no_one_in_particular on September 22, 2010 at 10:53 AM · Report this
79
http://www.yoppii.com/2010/09/it-gets-be…
I posted it on my yoga blog here in Toronto to spread the word.
It does get better.
I am going to post a video.
David Good
Posted by goodyogi on September 22, 2010 at 10:54 AM · Report this
80
Signal boosted. http://www.rixosous.com/2010/09/it-gets-…

The video made me cry.
Posted by Susan on September 22, 2010 at 11:01 AM · Report this
81
As a straight girl with an MA in Film I'm going to help out by reaching out to my gay friends and letting them know if they need help making the video I'm there. I've already posted it on fb.
Posted by wedding in WA on September 22, 2010 at 11:38 AM · Report this
82
Your husband's mouth isn't just pretty, it is gorgeous.
Posted by Tetsuo on September 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM · Report this
83
Some people have said that we don't know if Billy Lucas was gay. Fact is, doesn't matter. He was bullied to death by derogatory language and hateful slurs because people THOUGHT he was gay. As it turns out, the biggest reason kids who commit school shootings do it is because they were bullied, and the most common taunt is being called gay. Next time this happens, it might not be just the bullied kid who gets hurt.

Thank you thank you thank you. I cried.
Posted by Canadian eh? on September 22, 2010 at 12:25 PM · Report this
84
Well done, Dan and Terry. The kids need this. I added it to my own little blog: http://kgcounter.blogspot.com/
Posted by Kristen on September 22, 2010 at 12:27 PM · Report this
85
When Barney Frank would make the list of 5 hottest liberal chicks, I guess you have no choice but to jerk off to conservatives. What are you chronic bed-wetters going to do when she wins? Let me guess. Call her stupid and racist? Shocker.
Posted by Rock Dog on September 22, 2010 at 12:30 PM · Report this
kim in portland 86
Brilliant idea. I look forward to sharing this video with my own children and friends. Thank you for using your success to help the hurting youth amongst us.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 22, 2010 at 12:43 PM · Report this
YanaBanana 87
Thank you Dan and Terry. Thank you.
Posted by YanaBanana on September 22, 2010 at 1:06 PM · Report this
88 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
89
I read your column and listen to your podcast regularly, perhaps obsessively and while there have been many times I've been left thinking about it long after reading/listening, this is by far the most jossled I've felt. I've been sending everyone to read about this and watch your video. I'm not gay, but I did grow up in a very small town where being even a little different was definitely not ok. And I was more than just a little different. :) After high school I moved in to a larger city and everything was sooooo much better. Thank you for using your popularity and influence for good. I met you at the DJ battle recently and was blown away by how real you were (I was the short haired girl who told you about how you got me to DTMFA and found the man of my dreams, the one who can auto fellate, remember?) Anyway, thank you, for this, and everything else you do!
Posted by elizabethmae on September 22, 2010 at 1:19 PM · Report this
90
A. GREAT video....I'm a high school teacher.....I hope I can get away with showing this to my students.....We both know some of them are living through what you described.

B. You and your column got FREE national air time today on one of the Wingnut spew-shows on radio!!! All about your Christine Zero comments.
Posted by Justintoit on September 22, 2010 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Griffin 91
You made the Times today: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/22…

Great idea. Please keep it up.
Posted by Griffin on September 22, 2010 at 1:26 PM · Report this
BmuthafuckinRad 92
It Gets Better is an awesome solution to a persistent problem. Nice work. I'll bet you save more than one life!
Posted by BmuthafuckinRad on September 22, 2010 at 1:26 PM · Report this
93
I’m gay, and I was bullied when I was in grade 9. My two tormentors were relentless. Everyday after school, no matter how quickly I ran to my locker and ran out of the building, no matter which exit I took, they found me. They followed me for blocks calling me every homophobic name in the book. I wasn’t out, and was still pretty confused about my sexual orientation, but these guys seemed to know. The one time I stood up to one of them it ended with him pinning me to a locker – I couldn’t even move, never mind break-free from his grip(never mind getting a punch in). It reached the point where I wanted to kill myself, and I came pretty close. I’m lucky I have a loving family who helped me deal with the bullying. If it wasn’t for the support of my family I probably would have committed suicide.

I struggled for years with my sexual orientation, but somehow I survived. And things did get better… much better… better than I could ever have imagined when I was 14. I’m in a relationship with a man I love (five year anniversary is coming up), I’m out to my family, and they support me, and I’m comfortable in my own skin.

BUT, and it’s a big but, if a gay person had been there for me when I was 14 with advice, support, and a different perspective, it would have made a huge difference. If you have a camera, seriously consider making a video for Dan's site.
Posted by John in Toronto on September 22, 2010 at 1:34 PM · Report this
94
Dan, thanks for launching the "It Gets Better" project.

My son began to be subjected to anti-gay bullying when he was in second grade. We pulled him out of that school when it was clear that the administration wasn't going to do anything about it. Three years later, in 5th grade, it started again. Fortunately, we found a middle school/high school that is an open, welcoming community that has made it clear that it doesn't tolerate bullying.

Posted by midwaypete on September 22, 2010 at 1:35 PM · Report this
95
Wonderful idea, Dan. Going to spread the word.
Posted by sistermarymanhattan on September 22, 2010 at 1:40 PM · Report this
96
Picking up on 83's comment: Yes, not all kids who are subjected to anti-gay bullying are gay.

The school administrators who respond with "We have to be nice to the gay kids" are getting it wrong.

We have to stop the bullying.

Posted by midwaypete on September 22, 2010 at 1:40 PM · Report this
97 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
kerfuffle 98
#1 Christine O'Donnell is a fucking looneybird.

#2 Dan, thank you and Terry from the bottom of my heart. I think this project can really take off and make a difference in how schools approach bullying and the bullied.
As a teenager I was mercilessy bullied for being fat. I was 5'6" and 155 pounds, but was taunted endlessly about being a fatass, worthless piece of shit. Nobody stuck up for me. There was nobody with a message for me, other than my mom and dad who simply told me to ignore them. The teachers and principal disciplined me for sticking up for myself because I was causing a scene. It was ridiculous.
I made it through. I live well, I work in my community for awareness and self-acceptance, and that truly is the best revenge.

Posted by kerfuffle on September 22, 2010 at 3:40 PM · Report this
kerfuffle 99
Actually, revenge isn't a good word for what i do, because it is with no malice. Living well, and reaching out is my way of stopping the cycle of abuse, and empowering victims of bullying and/or self-loathing.
Posted by kerfuffle on September 22, 2010 at 3:44 PM · Report this
100
To everyone who's suggesting Dan do things to include lots of other groups of people - you've had a great idea, so why don't you make it happen yourself? It doesn't all have to be down to one person. Every single one of us can make a difference. So don't wait for someone else to do it!
Posted by krissf on September 22, 2010 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Allyson 101
It Gets Better: Dan, what an inspiration your and Terry's video is. I googled "it gets better" and your clip is currently the third one to come up. I'll try to google it on a regular basis to keep it high on the list. (Oh, and congrats--Terry is totally hot!)
Christine O'Donnell Masturbation Day: ROTFLMAO! I have to admit to mixed feelings on this one, if only because she is not a person I want to associate with masturbation. However, knowing how distasteful she and her supporters would find the idea, I'll power up the vibrator in celebration...
Posted by Allyson on September 22, 2010 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 102
Could there be a corollary channel for those that are currently involved in bullying? "It Gets Worse" -
"That shame you secretly feel each night for the terrible things you've said & done to some vulnerable kid that day? It gets worse as you get older. It leads to self-loathing, bitterness and isolation. The only way to get rid of it is to stop the meanness while you still can. You don't have to stand up for the bullied kid just yet (you'll want to later), but you do need to quit making the problem worse. Hate can be addictive and is always destructive."

I'd say a lot of the bullying that goes on has a certain pack mentality behind it. Many of the tormentors may be mere bandwagoneers, but are afraid to jump ship for fear of the same fate as their current target. Letting those kids know that it is OK not to hate could be a very useful message too.
Posted by Sir Vic on September 22, 2010 at 4:36 PM · Report this
103
Gold star for the It Gets Better campaign, Dan. You are one of those people who constantly restores my faith in humanity. All the best to you and Terry.
Posted by Andy_in_StLou on September 22, 2010 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Solitiaful 104
OMG bless you guys SO HARD for this. I know I was terrified of being gay when I was in high school because I saw the things that happened to other kids who were either gay or just feminine guys and I hid who I was until just recently. THANK YOU. I could have used this while I was younger and I will be doing my best to submit my own video with my partner if she's willing.

I can't say thank you to you both enough.
Posted by Solitiaful http://solitiaful.tumblr.com on September 22, 2010 at 5:22 PM · Report this
105
Dan this is beyond wonderful that you put this project together. It's a great idea and also awesome that you got your camera shy boyfriend Terry to be in the video with you. awesome awesome.
Posted by jbonz on September 22, 2010 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Canuck 106
@94 Kudos to you for taking your son's bullying seriously. We experienced that with our oldest, and it's heartbreaking to watch sweet kids gets knocked down physically and emotionally. We did the same thing you did (homeschooled briefly, switched schools), but he still looks back on that bullying as a horrible, life-shaping experience. I wish kids had the power people do in the workplace, to launch complaints against harassment.
Posted by Canuck on September 22, 2010 at 5:38 PM · Report this
107
I agree with Sir Vic's suggestion. Kids need to hear that being a bully will only make you end up feeling worse and worse. Hate is ridiculously self destructive.

I am happy to see that you came up with such a great idea for the gay kids. I hope that it will reach everyone.
Posted by Breefolk on September 22, 2010 at 5:52 PM · Report this
108
I agree with Sir Vic's suggestion. Kids need to hear that being a bully will only make you end up feeling worse and worse. Hate is ridiculously self destructive.

I am happy to see that you came up with such a great idea for helping the gay kids going through such a rough time in their lives. I hope that it will reach everyone. Cause lord knows anyone who is being bullied needs to hear that life will get better.
Posted by Breefolk on September 22, 2010 at 5:57 PM · Report this
109
*Rub out the vote!*
Posted by EStella on September 22, 2010 at 6:18 PM · Report this
110
To 102: Unfortunately, the bullies do not feel worse. They go on to be successful. Meanwhile, the people who are bullied may not see their lives get better. Just an add-on to stuff other people have said: not everyone who gets gay-baited is actually gay. The Columbine shooters experienced this repeatedly, even though they were, by all accounts, straight.
Posted by crankyWAprof on September 22, 2010 at 6:19 PM · Report this
111
Dan, you are incredible. I got all teary eyed. Thanks to you and Terry for being willing to do this!
Posted by Lorran on September 22, 2010 at 6:24 PM · Report this
112
I love love love love love the It Gets Better Project!!!
Posted by Tramu on September 22, 2010 at 6:38 PM · Report this
Alana 113
You're wonderful! It's heartbreaking that kids still get bullied so badly they lose the desire to keep living... I added it to my facebook and various links I likely shouldn't have but it's helpful! If there's anything else we straights can do to help with this let us know!
Posted by Alana on September 22, 2010 at 7:07 PM · Report this
Caveman 114
I fucking adore you Dan! Thanks for setting up that utube channel. It will have an impact. xxx
Posted by Caveman on September 22, 2010 at 7:29 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 115
i'm proud of you dan.. i'm proud of you terry.. and i can't tell you how extraordinarily grateful i am to have lived long enough to see this in the world. thanks
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on September 22, 2010 at 7:42 PM · Report this
116
My son Marcus and I watched this together and both agreed that it's a good idea. It's good to see such a big response. Keep it up!
Posted by yessiii75 on September 22, 2010 at 7:49 PM · Report this
117
Completely addicted to your podcast.

I've posted a link to the IGB Channel on my facebook and sent messages to every LGBT person I know so that they can participate and spread the word.

What a wonderful, wonderful project.
Posted by LittleDole on September 22, 2010 at 7:52 PM · Report this
118
Dan, you are a role model of a magnificent caliber. Thank you to you and your husband for sharing your video and launching this project. This has already made an impact, and I look forward to watching it grow. This project is creating hope and support. It is invaluable.
Posted by lael_mae on September 22, 2010 at 8:14 PM · Report this
119
Great work, Dan.

That is all.

Oh, and keep it up.
Posted by Yojimbo on September 22, 2010 at 8:33 PM · Report this
120
Dan, I wish you would tell us, the straight allies, how to help, too. Other than the fact that my little apartment family (a straight guy, a gay guy, and me - a straight girl) bends the gender rules to the extreme and welcome anyone for who they are. But how do I help? How do I say, we're in Cambridge which is possibly one of the best places to be gay in the USA, but we still want to fight for equality? Sometimes it's hard just to figure out what's best to do.
Posted by terrierchica http://terrierchica.blogspot.com on September 22, 2010 at 8:39 PM · Report this
felipbc 121
Thank you so much for creating this video! i have (in the past) tried to commit suicide because people bulled me (im lesbian) and they have also told me to go kill myself...thankfully my christian church supports me and helped me through those rough times. This video was a wonderful idea and i think it should be played across America=)
Posted by felipbc on September 22, 2010 at 9:21 PM · Report this
felipbc 122
I truly believe that this is the most amazing and influential video on the internet. In the past, I tried to commit suicide due to bullying (I am a lesbian) and my christian church helped me through it. I believe that this video should be played all across America, and that every Gay, Bi, Lesbian, Transgender, Queer, etc. person should watch and benefit from it=) Keep up the good work!
Posted by felipbc on September 22, 2010 at 9:33 PM · Report this
felipbc 123
my bad...i thought the first post did not go through lol
Posted by felipbc on September 22, 2010 at 9:35 PM · Report this
124
Bravo Dan. Your best idea yet.
Posted by selbstdenker on September 22, 2010 at 9:38 PM · Report this
125
Dan (and Terry) - Even if nobody else had posted their own "It Gets Better" videos, yours alone would've been sufficient. It has the power to help countless gay/lesbian youth. It made me laugh and cry, and I am WAY beyond my teen years! Thank you so much for doing this - You may never know the lives you'll save with this one act of courage, love and caring.
Posted by Dingle Berries on September 22, 2010 at 11:09 PM · Report this
126
I am not masturbating to Christine O'Donnell. If I had to masturbate to her, I might have to agree with her that masturbating is self abuse. Of course now, I probably won't be able to keep her out of my head. If I accidentally think of her even once now while masturbating, I'm blaming you.
Posted by Tom_Rakewell on September 23, 2010 at 1:21 AM · Report this
127
with your amount of media exposure and your general awesomeness quotient amongst the gay and straight of this nation, added to the power of youtube... you have formed a voltron of endless possibility and reach. may your gay blade cut through the land, slaying all homophobia and dumbassery that meets its edge. history is on your side. lzr eyes!
Posted by zingzing on September 23, 2010 at 1:36 AM · Report this
128
I didn't know who you were before coming across your It Gets Better video on the internet, but I am so glad I did.
I'm thirteen, I'm a girl, and I'm still figuring out my sexuality. My family isn't the most supportive one out there, and I don't really have any ''friends'' I can count on, so seeing your video really gave me hope. I'm always telling people that their life is going to get better, that everything will be okay, but, honestly, I've never really believed it myself. I know that there are reasons for me to keep living, that my future is going to be worth it, and I've always believed that, but lately, the option of giving up had become a much more plausible one than before. I felt weak, and alone, and unimportant. I started watching this video thinking it would be just another generic ''suicide is not the answer'' thing, but it wasn't. It was honest, and real, and I was crying halfway through it. It made me realize that I can, and will, lead a happy life when I'm older, regardless of who I love, and lifestyle I choose to live. It made me find hope, and I know that if I can hope, and dream, I can acheive anything. I can't thank you enough, really.
You've made a difference in a teenager's life.
Thank you.
Posted by Anonymous56 on September 23, 2010 at 1:36 AM · Report this
129
@102, 107, and 108

I went to a little cow college for my first year of school, and I was on very good terms with the shitkickers, rednecks and jocks. Don't think for a minute that they lose sleep over hounding social outcasts to death. They don't. They're fundamentally tribal, and if you aren't in the tribe, you aren't a person.
Posted by Happy the Homophobe on September 23, 2010 at 3:35 AM · Report this
Styles Bitchley 130
Awesome idea Dan. And props to the commenter that prompted it.
Posted by Styles Bitchley on September 23, 2010 at 4:44 AM · Report this
131
I think you should have led off with the letter about Billy Lucas, Dan. It is such a terribly important topic, and the response you offered was really terrific. I am shocked at the degree of homophobia still present in our society, even some squeamishness from my own progressively raised teenagers. Being a teen sucks even for the most well-adjusted child. No young man should have to live with the agony Billy did, and no mother should have to cut her son's body down from the rafters. It makes me sick to think about.
Posted by milf on September 23, 2010 at 5:01 AM · Report this
132
Dan, such a great idea. Your video was terrific and honest. And I never knew how hot your husband is.
Posted by RichardinDC on September 23, 2010 at 5:27 AM · Report this
133
I accidentally happen to come across one of your you tube videos. And after that, I spent an entire day watching them. You talks are honest, direct and crisp. Loved it.
Posted by Rashmi on September 23, 2010 at 6:26 AM · Report this
134
Thank you so much, Dan! I've just watched some of the youtube videos, and needless to say I am sobbing! I'm telling every young person I know about this. Teenagers need to get this message.
Posted by expatinkensal on September 23, 2010 at 6:45 AM · Report this
Robin8 135
@felipbc: I'm glad you didn't off yourself. You are beautiful! What church do you go to? I'm guessing it's a UCC church somewhere.
Posted by Robin8 http://shutyoureverlovingpiehole.wordpress.com on September 23, 2010 at 6:46 AM · Report this
Canuck 136
@120 Terrierchica: I know you're not asking me, but...I grew up in Cambridge, and as you say, it was gay friendly/left-wing friendly, etc., and I kind of assumed it was like that everywhere. Imagine my surprise upon moving away to discover that people considered being gay to be an issue, or worthy of derision. So, someday you may move (shudder) and you'll have plenty of chances to influence people around you. For the time being, what about volunteering in schools with an organization that promotes safe(r) sex/education? Even in a progressive community, the pack-mentality of the teen years can bring out some pretty unhealthy attitudes toward people who are different from the majority.
Posted by Canuck on September 23, 2010 at 7:23 AM · Report this
137
Regarding the Masturbate to Christine O'Donnell Day thing. I did my part today, but I could use a little help. Does anyone have any good pictures of her? Frankly, even photoshop fakes would be fine.
Posted by Did my part on September 23, 2010 at 7:50 AM · Report this
138
Loved this week's column Dan! I know it's personal bias but I've been missing the LGBT content over the past few weeks.

I can't think of a more worthy project, LGBT teens need access to role models. Looking back, it was the thing I lacked and most longed for growing up.
Posted by Jack92 on September 23, 2010 at 8:40 AM · Report this
139
Loved this week's column Dan! I know it's personal bias but I've been missing the LGBT content over the past few weeks.

I can't think of a more worthy project, LGBT teens need access to role models. Looking back, it was the thing I lacked and most longed for growing up.
Posted by Jack92 on September 23, 2010 at 8:49 AM · Report this
140
The It Gets Better Project is so logical, so helpful, so direct - well done Dan.
And what I love about it and why I think it will make a huge and positive difference is that it isn't selling or promoting a product, it's not made by someone running for office or re-election, it's not advocating only one option, it's not a government add that took 4 months, 12 research teams and 9 million dollars to produce and then subsequently gets trashed around the political parties. No no.
It's humanitarian and it's made with love and respect, and will be contributed to with love and respect.
Posted by Sister of an out-and-proud Lovely Lipstick Lesbian on September 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM · Report this
141
Dan - I'm not gay, but I did have a fairly unhappy childhood. I was overweight, with truly awful nappy Jewish hair; I had a parent that I guess could be considered abusive, and from the time I was 15 until I was in my early 20s I don't think a day went by when I didn't think about killing myself. Today I have a wife and a beautiful son, and I make my living doing what I always wanted to do but never thought I could. When I look back at my late teens and early 20s, it seems more a matter of luck than anything else that I didn't kill myself (as it happens, the one night I drank enough to work up the courage to jump off the 15-story library building at my college the door was locked, and I ended up passing out and waking up hungover and locked in an unheated stairwell--in Rhode Island, in February). Your video made me cry and cry and cry. You and your husband have done a wonderful thing. I am sure you've heard that one of the cornerstone of Jewish ethics is the notion that saving one life is tantamount to saving the world. What you've done will save worlds upon worlds. Thank you.
Posted by firstthingsfirst on September 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Dazzriella 142
Even reading about the itgetsbetter project makes me cry with happiness and hope. I think what happened to Billy Lucas is horrible, and anything that might prevent one more mother from finding their child like that is a huge help in this world. Those parents were too late in understanding the gravity of the situation, but Dan is right, we don't have to be.
Posted by Dazzriella on September 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM · Report this
143
Add another to the "Every day is Masturbate to Christine O'Donnell Day" pile. Sad that such a hottie is also such a crazy, but that's never stopped me before! (I have the worst relationship record)
Posted by Yawgmoth on September 23, 2010 at 11:56 AM · Report this
144
You're doing a great job, Dan. It's such a nice thing to see your video and your sincere intitiative to help people who find themselves in the dark, all alone and helpless.

Gay teens are being bullied and messed up across the world. It's crazy and the young teens just don't know how to handle it. I was shocked to see such brutality by other kids at such a young age. We've all been there and never understood it. But then, if you give it a second thought, it seems like people are homophobic only because they are deeply afraid that there may be a homosexual individual hiding inside their own bodies. That's what even this article says, that most men are afraid of a gay side that hides within all of us. http://www.lovepanky.com/men/guy-talk/me… People feel that by abusing and bullying someone else who's gay, it just affirms the fact that they are not gay.

By doing that homophobic people convince themselves that they arent gay. It's a bit like the school bully who used to hit the weak kid because it affirmed the fact that he's cool and powerful. He needs to depend on another boy's weakness to convince himself of his superiority. And this is the same with several other examples in life, abusive parents, etc.

I wonder if people could just accept the fact that some people are gay and others are not. Why do they have to be so homophobic? Can we do anything about it? In this lifetime, I don't know. Everyone's too scared there may be a gay within to try to accept homosexuality. But with people like you, there's still hope. Thank you.
Posted by sailorprincess on September 23, 2010 at 1:34 PM · Report this
145
Wow! I often read your column and get a laugh, some useful info, or a tip here and there, but today it also touched me (and not in a sexy fun way, in a heartfelt way). What an incredible initiative!
Posted by AdamB on September 23, 2010 at 1:41 PM · Report this
146
CLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAPCLAP!!!!!!!!
Posted by heatherly on September 23, 2010 at 1:41 PM · Report this
tunanator 147
Wonderful video! Big virtual hug to you both, and I'm sure there will be lots of viewers for your channel that are heartened by it.

While there are bullying kids in high school, there are also supportive kids. It's too easy to get all focused on the troublemakers. Don't let the haters make you mean. When people treat you with kindness and respect and share fun times, remember them, focus on them, and be like them. Ignore, trouble - it feeds on your reactions, don't give it any.
Posted by tunanator on September 23, 2010 at 2:37 PM · Report this
148
Dan Savage, you are a really great human.
Posted by valtron on September 23, 2010 at 2:37 PM · Report this
tunanator 149
Wonderful video! Big virtual hug to you both, and I'm sure there will be lots of viewers for your channel that are heartened by it.

While there are bullying kids in high school, there are also supportive kids. It's too easy to get all focused on the troublemakers. Don't let the haters make you mean. When people treat you with kindness and respect and share fun times, remember them, focus on them, and be like them. Ignore, trouble - it feeds on your reactions, don't give it any.
Posted by tunanator on September 23, 2010 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Leslie N. 150
I've been posting the channel to my Facebook page every day, some times twice. If we don't share this, the kids who need to hear it may never get the chance.

Also, bullies can feel remorse. A friend in college told me a story about the boy who bullied his younger (gay) brother. One day, out of nowhere, the former bully showed up the day after Christmas and apologized for the bullying (both attend out of state colleges). It didn't heal his brother's problems, but it was certainly a start. I guess they jog together now or something. Maybe they're raquetball partners.

Side note: I absolutely adore Joe Newton's drawing for this.
Posted by Leslie N. on September 23, 2010 at 3:06 PM · Report this
151
As soon as I'm home in front of a camera I'm gonna make a video and post it. I went to a shitstick high school in the middle of Buttfuck Alberta, Canada (think Alabama only with more snow and oil) and suffered years of torment. Now I've got a wonderful Fiancee and an amazing life - it really DOES get better!

Thanks for starting this Dan!
Posted by Cap'n Ranty on September 23, 2010 at 3:39 PM · Report this
152
Thanks to both of you, Terry and Dan. I've posted it on my Facebook page and I'll make sure my adult brother and his LAWFULLY WEDDED Spanish husband watch it, too. They were married in Spain's city hall five years ago with my entire extended family present, including friends of the family. Just before their wedding, a military wedding was taking place. We were terrified: what will they do when they see this is a gay wedding? And then we saw the two brides in full military dress, with their (soldier) friends, also in full military dress, creating a canopy of crossed sabers. It was shocking, and then it was beautiful, and we joined in the hundreds of military people cheering the wedding of two lesbian soldiers.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on September 23, 2010 at 4:11 PM · Report this
153
Dan, I am so glad that you have done this, but I am also sorry that you are excluding anyone who is not gay from participation. Isn't exclusion just stooping to the level of those who want to exclude gays?

I may not be gay, but I know what it's like to be bullied. I know what it's like to think of suicide as a viable option, not because you actually want to die, but because living is just so fucking miserable. And I know what it's like to have your family cast you out and turn their backs on you. And I know what it's like to have life get better. So the fact that I'm straight doesn't mean I don't have anything to contribute to this discussion.

I'd like to suggest that you pair up with Jodee Blanco. She's a survivor of bullying, has written a couple of books and speaks at high schools across the country. Maybe if you join forces the non-gays with something to say could have a voice in all of this.

You might also try to get the Matthew Shepard Project behind you.
Posted by cherylthemuse on September 23, 2010 at 4:43 PM · Report this
154
What an amazing idea. Thank you both.
Posted by darcyyy on September 23, 2010 at 4:44 PM · Report this
155
I believe Dan Savage was put on this earth for this most important "It Gets Better" project. Uncounted young gay lives will be spared because of these posts. Carry on
Posted by jmsfca on September 23, 2010 at 4:49 PM · Report this
felipbc 156
@robin8
thanks! i go to north peninsula bible church in the bay area
Posted by felipbc on September 23, 2010 at 5:59 PM · Report this
157
I love you Dan and Terry! I think everyone needs encouragement to survive/get out of high school with their sanity anyway but watching your video pretty much makes me cry.

I was one of the kids who Stuck Up For my gay friends [I am still that kid as a grown up naturally]. I never really thought I helped but maybe it did.

This is SUCH an awesome thing. I love that you are doing this...the lives you will save...the important lives you will save....!!!!!!
Posted by chacha on September 23, 2010 at 6:04 PM · Report this
158
@152, your anecdote cracked me up, but also gave me warm fuzzies. Hoorah for the lesbian soldiers.

In general: I think we need to have far more action on bullying of any kind.
When I was in late grade school, about age 9 or 10, the girls I was friends with decided they were the cool clique and I was out of it - thereby losing people I genuinely was friends with, and I spent the rest of my schooling being an outsider, though not actually bullied or taunted.

Now I'm seeing the same thing happening with my nine-year old niece, only with her there *is* name-calling and taunting, and the potential for violence lurking in the background: the clique who are taunting her are friends with some of the biggest, known to be aggressive boys... so she worries that if she stands up to the mean girls, or sasses them back, she may get physically assaulted.

It breaks my heart even thinking she would go through the heartache I did as a preteen and teen, let alone this escalation which is worse than what I dealt with. So many other kids need to know there are adults who've been through the same and care and that it won't always be that way. Maybe they won't ever be so bad as to contemplate suicide, as gay and gay-baited teens do, but we could spare them so much heartache and emotional trauma.
Posted by Corvicula1979 on September 23, 2010 at 6:08 PM · Report this
159
Whether or not he was or was not gay...I think the important message is that it gets better for EVERYONE. High School is a rough time...and I know many people who are gay, straight, bi, act 'gay' but are straight, and act 'straight' but are gay. And even some out gay people I know give these people a hard time. I am blind to it...I don't care how you act or what you seem...my hope is that you can be open and honest with who you are, not JUST about your sexuality, but about all of the things that you love and make you happy.
Posted by hulkhoga on September 23, 2010 at 6:46 PM · Report this
160
Whether or not he was or was not gay...I think the important message is that it gets better for EVERYONE. High School is a rough time...and I know many people who are gay, straight, bi, act 'gay' but are straight, and act 'straight' but are gay. And even some out gay people I know give these people a hard time. I am blind to it...I don't care how you act or what you seem...my hope is that you can be open and honest with who you are, not JUST about your sexuality, but about all of the things that you love and make you happy.
Posted by hulkhoga on September 23, 2010 at 6:49 PM · Report this
161
A friend posted the "It gets better" video on FB. I watched many of the videos posted. I am not gay, none of my 4 children are LBGT. But, I am planning on a career change to High School teacher. I promise to do EVERYTHING in my power to help LBGT kids through that toughest time in their lives. I swear it.
Posted by Future High School Teacher on September 23, 2010 at 6:50 PM · Report this
162
dear dan,
i am a straight, straight female (!haha!) and ive been a fan of yours for a few years now. after watching yours and terry's video i had to create an account to tell you how wonderful you are and how thankful i am for having someone like you in the world. many people look up to you and trust you, myself included. you are always brutally honest and very fair, which i find humorous, but mostly appreciate. i look forward weekly to reading your column, in fact its the first thing i read in the stranger! anyways, its really sad how brutal kids can be to each other. i know when youre young it seems like school will never end. i wish i could articulate how rad it is that you and terry have begun this "it gets better" project. you two lovely gentlemen have created hope for teens from many different backrounds. anyways, i thought i would share my appreciation for you, dan
and also to you terry for putting yourself out there
thanks guys!!!
Posted by peanutbutterslut on September 23, 2010 at 7:15 PM · Report this
163
dear dan,
i am a straight, straight female (!haha!) and ive been a fan of yours for a few years now. after watching yours and terry's video i had to create an account to tell you how wonderful you are and how thankful i am for having someone like you in the world. many people look up to you and trust you, myself included. you are always brutally honest and very fair, which i find humorous, but mostly appreciate. i look forward weekly to reading your column, in fact its the first thing i read in the stranger! anyways, its really sad how brutal kids can be to each other. i know when youre young it seems like school will never end. i wish i could articulate how rad it is that you and terry have begun this "it gets better" project. you two lovely gentlemen have created hope for teens from many different backrounds. anyways, i thought i would share my appreciation for you, dan
and also to you terry for putting yourself out there
congrats on your disgustingly cute family!
thanks guys!!!
Posted by peanutbutterslut on September 23, 2010 at 7:22 PM · Report this
164
Dear Dan,
I loved you before this particular column, I've loved you since Jr High, but you really knocked this out of the park. You have made me so much more comfortable with sexuality and you are brilliantly scathing. THis project is awesome. I really enjoyed hearing you and your husband's story. You guys are so cute together. It's always enjoyable to see people that really care for each other like you guys, it makes me less cynical. THanks for everything
Posted by AKBitches on September 23, 2010 at 7:27 PM · Report this
165
In regards to the "it gets better" sentiment, what about the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal that just failed? Any comments Dan?

Fight Religious Extremism Everywhere!
Posted by FightReligiousExtremismEverywhere on September 23, 2010 at 8:14 PM · Report this
166
@58 I agree, we should all get in there and make videos, gay, bi, straight, etc. Every bit and every perspective counts. And Bravo Dan, this is truely revolutionary.
Posted by Miss Taken on September 23, 2010 at 8:20 PM · Report this
167
most impressive and uplifting, Dan. I will share this with all my friends
Posted by peterl on September 23, 2010 at 9:08 PM · Report this
168
I was harassed from late grade school into my sophomore year of high school, then most of the bullies were gone and I had a great time until graduation. However, in 8th grade I took a bunch of pills and actually saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Something in me decided I was too young to die and I forced myself to wake up and stay awake. I was sick for days, but no one found out. I survived and now I have a great life. It really does get better.
Posted by surviver on September 23, 2010 at 11:21 PM · Report this
169
Dan, I am straight and doing my best to masturbate to Christine O'Donnell but please don't be angry if the thought prevents lead in the pencil. Now if we are dedicating a day to Nikki Benz then I expect little issues with the lead. LOL. Your the best.
Posted by JamesHB on September 23, 2010 at 11:37 PM · Report this
170
Dan, I am straight and doing my best to masturbate to Christine O'Donnell but please don't be angry if the thought prevents lead in the pencil. Now if we are dedicating a day, week, month or year to Nikki Benz then I expect little issues with the lead for many of the straight boys. LOL. Your the best.
Posted by JamesHB on September 23, 2010 at 11:43 PM · Report this
171
Off topic: Dan, have you heard about Bishop Eddie Long?

I know, who would have thought with a name like that?
Posted by James Hutchings on September 23, 2010 at 11:55 PM · Report this
172
I have already masterbated specifically to offend Christine ODonnell so delighted to find like minded folks. I promise to continue fighting the good fight and will masturbate accordingly in solidarity to the cause! every day until the protest expires... :-)
Posted by lbc on September 24, 2010 at 12:11 AM · Report this
173
Being number 171, this comment probably won't get read by anyone. Regardless, I want to say that your "it gets better project" videos made me cry. Keep up the good work, Dan. You're a significant figure. If anyone is interested in demographics, I'm a straight male in my 20s.
Posted by msr185 on September 24, 2010 at 12:12 AM · Report this
174
Dan, I've followed you for years and I think this may be the most moving and beautiful project you've ever undertaken. As a former kid who was targeted for her perceived sexuality among other things, and a dear friend of many in the same boat (some of whom I witnessed first-hand), all I can say is thank you.
Posted by MelanieBlau on September 24, 2010 at 4:15 AM · Report this
175
Hi,

I know everyone is saying the same thing, but I'm adding my voice to the multitude, because your video was very well timed in my personal life. I'm not gay and I'm not even a teenager. I just wanted to be reminded it's going to get better.

So thank you.
Posted by Anonymous1988 on September 24, 2010 at 5:52 AM · Report this
176
I am going to post the youtube link to my website so everyone can see it. As a Life Coach and an adjunct professor teaching psychology on a college campus a good many of my students are young kids who have just "escaped" the high school bullying. Thank God for that liberal bias on college campuses that allows me to make this stuff known. Great work Dan, my students will appreciate this (as will my clients).

www.coachingforlifetoday.com
Posted by CoachDee on September 24, 2010 at 8:23 AM · Report this
177
Hi, all the straight people who have commented, "But why is this just for queer people? How can I participate?"

1) You *can* participate-- by signal-boosting (posting links in your Facebook/MySpace/LiveJournal, sending email forwards, etc), by showing the videos to people you know, by trying to find ways to get news of this project to kids who won't hear about it otherwise. That would be really useful and helpful.

2) It's true that many, many people get bullied, and many people find high school terrible. But statistics do show that, on average, it's worse for queer kids. I'm sure there are exceptions (straight kids who go through hell, queer kids who are just fine), and you may have been one of them, but there are still problems faced specifically by queer kids which are different from the ones faced by straight kids. So it is worthwhile having a project which addresses their problems.

3) I agree strongly with #100. It would be *great* to have a project which reached out to all sorts of kids who are being bullied-- smart kids, disabled kids, geeky kids, kids with mental health issues, kids who are racially in the minority in their school, kids who are perceived to be queer whether or not they are-- so why don't you go start one? You could piggy-back off of this project, if you wanted to, and I'm sure you could do a very useful thing.

I get that people want to help, and that's cool. I feel like the vast majority of everything in our culture is inclusive of (if not designed exclusively for) straight people, and it's not that unreasonable to have a project like this focused on and for queer people.
Posted by Gaudior on September 24, 2010 at 9:06 AM · Report this
178
DAN, I'M A "HOMO-PHOBIC" (ACCORDING TO SOME FRIENDS) I DON'T THINK SO, IT'S SIMPLY A LIFESTYLE OF WHICH I'M UNFAMILAR & AND IT WOULD NEVER BE FOR ME. I THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR THE EFFORTS YOU ARE MAKING TO SAVE THE LIVES OF YOUNG GAY & LESBIAN CITIZENS. I APPLAUD YOU!
ONE THING I DO UNDERSTAND; TO GO THROUGH LIFE ALONE IS A SAD AND LONELY EXPERIENCE. TO FIND ONE OTHER PERSON IN THE MIDST OF 6 BILLION ON THIS PLANET WITH WHOM YOU CAN LOVE, NURTURE & SHARE IS A BLESSING. IT DOES GET BETTER, DAY BY DAY.
I HOPE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE CAN RISE ABOVE THE VERBAL, EMOTIONAL & EVEN PHSICAL ABUSE THAT'S OUT THERE, ACCEPT THEMSELVES, FOR THE FINE PEOPLE THEY ARE AN LIVE THEIR LIVES WITH JOY & FULFILLMENT.
Posted by ANTBONI on September 24, 2010 at 11:08 AM · Report this
179
Thank you for the wonderful It Gets Better project. Moved me to tears. BRAVO!
Posted by lovewend on September 24, 2010 at 11:53 AM · Report this
180
I think the It Gets Better project rocks but shouldn’t be limited to just gay people – what about all of us nerds, losers, dorks and general outcasts that were tormented as teens but lived to tell the tale?

This goes beyond a G/L issue – it’s about all struggling youth who feel that high school is IT – nothing could be more permanent or lasting – and think that the fools surrounding them know all.

Fuck that – open your project to anyone that has struggled through bullying and put a true voice at there for ALL the kids suffering daily and doubt their worth. Unfortunately a lot of us (straight folks too) have been there and it would have made a HUGE difference in my teen years to know – hey – this will go away – these people aren’t shit – and someday I’ll be a grown up, making my own rules, picking my own friends and LIVING my own life – with no regard for the douches that tried to make me think I wasn’t worth living.

Love ya Dan…
Posted by dallyworks on September 24, 2010 at 12:08 PM · Report this
181
I think the It Gets Better project rocks but shouldn’t be limited to just gay people – what about all of us nerds, losers, dorks and general outcasts that were tormented as teens but lived to tell the tale?

This goes beyond a G/L issue – it’s about all struggling youth who feel that high school is IT – nothing could be more permanent or lasting – and think that the fools surrounding them know all.

Fuck that – open your project to anyone that has struggled through bullying and put a true voice at there for ALL the kids suffering daily and doubt their worth. Unfortunately a lot of us (straight folks too) have been there and it would have made a HUGE difference in my teen years to know – hey – this will go away – these people aren’t shit – and someday I’ll be a grown up, making my own rules, picking my own friends and LIVING my own life – with no regard for the douches that tried to make me think I wasn’t worth living.

Love ya Dan…
Posted by dallyworks on September 24, 2010 at 12:10 PM · Report this
182
Dan, you just made me cry. YouTube for good! Rock on man, Thanks.
Posted by S Ray on September 24, 2010 at 12:34 PM · Report this
183
Wait, um, Billy Lucas never said he was gay, according to news reports. Family says the same. No friend has come forward to confirm his same-sexer status. Granted, there could be a great many (obvious) reasons for that. But Occam's Razor would suggest at least one obvious reason: it's being reported this way because he wasn't actually gay. Yet the proprietary stance of the gay community towards this tragic event--"he's one of ours"--at the very least misses the more general point of bullying: any kid who's sensitive, or different, or interiorized, or likes to play Bach on the violin and hates football, etc., can be fodder for relentless torment. At the worst, the insistence here on his homosexuality compounds that torment, even after he can no longer be hurt by it.
Posted by hold on a sec on September 24, 2010 at 12:55 PM · Report this
184
I'd just like to echo the kudos for itgetsbetterproject. Even as a straight, geeky kid, I could have used that.

Oh, and xWhatever on the curiosity about your partner being an incentive to click it.
Posted by lf on September 24, 2010 at 2:16 PM · Report this
185
It is so important that this message get out there to all teenagers. LGBT, and fat kids and nerdy kids, and slutty kids and ANYONE who is bullied and harrassed. In High School people tell you "These are the best years of your life" I remember thinking "fuck that." Maybe for some people hihg school are the best years - whihc is REALLY sad becasue there is so much more living afterwards. Imagine peaking at 17? When you are 13 your whole world is school, but it won't always be that way. There is FAR more in heaven and earth than conceived in a Jr. High PE class, thank god
Posted by Meaux on September 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM · Report this
186
@Straight People:

Thanks for the support... don't wait for Dan to tell you what to do to help, get creative! Donate to or volunteer with GLSEN, the Trevor Project or your local suicide hotline. Call your local school district and your legislators and tell them you support anti-bullying programs in schools. Effective ones, not just ones that whine about hurt feelings and so forth... think of your own stuff!

@Non-LGBT People Who Were Bullied:

I think it's fantastic if you all were to start your own projects to combat bullying and teen-suicide. Why you gotta get all up in our hizzouse? ;)
Posted by pheeeew!crack!boom! on September 24, 2010 at 4:13 PM · Report this
187
Just wanted to point out that there are nearly 80 videos posted in a little over a week. WOW! Dan Savage you are amazing, and it is because of you that this project has such momentum (apart from the fact that you started it). You are an inspiration. Keep doing what you do!

@181 and @186 I agree with 186! -and I'm straight- This project is specifically to show LGBT kids people just like them who have survived and thrived after highschool. Straight people have PLENTY of examples already. Let this one stay queer (I mean that in the best possible sense).
Posted by Miara on September 24, 2010 at 6:58 PM · Report this
188
These stories are very much appreciated, especially the ones from couples. Sometimes just the way they smile at each other tells a beautiful tale.

I still remember how breathtakingly wonderful it was for me to see a gay couple holding hands as they walked down the street chatting with their friends. They weren't at a rally. There was no protest or assertion of rights. It was just a crisp New England fall day, and the sight made me smile deeply inside. And to the Tufts boy who leaned his head on his boyfriend's shoulder on the 96 bus - thank you. It was these scenes of normalcy that convinced me more than any advocacy ever could that all could be well.

So please, all you happily partnered/married people, hold hands (when you want), hug (when you want), and have your strangely adorable little fights at the grocery store. Your everyday inspires incredible hope.
Posted by pax on September 24, 2010 at 11:43 PM · Report this
189
That Dan Savage! What a guy. What an incredible project. And I just gotta say that the body language between Dan and Terry is the sweetest thing I've seen all week. Thanks!
Posted by Regina on September 25, 2010 at 12:33 AM · Report this
190
This is an enormous change from Dan Savage. Previously his comments at least were pragmatic regarding those who had devastatingly unsuccessful social lives, saying that there are many out there just the same. Savage Love is itself a record of interesting problems brought from people who are spectacularly socially-successful and dealing with the messiness.

But now, possibly due to superficial daddyhood encouragement feelings, he's flopping to a superficial, statistically-unsupported "It gets better" aphorism. Consider the young man already had no social support network, nor skills or other resources for developing one. His parents, if they are good parents, are monitoring his internet access. At the same time, this family was obviously of no social support, and reports on the YouTube page indicate that they continue to remove all socially supportive gay comments.

From this condition and environment of social isolation at high school age, even if he had stuck miserably through high school into college (or as college is more unreachable for most today, into independent adulthood), he would have already been less likely socially to succeed without a set of skills developed through successful socialization at school. Not the least is just a socially attractive generally "happy" demeanor, one of the spoils accumulated by those who do not concede that the biggest social advantage is that nothing succeeds like success.

If Dan had even done the easy "Seek counseling" from his hero Ann Landers, he would have had to if not being superficial confront the fact that most counselors have no idea of how to facilitate socialization for gay people. As anyone who has been there notices, just like 9 out of 10 of the general population are not gay, 9 out of 10 counselors aren't and have no idea what to offer besides "It gets better" with nothing but an unfounded cultural "be encouraging" approach that yields no help. It is unreasonable also to expect the average person to have the financial or other resources to "keep trying to find a better counselor" in most environments. If you're having problems with the statistical facts of what happens *each time* you make a 1 in 10 choice, imagine 10 places for bullets, but one is empty. Spin it, fire, what are the odds you'll get the bad thing happening? Then *replace* the fired bullet with a new one, and repeat for each subsequent 1 in 10 case.

Basically, what you've come up with is just the feel-good "It's easy for people for whom it's worked out" subjectivity and social display. There was little likelihood of the young man's social improvement given his circumstances, just continuing isolation until the point where his depth of emotionality decreased to where absence of supportive, or even less-likely, intimate social interaction became inescapably accepted.

The "It Gets Better" platitude is at its core a "blame the victim" attitude toward those for whom it did not get better. It has no value as far as solving the problems of the person for who things are not better.
More...
Posted by So suddenly everyone wins if they want to on September 25, 2010 at 3:34 AM · Report this
191
Did you knowingly or unknowingly make vanish from your consciousness the majority of people for whom it does not get better?

Isn't there a reason for the universality of recognition of the truth in Thoreau's observation that "The majority of men lead lives of quiet desperation" ?

Is it because you believe that for you, and the people that you see, that things have gotten better that there is statistical authority to state "Things get better" ?

Is this the new faith-based column from Dan Savage? Faith-based foreclosures are so attractive and rewarding for those who can brandish them as sources of authority. It's gratifying to just go spewing subjective opinion all over everything that presents itself, like the world is your Rorschach blot.

Do you ever let Terry finish his sentences in real life?
Posted by Dan's not here to fix anything but himself today on September 25, 2010 at 4:35 AM · Report this
192
I just watched some of the channel. While I liked a lot of the videos, the two female teachers made me cry. The silence and delivery of that video was so strong that I want to forward it to everyone I know. Bravo for starting this, Dan!
Posted by cando on September 25, 2010 at 5:45 AM · Report this
193
This is a great idea. I posted it on Facebook and I hope people will pass it on.
Posted by Tonestaple on September 25, 2010 at 8:21 AM · Report this
scary tyler moore 194
translation of 190 and 191: i am a bitter, jealous old queen.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on September 25, 2010 at 10:54 AM · Report this
195
Great job, Dan. But as a teacher, I feel that telling kids "it gets better" when they are dealing with shit on a daily basis isn't enough.
Take this to the next level - yes, it gets better, but something more needs to be done to confront the bullying that is still occurring.
Start a movement where students, supportive parents, teachers and other allies confront the school administrators who stand by and allow this to continue. Hold schools accountable for their failure to act. Many states have new, strict anti-bullying laws.

To say it gets better gives a pass to the bullies and schools that are failing our kids. Bullying is a violation of a person's civil rights and it is not acceptable to say it is a part of growing up.
Posted by garybuseyisagiraffe! on September 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM · Report this
196
Great job, Dan. But as a teacher, I feel that telling kids "it gets better" when they are dealing with shit on a daily basis isn't enough.
We need to take this to the next level - yes, it gets better, but something more needs to be done to confront the bullying that is still occurring.
Students, supportive parents, teachers and other allies need to confront the school administrators who stand by and allow this to continue. Hold schools accountable for their failure to act. Many states have new, strict anti-bullying laws.

To say it gets better gives a pass to the bullies and schools that are damaging our kids. Bullying is a violation of a person's civil rights and it is not acceptable to say it is a part of growing up.
Posted by garybuseyisagiraffe! on September 25, 2010 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Bluejean Baby 197
@ 195/196 i totally agree with your message, that school administration must be held accountable for the passes they constantly give to bullies. Time & again, school administrators proved to us that, if they CAN take the path of least resistance, they WILL. Don't allow them to weasel out of providing a safe learning environment for all children in all grade levels.

The bullying my son endured started the moment he set foot on school property in Junior Kindergarten, and didn't stop until he left elementary school. The one time he retalliated against the bully, he got double the punishment the bullies ever got. When we had meetings with the school principal, my son was blamed for being "weak". Eventually, we started calling the police, which did help. What helped the most was when my son grew & grew & grew till he was towering over the bullies, & this put a stop to almost all the bullying, but they still tried to bait him with verbal harassment.

My son is not gay, however, he does have a non-verbal learning disability that sets him apart from others. My son is an intelligent, loving boy.

I just wanted to point out that bullying isn't relegated to JUST high school. If the school administrators won't properly deal with the bullies, call the police. It sends a message not only to the bullies, but also to the school administration, that you, as parents, are not going to stand by & allow the bullies to win.

P.S. Thanks Dan & Terry for your great video & the encouragement you give.
Posted by Bluejean Baby on September 25, 2010 at 9:07 PM · Report this
198
Just a quick question. Is this project only focused on GBLTT issues?

Or, is it expanded to include all victims of any kind of detrimental bullying? Whether it's physical, emotional, mental or spiritual? (There's still too much bigotry surrounding various religions.)

Personally, I was a victim, who found himself being 'outed' in high school. I'm not gay. Wasn't then, and am not now. But I am secure in my sexuality, and openly flirt with men (under the right circumstances, and when I know it won't offend anyone.)

The point is, sometimes teens use homosexuality as a sword, cutting undesirables from their community, even if the accusations are false.

And the mental and emotional impacts these situations have on the victims.

If a gay man came to me and told me that it would get better and that I'd be able to live my life as an open homosexual in my adult years, it would've fallen on deaf ears. All because I'm not gay.

But, if someone came and told me that Metrosexualism would be the next hot trend, and that I was just on the leading edge of it, that would've helped. :P

Society will accept us for who we are, even if family and friends cannot.
Posted by Ben B. on September 25, 2010 at 9:49 PM · Report this
199
But it doesn't get better. I feel the same as I did 10 years ago--even worse with Facebook's unsolicited shout outs from the past rubbing it in further.
Posted by Hatter of Honolulu on September 25, 2010 at 10:10 PM · Report this
200
It does get better. So much f'ing better. Thanks Dan for starting this project. My husband and I are going to work on our video. The project should go on indefinitely.
Posted by vivaoink on September 26, 2010 at 5:45 AM · Report this
Bluejean Baby 201
I agree, the body language between Dan & Terry in their video was very sweet. You can see their bond is strong.

To comment on #198 (Ben B.), i agree with his assertion that the victim doesn't have to be gay in order to be accused of it, but that is just one more weapon in the bully's arsenal, to be brought out & used at their choosing. My son is not gay, but sexual harassment was used on him by many bullies, & it works because it strikes at the heart of the victim's psyche, & in the case of children, usually renders them incapable of responding. Parents must take an active role in their children's school career, especially if their child is bullied - no matter what the bullying consists of - & stand behind their child(ren) & support them all the way. But i know some parents are oblivious. For parents who do take an active role in their child's school, do not be afraid to call the police if the school administration is passing the buck or tries to blame the victim. When school admin starts turning the other cheek or making statements to the effect that the victim was complicit in the bullying, that is when you know they are not "zero tollerance", which is what schools need to be if they are to effectively deal with bullying issues.

I agree with #199 re: FB and the possibility of negative use of "friending" and "shoutouts". The 3rd party privacy issues are enough to keep me from being a member of any such social networking sites, & i caution my children on this topic too, as cyber bullying is huge; just another venue for bullies to get at victims.

For it to "get better", one must live in an accepting & loving environment. For some people, this means leaving their family of origin. Many people are bullied in their work environment, which is an extremely difficult situation, especially in this economic climate.

Counselling is a good direction to take, & with those who cannot afford counselling, go to the library & get some self help books. Believe it or not, books can help, because, yes, the longterm mental & emotional impact that bullying has on people is huge. Not just the victim, but the perp too.
More...
Posted by Bluejean Baby on September 26, 2010 at 11:16 AM · Report this
202
Adults helping teens is very good, but teens helping each other is even better. My daughter helped start the You-tube channel 7AwesomeLesbians. It is a group of teens from around the world who speak about their lives by giving their responses to the question of the week. I imagine it is a great help to other teens.

http://www.youtube.com/user/7AwesomeLesb…
Posted by Calvin Jerome on September 26, 2010 at 12:08 PM · Report this
203
Adults helping teens is great, but even better is when teens help each other. My daughter helped start a YouTube channel called 7AwesomeLesbians. They discuss their lives by answering the question of the week. Sometimes the topics are related to being a gay teen and sometimes they are about ordinary life. I imagine its a great help to lots of kids.

http://www.youtube.com/user/7AwesomeLesb…
Posted by Calvin Jerome on September 26, 2010 at 12:18 PM · Report this
Y.F. Redux 204
1.) TC, not only have you had a threesome with your boyfriend's friends...so has your boyfriend. Repeatedly. He will probably not be shocked or horrified by the revelation you, too, have had a threesome with them. If in fact he doesn't already know, he'll be intrigued at the very least and in all liklihood some time in the future I predict a fourgy with the you, the boyfriend, and your mutual pals.

2.) I'd rather masturbate to a liberal, thankyouverymuch. Jerks like Christine O'Donnell don't deserve our sexual energy. They don't deserve sexual satisfation at all.

3.) Dear bullied kids, gay and straight and undecided, it does get better. Your school years, especially middle school and high school, are the worst years of your life. I speak from personal experience. Ignoring the assholes does not make them go away; this causes things to escallate. Beating the living crap out of them, descretely of course, does. If a good old-fashioned beat down is not possible, try something more passive-aggressive and vicious like spreading gossip about bed-wetting or instigating fights between them and their cronies. Get really good grades. It doesn't matter how crap your public school is, find the library and lock yourself inside every free momment available. Hobbies and outside interest will not only expose you to a wider variety of people it will make you a more talented and interesting person. Graduate from high school and go to college. If you can't afford a University, go to community college and get some kind of certificate in a trade, so you can get a decent job and you can afford University in the future. Enjoy sex with college kids (with protection and birth control, of course). Meet all the people you wished you grew up with.

Dear Bullies, high school will be the best years of your life. Bwa, aha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Never again will you be popular or successful. You'll never be top dog again. You're opinion will never again be important to anyone...ever! From the end of high school onward it's all down hill. You're narrow mind and lack of imagination and your fear and hate of anything that isn't "normal", which is another word for mediocre and boring, will cause you to stagnate....which is appropriate since you're pond scum. Ta, losers, me and the rest of the queers are off to enjoy our success and your failures.
More...
Posted by Y.F. Redux on September 26, 2010 at 4:33 PM · Report this
205
How about telling *all* kids that *it gets better* - lots of kids are harassed for everything from being a different color to having a different orientation and although LGBT kids may have it worse than many, suicide is permanent for everyone.
Posted by Thinkerer on September 26, 2010 at 5:37 PM · Report this
206
It never ceases to amaze me that no matter what nice thing you do, someone will find something to bitch about in it. This is a good thing Dan has done. Will it fix all the world's ills? No. But it's still a GOOD thing. So thank you, Dan, good job!
Posted by Larkshead on September 26, 2010 at 8:40 PM · Report this
207
I posted this to my facebook. Dan - you and Terry have a wonderful family, and I am so happy for you. As a heterosexual female I can't quite relate to the sexuality bullying. But I certainly had my share of picked on-ness as I didn't go to school (homeschooled), wore thrift store clothes, spoke funny (english accent)... Kids can be cruel, but it does get better!
Posted by Dolphin3303 on September 26, 2010 at 9:57 PM · Report this
208
I love love love this project - reminds me of the fantastic book "100 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and other Outlaws". Should be required reading in middle school...
Posted by Soya on September 27, 2010 at 12:02 AM · Report this
209
I think this article requested a special day for Christine first... "National Jack-off for Christine O'Donnell (Jerk-off) Day - September 19th!" (from omg-sex.com, google it) but weeks of it I suppose is better...
Posted by veritas on September 27, 2010 at 2:22 AM · Report this
210
I tried to jerk off to Christine O'Donnell but could not stop regurgitating small portions of my lunch repeatedly. Is this normal? I had a cry, took a long shower, cried again.... Nothing seems to help.

Sincerly,

Sad Insignificant Christine

Posted by Merchanimal on September 27, 2010 at 7:29 AM · Report this
211
People are mean to others for all kinds of reasons - and they pick up on the things we've all been told are "wrong" in order to keep their victims compliant. Society punishes gays, teachers and administrators are usually at best ambivalent about supporting gay students. So any teen with a hateful heart aligns themselves with authority and punishes gay teens.

Nothing will ever cure teen bullying, but this kind of bullying will get better when the people at the top of the school power structure get over themselves Resist kiss asses. Examine yourself for assumptions about others AND ABOUT YOURSELF that you are internalizing from authority figures. And realize the strongest defense against this bullying is a refusal to believe what they're telling you about yourself
Posted by Lizunregistered on September 27, 2010 at 11:28 AM · Report this
212
Incredible! Your Paris story made me cry . . . happy tears :)
Posted by joien on September 27, 2010 at 1:11 PM · Report this
213
Great advice, Dan! I love your column!
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 27, 2010 at 7:27 PM · Report this
214
Can we just gather all the Tea Party goons and Repigs together, stick 'em on a bus-to-nowhere, and shove 'em off a cliff?
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 27, 2010 at 7:28 PM · Report this
215
GAY MORMONS need to watch the "MorMenLikeMe" channel on youtube. It contains interviews of gay Mormons who have survived. The interviewer is a cool honest RM (BYU graduate) with a lot of realistic wisdom for how to deal with intolerant or ignorant people, and how to separate Mormon culture from the gospel. His interviewees are down to earth, and talk about their own experiences and how they overcame. Once you are older, it is easier to call the shots. It does get better, much, much better.
Posted by Rawkcuf on September 28, 2010 at 2:44 AM · Report this
216
Dan!
I'm listening to Savage Love 206, and... you don't know any gay guys that kiss girls when they're shitfaced?

My god, most of my gay friends kiss EVERYONE when they're shitfaced! Most of my straight friends kiss EVERYONE when they're shitfaced!

Haven't you ever just kissed someone and gone, hey, you got good technique, without needing to sleep with them? Or necessarily wanting to? Finding someone sexy, without feeling sexual towards them?

My social group is generally old enough to have fun doing things ironically, so when someone pull out a really nice bottle of cinnamon whisky, obviously you have to mouth shot from someone else. There was that time when a (oops) really drunk friend turned and gave his brother a cinnamon shot, and then there was that slow moment where they both stopped and pondered it for a moment, and the less drunk one pronounced it "Awk-ward" (but tasty).

My gay friends have ruefully declared that the friend group of cute young guys we know who kiss each other on the lips in greeting, are actually.. completely straight.
Basically, they're just from a different generation to us. They're happy to kiss the gay guys on the lips as harmless flirtation, but if any or most of them were really bi or gay, they'd be fucking someone already, because it's *completely socially acceptable* in their social group to be bi or gay.
Instead, it's just a way of showing intimacy in their group.
Well, same in our circles as well.
Oh, and they also kiss their female friends on the lips.

When people are completely comfortable with being bi or gay, they're also more comfortable with being straight and pan-flirty. And we're going to see that more and more.

Dan, do you have a skype number to call? I'm international!
More...
Posted by sangrail on September 28, 2010 at 9:13 AM · Report this
217
Sangrail, that's fascinating. Your experience is totally foreign to me. I've never kissed anyone I'm not sexually attracted to, and can't imagine doing so -- drunk or sober. I'm gay and the only two women I ever kissed were when I thought I had no choice in grade school and thought I HAD to date women, but I had zero interest in doing so and tried to avoid it. I've only ever known one person who's behaved as you suggest, and he was generally wild in all respects, so that's interesting. FWIW, I'm in the USA (east and west coast major cities), and my usual crowd is 30s-40s, so maybe it's a cultural and generational difference you're seeing? Also, I don't really hang out with any big drinkers, just casual drinking with meals, so maybe that's part of it too? A serious partying crowd may behave differently from other people? But even in my bar-hopping and party days in my teens and 20s, I never saw such behavior.
Posted by Engle on September 28, 2010 at 3:56 PM · Report this
218
re: Bullied Student Commits Suicide.

In my opinion... nobody gives a rat's ass about a some internet channel devoted to homophobia, or some video on FaceBook. Go out and have a car wash or bake sale... you're outcome will be the same... there will be no outcome. The ANSWER: go out and do what all good American's do... you file a civil law suit and sue the shit out of the school board, the school administration, then you subpoena and interview every teacher in the school, adding to the suit every teacher who knew, or had the vaguest indication that this student was being tortured by his classmates. After rounding-up every person in the school and administration, I would turn my focus on the real perpetrators, those students responsible for this hate crime.

To be even more precise, I would bankrupt this school system and vigorously pursue jail time for any and every professional educator and administrator who had even the slightest knowledge that "something" was going-on, but chose NOT to get involved.

When are you people going to figure it out; our country, our states, and our communities DON'T need more (useless) laws. We must enforce (to the fullest extent) the laws we already have in place.

I have no sympathy for any teacher, principal, school board member, or superintendent who fails to vigorously enforce the anti-bullying laws or hate crime legislation that already in place, or should be in place. Vicious bullying in middle and high school is old-news. Most teachers and administrators have already received training and should know how to deal with the little Nazi morons who harass and assault these poor kids.

Playing dumb (stupid); "I had no idea these kids were harassing him" has become the Nuremberg Defense of modern day bullying. It was a bullshit and unacceptable defense in post-war Germany, just as playing dumb/ignorant is bullshit and unacceptable today. If however, a teacher or administrator can prove their ignorance to the bullying, then they should be fired on the spot, and possibly sued for negligence.

You want these heinous crimes to stop; enforce the damn laws.

Respectfully submitted,
(a gay) 8th grade English teacher
More...
Posted by JackDaddy on September 28, 2010 at 5:25 PM · Report this
despicable me 219
I love your outrage JackDaddy. High five!
Posted by despicable me on September 28, 2010 at 7:11 PM · Report this
220
@218. I really do not agree with what you are saying. I feel that adults who work with children need to be more pro active in dealing with bullying. I still hear teachers tell victims that "boys will be boys" or blame the child who is being teased. It is in this culture that we send our children to school. This is what needs to change. We as parents, teachers, counselors, and concerned citizens need to man up and speak out for ALL the children in our communities. We need to teach adults and other children that this behavior will no longer be tolerated. And when we see a child being bullied, we need to speak up for them right then! Beacuse the next time we pick up a paper we may be looking at another school shooting or another child dead from suicide and have no one to blame but ourselves. We should ALL feel ashamed by this tradegy. And to the family, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Posted by justsayin on September 29, 2010 at 12:12 AM · Report this
221
suing doesn't help!! in other words
Posted by justsayin on September 29, 2010 at 12:14 AM · Report this
tehsmug 222
you are an amazing man. it is people like you who perpetuate the last fragments of good left in this world and who give people the means the cling to these fragments. without this youtube channel, many kids (myself included) would have nowhere to turn to, no idea what to do, and nothing to have hope for.

hearing your inspiring message and seeing your beautiful family, i know that life will get better; the bad memories, alienation, self-hatred and shame will slowly fade away and be consumed by all the positives in my future.

thank you,
Posted by tehsmug on September 29, 2010 at 12:54 AM · Report this
tehsmug 223
you are an amazing man. it is people like you who perpetuate the last fragments of good left in this world and who give people the means the cling to these fragments. without your 'it gets better' channel, many kids (myself included) would have nowhere to turn to, no idea what to do, and nothing to have hope for.

hearing your inspiring message and seeing your beautiful family, i know that life will get better; the bad memories, alienation, self-hatred and shame will slowly fade away and be consumed by all the positives in my future.

thank you,
Posted by tehsmug on September 29, 2010 at 12:57 AM · Report this
fannerz 224
@218
I really think it is the party scene thing. My roommate is a super clubby girl and she tells me that all the gay guys make out with girls for shits and giggles when they are all hammered. I am bi and have friends of all sexual/gender identities, but none of my friend's kiss people they are not attracted to.
Posted by fannerz on September 29, 2010 at 1:44 AM · Report this
225
Yeah, this ought to be in here somewhere:

http://www.ranker.com/list/top-10-anti-g…
Posted by Thinkerer on September 29, 2010 at 7:35 AM · Report this
despicable me 226
justsayin, while I agree that we live in an all too happy to sue you society, with this kind of situation if suing is all that is going to get their attention then that's what needs to be done. If a lawsuit sets the precedence and makes them take action and enforce the rules for everyone then that's okay with me.

Doing nothing is so not working so lets do something even if it means filing a lawsuit.
Posted by despicable me on September 29, 2010 at 9:19 AM · Report this
227
Dear Dan,

Thank you for Project It Gets Better.

Please, if you're able, highlight the resources of Fenway Community Health's Peer Listening Line:
http://www.fenwayhealth.org/site/PageSer…

The Trevor Project: (866.4.U.TREVOR)
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

And the Open and Affirming movement of the United Church of Christ:
http://www.ucccoalition.org
Posted by Christina on September 29, 2010 at 9:27 AM · Report this
scary tyler moore 228
@220: Money talks and bullshit walks.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on September 29, 2010 at 12:21 PM · Report this
229
another gay youth, presumed dead by suicide.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09…

and a seriously messed up thing to do to your roommate.
Posted by is required on September 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM · Report this
ex-neocon poly wife 230
I <3 this Dan and posted to FB! Yay! It gets better! Great job turning hate into something great!
Posted by ex-neocon poly wife http://aphroditesdreams.blogspot.com/ on September 30, 2010 at 8:54 AM · Report this
231
Thank you for doing this Dan.

My girlfriend and I will definitely be participating in "it gets better", along with a slew of of our friends that we are rallying now!

There is a young lesbian, USC film school student named Becca Katz who has created a website called
http://www.IWantTheWorldToKnow.org

It is a video bank of folks telling their coming out stories so LGBT youth and isolated adults have access to other gay adults and the chance to hear their stories. Perhaps the two of you could link to each other's projects. Powerful together.

My girlfriend and I are out lesbian actors and gay advocates. We have both had features travelling the LGBT film festival circuit for the last 3 years, and another coming this year. We have found the internet to be a powerful connecting tool to be able to reach out to our LGBT community. We've created content and a community online to no one ever has to feel alone or isolated. It's good for us all to band together.

Thank you for doing this Dan. We will be participating and supporting.

Bravo -

Cathy DeBuono
Posted by Cathy DeBuono on September 30, 2010 at 12:21 PM · Report this
232
Thank you for doing this Dan.

My girlfriend and I will definitely be participating in "it gets better", along with a slew of of our friends that we are rallying now!

There is a young lesbian, USC film school student named Becca Katz who has created a website called
http://www.IWantTheWorldToKnow.org

It is a video bank of folks telling their coming out stories so LGBT youth and isolated adults have access to other gay adults and the chance to hear their stories. Perhaps the two of you could link to each other's projects. Powerful together.

My girlfriend and I are out lesbian actors and gay advocates. We have both had features travelling the LGBT film festival circuit for the last 3 years, and another coming this year. We have found the internet to be a powerful connecting tool to be able to reach out to our LGBT community. We've created content and a community online to no one ever has to feel alone or isolated. It's good for us all to band together.

Thank you for doing this Dan. We will be participating and supporting.

Bravo -

Cathy DeBuono
Posted by Cathy DeBuono on September 30, 2010 at 12:24 PM · Report this
233
Thank you!
Posted by Lexi76 on September 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM · Report this
234
I know this is incredibly superficial given the weight of the project, but my god, Dan, your man is fine. Not to say that you all aren't very cute. Ah, I see I'm not alone in my crush. Signed, Woman
Posted by a reader on September 30, 2010 at 2:40 PM · Report this
235
Good work Dan, Thank you. We are all in this world. We're using the itgetsbetter videos on our 24 hour online bully stakeout on November 9, 2010. More information at http://bullyoutreachproject.com and on Facebook, or just get straight in touch with me. Hope you'll see value in our project, especially the online components. We'll be watching and sharing your information. Again. Thank you, and Blessings. Kelly Karius
Posted by Kelly Karius on September 30, 2010 at 3:25 PM · Report this
236
As the parent of a gay teen I love this idea and thanks.
Posted by dogsmycopilot on September 30, 2010 at 4:26 PM · Report this
237
As the parent of a gay teen I love this idea. I too think they ought to be played in classrooms, something needs to be done.
Posted by dogsmycopilot on September 30, 2010 at 4:28 PM · Report this
238
are you serious ..what has the world come to ITS NOT RIGHT !!! WOMEN+MAN=LOVE SORRY THAT'S JUST HOW I FEEL ..ITS NOT RIGHT.. I DONT WANT ANYONE TO GO TO HELL ..I DONT WANT THAT TO HAPPEN TO THE LBGT..ITS JUST NOT RIGHT.. BUT YOU GUYS JUST WANN DO WHAT YOU WANT BUT JUST REMEBER THIS JOHN 3:16
Posted by REAL LOVE on September 30, 2010 at 5:05 PM · Report this
239
Love your It Gets Better campaign and have always loved your column. It seems young LGBT teens need a Big Brother/Big Sister program, especially in the fly-over states.
Posted by Dacyl on September 30, 2010 at 5:12 PM · Report this
240
bridge over troubled water, thank you
Posted by chicken1 on September 30, 2010 at 11:13 PM · Report this
241
Thank you thank you thank you thank you, Dan. For reminding me that not everyone got the crazy support I did when I came out (20 yrs ago, at 15). Thanks for finding a place for hope in the face of effed-up, devastating news. Thank you. Ok. Off to make a video with my wife.
Posted by alice2 on October 1, 2010 at 5:15 AM · Report this
242
Hi Dan, I have always read your columns, which are a mix of advice and humor, I love the idea about "It gets better" However, and I am a 42 y/o gay man living in NYC, attending daily counseling meetings, because for me hasn’t got better. I don’t want to diminish this wonderful project, but what about if it doesn’t get better? what about if you are 40's and still get bully at the streets of NYC, what about within the same Gay community is as cruel and torturing as when I was in school, what about not having a boyfriend, or not social support? English is my second language so I hope this comment makes sense, but I would love to see something in the middle where it gets better but still we as human beings have to struggle with the day to day ups and downs of living as openly gay men. One has to protect ourselves from that hot muscle gay men next to you that will not even share the same space with you or be the recipient of a bitchy joke from a drag performer? I am just saying a balanced campaign can be nice. I have watched the videos several times and in a selfish way, I guess, I wish I found a husband or a nice group of friends that I share my life with, like in the videos, but I haven’t. After I watched them, I went out but the hedonistic- materialistic culture of the NYC/ SF gay life retrieve me back home, maybe I am just haven’t been lucky, I just wish that those kids don’t get their expectations to high to crash to a wall of a very demanding gay community, that's all.
Posted by alfstoria on October 1, 2010 at 8:49 AM · Report this
243
Hi Dan, I have always read your columns, which are a mix of advice and humor, I love the idea about "It gets better" However, and I am a 42 y/o gay man living in NYC, attending daily counseling meetings, because for me hasn’t got better. I don’t want to diminish this wonderful project, but what about if it doesn’t get better? what about if you are 40's and still get bully at the streets of NYC, what about within the same Gay community is as cruel and torturing as when I was in school, what about not having a boyfriend, or not social support? English is my second language so I hope this comment makes sense, but I would love to see something in the middle where it gets better but still we as human beings have to struggle with the day to day ups and downs of living as openly gay men. One has to protect ourselves from that hot muscle gay men next to you that will not even share the same space with you or be the recipient of a bitchy joke from a drag performer? I am just saying a balanced campaign can be nice. I have watched the videos several times and in a selfish way, I guess, I wish I found a husband or a nice group of friends that I share my life with, like in the videos, but I haven’t. After I watched them, I went out but the hedonistic- materialistic culture of the NYC/ SF gay life retrieve me back home, maybe I am just haven’t been lucky, I just wish that those kids don’t get their expectations to high to crash to a wall of a very demanding gay community, that's all.
Posted by alfstoria on October 1, 2010 at 8:54 AM · Report this
244
I am not gay and none of my kids are gay, so far as they know so far, the youngest is 13. But I feel so strongly that we are failing as a culture if we cannot love and value all of our children. Everyone feels different somehow, every one IS beautiful and unique, and these differences should be celebrated. It is not ok to try and make yourself feel right by trying to make someone else wrong.
Love is love, and other peoples love is none of my business.
If any teen is being teased in my town, tell them to come over to my place. I will make them hot chocolate, make up the spare bed, and then open up a fresh can of whup-ass for their tormentor.
Posted by Kirsten Flynn on October 1, 2010 at 11:04 AM · Report this
245
Dan and Terry:

Bravo a thousand times over.

As a 63 year old gay man, my heart breaks every time I read about a gay young person's suicide.

It Get's Better is so heart warming.

A big pat on the back to you and these videos' submitters.

Michael J. Carlon, MD
Palm springs, CA
Posted by carlmj1 on October 1, 2010 at 6:00 PM · Report this
246
@186: I'm not in anyone's face. I got over it.
After 28 years out of high school, living in another county seems to help.

Dan--THANK YOU and BLESS YOU for yet more PURE GOLD!!! Stop the bullying everybody!
Posted by auntie grizelda on October 1, 2010 at 6:26 PM · Report this
247
Great project, Dan! I just linked from my Facebook page.
Posted by craig262 on October 3, 2010 at 8:51 AM · Report this
248
My fiancé and I are both straight, but we were bullied as adolescents, and more than once accused of being gay (and my family thinks he is anyway, but that's a miserable family drama can of worms I care not to open here). I am also the survivor of an ill-conceived suicide attempt at age 13. We are both extremely supportive of our gay friends and family, including (but not limited to) his brother, my cousin, and our friend Andrew who will be our best man. I bless each and every heart that is beating with this project, as it's a beautiful thing to see this social networking thing being used for a greater good. When he comes home from South America, I want to make a Spanish-language video, because that is a population that is tremendously disparaged and shoved further into the closet. They need to know there are people who support them and will stand "siempre al lado"- always by their side. <3
Posted by Kelz on October 3, 2010 at 10:50 PM · Report this
249
You're absolutely right! and it was great that you published this blog.
Here's an excerpt from a NY Times article...which hits the nail on the head:

"...In a pair of blog postings last week, Dan Savage, a sex columnist based in Seattle, assigns the blame to negligent teachers and school administrators, bullying classmates and “hate groups that warp some young minds and torment others.”

“There are accomplices out there,” he wrote Saturday.

In an interview, Mr. Savage, who is gay, said he was particularly irate at religious leaders who used “antigay rhetoric.”

These are the people who are responsible for the hate, indifference, bullying, gross negligence that allows gays to be pushed to suicide.
The Federal Government (Justice Department) should be investigating each of these events as a denial of civil rights of the gay, lesbian, transgender persons.
HELLO??? JUSTICE DEPARTMENT???? WHERE ARE YOU???
YOU WERE ABLE TO INVESTIGATE THE LONG SERIES OF BLACK MURDERS AND DISCRIMINATION OVER THE YEARS.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RIGHTS OF GAYS WHO ARE BEING BULLIED AND EVEN MURDERED?
WHAT HAPPENED TO FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS AND YOUR RECENT NEW DIRECTIVE TO LOOK INTO GAY HATE CRIMES?
Posted by tyler kyle on October 4, 2010 at 3:44 AM · Report this
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http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12…

JOIN THE MASTURBATE AGAINST CHRISTINE O'DONNELL GROUP HERE
Posted by waco on October 5, 2010 at 3:04 AM · Report this
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Join Michael and Marisa in the "It Gets Better" campaign to STOP bullying. The sibling music duo urge their peers to stand up against bullying with their acoustic song "The Same." http://bit.ly/bwXTg0
Posted by nickishamel on October 5, 2010 at 2:29 PM · Report this
252

Join Michael and Marisa in the "It Gets Better" campaign to STOP bullying. The sibling music duo urge their peers to stand up against bullying with their acoustic song "The Same." http://bit.ly/bwXTg0
Posted by nickishamel on October 5, 2010 at 2:45 PM · Report this
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Great project, I am sorry that there is no more room to post videos, but I did leave a comment under voncile67. I hope that anyone who reads it will be able to hang onto the belief that they will survive almost anything and that it does get better. I wish I had something like this when I was a younger person.
Posted by voncile67 on October 6, 2010 at 9:07 AM · Report this
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#COUNTMEOUT - 2010 National Coming Out Day - Use Twitter/Facebook pics/statuses to raise awareness. http://scr.bi/d1m73e
Posted by Anthony Smith on October 6, 2010 at 3:38 PM · Report this
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I love what you've done!
Here is my "It Gets Better" video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UH46lY25…
Posted by rareorion on October 6, 2010 at 11:23 PM · Report this
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I love what you do!
Here is my "It Gets Better" contribution
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UH46lY25…
Posted by rareorion on October 6, 2010 at 11:27 PM · Report this
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I cried when I saw the videos on this posting. It is so moving and hopeful to see our community rally around its young people. It makes me feel like, while these deaths will never be justified, if it makes the world pay attention to this problem & give resource to these youth, at least they weren't in vain. We queers are a beautiful bunch and I'm so pleased to be one of you! :)
Posted by Queer in Philly on October 7, 2010 at 7:56 PM · Report this
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It gets better alright.... unless of course you grow up to be a fat and ugly gay man. Then it's just more of the same.
Posted by Display name on October 10, 2010 at 2:48 PM · Report this
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Dan I love what you're doing. I'm a straight woman, whose 15 years old niece recently told she is gay. It wasn't a surprise, I notice how she acted, how she dressed, how she interact with other people, and I was pretty sure she was gay. But my first thought was her safety, how can I protect her from all those other people that doesn't understand, and worst that doesn't accept their differences. It was looking information that I came across your youtube channel, it was a great experience, I instantly felt like is going to be alright, my niece is going to be alright. First of all because she have me, her father, and her stepmother, that accept her just the way she is. I know that a lot of others teenegers don't have that support, and I want them to know that they should be true to their self and look for their hapiness, eventually they will find that person who support them, just don't give up.
Posted by natalie_pr on October 10, 2010 at 4:08 PM · Report this
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Maybe they should realize the world does not want people to be different, it is sad they feel the need to kill themselves and that is not acceptable but the gay thing is something that should be private. People don't want to know about gay people. Accept it.
Posted by Living Teal on October 10, 2010 at 4:26 PM · Report this
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I was bullied throughout the entirety of my school years and I didn't need to refer to some creepy support group of adults targeting questionably gay children. I suppose children are more gullible and easily coerced than any other demographic amirite?

I dealt with my problems by developing thick skin, using acquired experience and above all, refusing to give up, and not one of your pathetic groups is going to do any of that for a kid.

What you're doing is much more monstrous and cruel than what any of those bullies did, to be honest. You are robbing kids of the reality of life, putting them in a nice safe little bubble that will agonizingly erupt when they get into the real world. You cannot please everyone, and nothing in life is beautiful forever.

Oh yeah, and when someone commits suicide, it's an act of their own free will, and it wouldn't make much sense to sue a rope company because one of their ropes were used by a suicidal teen.

Think about it.
Posted by Alex Furgason on October 10, 2010 at 5:04 PM · Report this
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I was bullied throughout the entirety of my school years and I didn't need to refer to some creepy support group of adults targeting questionably gay children. I suppose children are more gullible and easily coerced than any other demographic amirite?

I dealt with my problems by developing thick skin, using acquired experience and above all, refusing to give up, and not one of your pathetic groups is going to do any of that for a kid.

What you're doing is much more monstrous and cruel than what any of those bullies did, to be honest. You are robbing kids of the reality of life, putting them in a nice safe little bubble that will agonizingly erupt when they get into the real world. You cannot please everyone, and nothing in life is beautiful forever.

Oh yeah, and when someone commits suicide, it's an act of their own free will, and it wouldn't make much sense to sue a rope company because one of their ropes were used by a suicidal teen.

Think about it.
Posted by Alex Furgason on October 10, 2010 at 5:06 PM · Report this
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Dan and Terry, you have done a wonderful, beautiful, inspiring thing with this project. I know you and the others who have posted here are helping young people who are struggling, and will continue to help them. It's even helpful to those of us going through hard times unrelated to sexuality when we are well past high school. The world is brighter because of this project. Thank you.
Posted by monica on October 11, 2010 at 11:01 PM · Report this
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Join Michael and Marisa in the "It Gets Better" campaign to STOP bullying. The pre-teen sibling music duo share and urge their peers to stand up against bullying with their acoustic song "The Same."

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-500234
Posted by PatrickPrimary on October 12, 2010 at 7:02 AM · Report this
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I love the masturbation idea - but don't think I could get it up for Christine. Thanks so very much for your video. So far I have the most hits and thumbs up for my comment. Wow.
Posted by jcorrydon on October 12, 2010 at 9:14 AM · Report this
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Oh my gosh.. I loved your video Dan and Terry.. It speaks volumes.. It really, truly DOES get better.. (P.S I totally fell in lust with Terry when he face-palms about his cheesy pick up line LOL)
Posted by reyofsunshine on October 14, 2010 at 4:16 PM · Report this
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this project is beautiful. One other thought (and I SO hope you see this!) is that a significant number of kids who are being abused---physically and sexually-- attempt and may complete suicide as well.

Can we please tell kids who are being sexually abused to hang in there too please? Ask them to come read the pages for kids who are being sexually abused at JustTell.org a new nonprofit which encourages sexually abused kids to tell an adult they trust about what's happening.

Peace
Vivian Farmery
Director, Just Tell
JustTell.org

Posted by Just Tell on October 14, 2010 at 8:40 PM · Report this
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This is a beautiful campaign. I wanted to add that kids who are being physically and sexually abused commit suicide at alarming rates too. Kids who are being sexually abused need to know that they can and should tell an adult they trust what's happening to them. They can read about why it isn't their fault, why they need feel no guilt or shame for the abuse and why they need to tell at JustTell.org
Thank you.
Vivian Farmery
Just Tell
Posted by Just Tell on October 14, 2010 at 8:49 PM · Report this
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Lisa M. January- God bless Joel Burns for his bravery and his empathy! Any child that is sad or being hurt because they are different is so wrong. Any parent that sees this talk to your children, this is NOT right. Gay is not wrong it's just different and ANY child that is being mean to them could single out YOUR own child for ANY reason and do the SAME thing. We all saw it in school. It is our job to begin building awareness, and teaching tolerance, these poor kids are in so much pain. And any person choosing to not agree with me is fine, but DO not post any response because there is no time for your ignorance, I"ll pray for you, but your words will NOT be seen for long on any page. Different isn't bad, it's just different, you'd think we'd all get this by now.
Posted by LisaGetsIt on October 15, 2010 at 10:51 AM · Report this
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Lisa M. January- God bless Joel Burns for his bravery and his empathy! Any child that is sad or being hurt because they are different is so wrong. Any parent that sees this talk to your children, this is NOT right. Gay is not wrong it's just different and ANY child that is being mean to them could single out YOUR own child for ANY reason and do the SAME thing. We all saw it in school. It is our job to begin building awareness, and teaching tolerance, these poor kids are in so much pain. And any person choosing to not agree with me is fine, but DO not post any response because there is no time for your ignorance, I"ll pray for you, but your words will NOT be seen for long on any page. Different isn't bad, it's just different, you'd think we'd all get this by now.
Posted by Differentisjustdifferent on October 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM · Report this
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It get's better?

No it doesn't. Maybe in some cases, but not on it's own and not in most cases.

If you seed hope, you'll be reaping disappointment. Too fluttery, too fragile, too unreliable.

Want to help? Feed them INFORMATION. ARGUMENTS. FACTS.

Don't give them a crutch to survive. Offer them a weapon to live.
Posted by chainee on October 19, 2010 at 8:58 AM · Report this
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I am 45, I have done whole out thing and you know its hard being different. I have struggle with it all my life. My first suicide attempt was at nine. Life is hard, being also a part of GLBTQ identity is hard. Its even harder as teenager. If you have other issues being out makes it even harder.
For some us it doesn't get better being out of closet, it doesn't give loving relationships or choices. We still struggle, we still struggle cope.
Sometimes there no such thing as hope you learn to take what you can. People still bully each other around difference even as a adult and it gets very hard sometimes to cope with it but you do your best to cope that is all you can do.
Posted by gaybutnotgay on October 28, 2010 at 3:26 PM · Report this
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I have watched many of the videos posted and am pleased with the messages that there is hope after high school. I just wish this was marketed to ALL teens who are bullied as opposed to just LGBT. I am a teacher and I see students bullied for many reasons. My own son was bullied for years and he isn't any of the above. All children need hope to know that there is more to life than what they are facing at the moment.
Posted by concerned teacher on November 4, 2010 at 2:45 PM · Report this
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I love this project idea, awesome. In my country South Africa we have to also deal with the black community perpertrating vilent acts aginst member sof their community. It is not tolerated at all. recently we lost a sister to this. I applaud your column and your use of power as a writter in a positive way
Posted by Bruna on December 16, 2010 at 1:10 AM · Report this
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I am a fan of Dan's work and truly appreciate his compassionate diligence in reaching out to save the lives of bullied children.

My compassion guided me to publish an anthology, "Step Into My Shoes: Expressions from the LGBTQ Community", which will accept submissions until April 20, 2011.

www.jafansta.com/anthology.aspx or poetry@jafansta.com
Posted by Jafansta http://www.jafansta.com on March 23, 2011 at 1:56 AM · Report this
276
It Gets Better Project completely inspires me to make a difference. ALL I EVER WANTED, a new play by a Seattle playwright, addresses how one family can authentically discuss sexuality, sex & love. The play is raising money for Lambert House, a center for GLBTQ youth that encourages empowerment. The play runs through May 8, 2011 in Seattle. Get your tickets at www.allieverwantedproject.com
Posted by tracyvicoryrosenquest on April 25, 2011 at 10:37 AM · Report this
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We all have our freedom to love any person, however, we should ensure that the person we are loving is not committed to another person, otherwise, we will end up hurting ourselves or other people.

http://meladermwarning.com/
Posted by roch on November 21, 2011 at 9:43 PM · Report this
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Yes, we are entitled to love anybody we want.

tribute credit card
Posted by aira on December 1, 2011 at 6:57 PM · Report this
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Yes, we are entitled to love anybody we want.

juniper credit card
Posted by aira on December 1, 2011 at 7:01 PM · Report this
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I believed people who are homophobic are usually ignorant and these are heterosexual people who are afraid of being turn into gay or lesbian by homosexual people. The fact of the matter is gay people do not have this intent and they have the same need and want as couple in heterosexual relationship and these include love, affections and commitment.

http://www.self-help-sexuality.com/gay-s…
Posted by Self Help Sexuality on January 29, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
281
I believed people who are homophobic are usually ignorant and these are heterosexual people who are afraid of being turn into gay or lesbian by homosexual people. The fact of the matter is gay people do not have this intent and they have the same need and want as couple in heterosexual relationship and these include love, affections and commitment.

http://www.self-help-sexuality.com/gay-s…
Posted by tmastery http://www.self-help-sexuality.com/ on January 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
282
I believed people who are homophobic are usually ignorant and these are heterosexual people who are afraid of being turn into gay or lesbian by homosexual people. The fact of the matter is gay people do not have this intent and they have the same need and want as couple in heterosexual relationship and these include love, affections and commitment.

http://www.self-help-sexuality.com/gay-s…
Posted by tmastery http://www.self-help-sexuality.com/ on January 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
283
Aw, this was a very nice post. In thought I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and precise effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and under no circumstances seem to get something done.buy cheap facebook fans
Posted by facebook fans/likes on August 23, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
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