How It Happened

The Genesis of a YouTube Movement


I can only hope to one day be associated with such a simple, powerful, effective idea and its implementation. Well done, Mr. Savage.

In the mean time, I've ordered an IGBP book to send to my nephew. He hasn't come out, and I'm not 100% certain that he's gay, though I have some strong suspicions. But his dad is a raging homophobe, so I know that if he is gay, he won't openly acknowledge it until he is far, far away from home. Maybe if he knows that he has support elsewhere and a future to look foward to, that will be of some comfort to him.
If it's possible to love you even more, Dan, you just did it.
You touched me more than you can believe in this incredible act of kindness. Tears are streaming down my face right now. It's so easy to love and so much harder to be hateful and mean. Thank you.
Dan, I fell in love with your column as a 20-year-old college student, lucky to be straight and from a progressive, accepting background. Still, I was cautious about my own desires/needs/wants, cautious about acknowledging them and expressing them. cautious about coming across as aggressive or slutty or weird.

Your column changed how I thought about sex, relationships, and myself. How I view my desires and how I communicate them. How I react when I have a sexual problem, or when someone comes to me with a problem.

I read your column for its humor and its insight. I sometimes forget, though, what an incredible writer you are--eloquent and moving. Thank you so much for launching the IGBP and for everything you do. You are an amazing human being.
I would love to see a complementary "project", that enlists the not-at-risk kids to make a pledge of tolerance & acceptance. Kind of a twist on the damned "DARE" crap that has floated through schools for a couple of decades now. Pack mentality often fuels anti-gay bullying, so turning that mentality into one of acceptance may have tremendous benefit. It should be "cool" to not hate.

I support you, can you support me?

In many American schools, fat kids are the second most despised and bullied group.

You could learn a lot about the roots of bullying if you could wrestle with and conquer your own desire to verbally flog fat people. The need to put down other people runs deep in most of us.

Even IF being fat is a lifestyle choice and not a genetic lottery, human beings don't deserve mass cruelty and disdain.
dan doesn't verbally flog fat people. and i am really tired of hearing this. he flogs irresponsible fat people who think it's perfectly okay to weight 300 FUCKING pounds, and wailing that people are 'sizeist' if someone so much as suggests they might be healthier if they lost weight. you CAN'T be health at any size. you just can't. dan DOES support fat people who are making a concerted effort to lose that weight, eat less and exercise more. fat people like ME.

now, back to 'it gets better'. dan and terry, thank you for signing my copy of your terrific book.
#7, I think we've done the "fat thing" already, Dan and Lindy are friends again, and this is about the It Gets Better project. I agree with your point, but this is not the time nor place.
Thanks, Dan.
Dan, do your hands ever get tired from patting yourself on the back so much?
Dan, Dan, Dan! I agree with #5 all the way: you have forever changed the way I view and relate to sex (in a positive, more accepting, self-affirming way). Thank you for that.

And thank you for the IGBP. It moves me every time I view your post on YouTube, or conceptualize what a difference this support makes to those who are bullied and feel alone. Please thank Terry for me, too--your video is so much more powerful with you guys as a united front.

Thank you for all that you have done to revolutionize the way people see sex, see themselves, see bullying, and see their parenting. Well, this person anyway.
Take over the world Dan, but please no more door knob licking.
Absolutely specfuckingtacular essay. You changed the world and you're teaching other people to keep changing it. Rock the fuck on, Dan!
Savage Love has changed the way I approach sex in my own life, and the It Gets Better project has changed the way I think about anti-gay bigots. These people do have a right to be bigoted -- they can believe whatever they want -- but that's what they are: bigots. They don't just have "different beliefs" than me, and it isn't just a matter of religious faith. My dad likes to say he just "doesn't agree" with the "gay lifestyle", but there's nothing to agree or disagree with. Gay people exist, they always have, and they always will. And there's NOTHING wrong with them. Anyone who thinks otherwise has a serious problem and should be treated as such.
It gets better. It really does.
puty, what breed of snake is that? it's beautiful.
Maybe you'll stop getting all of those "Fuck the It Gets Better Project, it doesn't do everything necessary to fix the world, completely and instantly, and is therefore useless" letters/e-mails...

And maybe the trolls will leave Slog and Obama will start ignoring the Tea Party morons and Scott Walker will die of a stroke. Ah, dreams.

Nice piece, Dan. :-)
Just lovely, Dan and Terry.
Everybody in the world should read this article. Share it on Facebook, people.
I bought the It Get's Better book and donated for the free T-shirt to give to my sister for her birthday today. She started her high school's first GSA and today they went to our State's LGBT Lobby Day to speak with their Representative. He didn't even know what Prop 8 was, or that Minnesota might have one of our own marriage amendments to vote on in 2012!
So proud of you. This is what happens when you take a modest little seed of an idea and plant it. The success of the IGB program is not just evidence that it was sorely needed, but also that it was the RIGHT idea. It was what not just those isolated teens needed, but what the society needed. We are all going to see that it gets better because of you and Terry.

By the way, I'm the introverted partner in my marriage; my husband wants to lead workshops, publish books, and achieve a level of notoriety in his field. I on the other hand value my privacy and anonymity. So I'm especially proud that Terry was willing to do this with you. I understand where he's coming from. If I am every presented with a similar opportunity, I hope I step up and take it.
OK..changing the subject...
In the photos at the top of this article, who's the guy in the upper right? It's driving me crazy. He looks familiar but I can't place him.

BTW- just last night I saw "It Gets Better" on the new book shelf in my son's middle school library. How cool is that?
@myself! SPOCK! whew.
Sweet, stirring, yay! @25, that's the actor Zachary Quinto, who, like Anderson Cooper, Barry Diller, jodie Foster, et al., is comfortably out in his private life but won't say "yes" when the media asks.
Thanks Dan and Terry, you guys rock!

It Gets Better is a shinning example of hope and grass roots action; truly a heroic act. Keep up the good work; and much support to ALL youth: gay/straight/black/white/aethiest/short/tall/ugly/or poor.
Bullying sucks and deserves to be fought tooth and nail!
Well done Dan and Terry. I'm a straight high school teacher in Hong Kong telling you you've made a difference.
Wonderful. Coincidentally, "What a Wonderful World" came on as I was reading this. It's nice to know I'm not the only one tearing up. Thanks again, Dan.
@25, @27: When I look at the four photos at the top, in my head I hear the old Sesame Street song: "One of these things is not like the other..."
@Scary: albino California king snake named Fred. Likes tasty mice, spazzing out and being wrapped around your warm, cozy arm. He's sixteen years old!
@6 There is something called Project Cornerstone, which has a big emphasis on recognizing bullying in its different forms, and speaking back to bullies (especially when they are not targeting you).…
You are an amazing person! I feel lucky to know about you.
Dan, if you ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize for the It Gets Better Project, then I can say "I told you so"!
This is beautiful. Thank you.

And I think it's worth adding that the days of "A school administrator who invited a gay adult to address an assembly before there was a crisis... It couldn't happen— we would never get permission." -- these days are ending.

Marisa Ragonese of the Queens Community House in New York has done hundreds of anti-bullying, anti-homophobia workshops at public middle and high schools in the New York City area in the past few years. She has witnessed horrible homophobic reactions from students, but also amazing, breakthrough moments of learning and hope.

I was bullied pretty harshly in junior high (West Coast kid who moved to Kentucky). I wasn't sure if I was gay because girls avoided me (too). I think I would have died if my parents poked their head into my life and gave me a book (or what ever) that seemed to suggest its OK to be gay. If a kid KNOWS they are gay, then I want them to be safe and informed. But in a bullying environment, kids want safety and acceptance and dont care where they get it (see also, drug problem). Dumping "you might be hay" or "we think you're gay too!" could be painful too. How do one address this.
lotta hay in kentucky FYI
Dan Savage's first feature in 6 months (and pretty slim picking before that...) and it's about himself

How predictable

Please move to MTV thanks in advance