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Every story can change a life.
Growing up isn't easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, and this is especially true for LGBT kids and teens. In response to a number of tragic suicides by LGBT students, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage uploaded a video to YouTube with his partner, Terry Miller. Speaking openly about the bullying they suffered, and how they both went on to lead rewarding adult lives, their video ...
Every story can change a life.
Growing up isn't easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, and this is especially true for LGBT kids and teens. In response to a number of tragic suicides by LGBT students, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage uploaded a video to YouTube with his partner, Terry Miller. Speaking openly about the bullying they suffered, and how they both went on to lead rewarding adult lives, their video launched the It Gets Better Project YouTube channel and initiated a worldwide phenomenon.
It Gets Better is a collection of original essays and expanded testimonials written to teens from celebrities, political leaders, and everyday people, because while many LGBT teens can't see a positive future for themselves, we can.
"A masterstroke . . . revolutionary." — Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City
Introduction Dan Savage 1
A Message from President Barack Obama 9
You Will Find Your People Laurel Slongwhite 11
The Life Almost Lost Bruce Ortiz 15
In the Early Morning Rain Jennifer Finney Boylan 18
Something Has Changed Within Me Gregory Maguire 22
Action Makes It Better Urvashi Vaid 24
You Are a Rubber Band, My Friend Brinae Lois Gaudet 27
God Believes in You Bishop Gene Robinson 30
The Person Worth Fighting For Is You Alex R. Orue 35
A Message from Ellen DeGeneres 38
Life Unfolds Exactly As It Should (But Not As You Planned) Sean Blane David Rosen 40
It Gets Better for a British Soldier Lance Corporal James Wharton 42
Getting Stronger and Staying Alive Gabrielle Rivera 45
Coming Out of the Shtetl: Gay Orthodox Jews Marc Tannen Chaim Levin Ely Winkler Justin Spiro Moishie Rabinowitz Mordechai Levovitz 48
Going Back In Michael Cunningham 54
And the Emmy Goes to … Barbara Gaines 59
A Message from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton 62
This I Know for Sure A. Y. Daring 64
It Gets Better Broadway by Members of the Broadway and New York Theater Community 67
Rockin' the Flannel Shirt Krissy Mahan 71
How It Got Better for an Ordained Christian Minister 74
by Professor Stephen V. Sprinkle 74
Out of Darkness Philip Deal 77
I Was a Teenage Lesbian Alison Bechdel 79
Something Special Sia Furler 80
The Dinner Party Adam Roberts 82
What I Wish I Knew Ivan Coyote 87
Freedom from Fear Michael Feinstein 91
A Message from Prime Minister David Cameron 94
You Will Meet People Who Celebrate You Jenn Erika Wagner-Martin 96
An Identity Unfolded Mark Ramirez 99
A Message from Suze Orman 102
Brothers: It Gets Better Lenox Magee Rannon Harris David Dodd Kean Ray 104
Drop Dead, Warlock David Sedaris 110
Gwendolyn Gone Meshell Ndegeocello 112
Growing Up Gay … and Kinky by Dart 114
The Biggest Gift Stewart Taylor 117
A Message from Senator Al Franken 121
Transsexual Prairie Girl Tamsyn Waterhouse 123
Art from Rage Jake Shears 125
It Gets Better / $$$ (Btkoun Ahsan) Bashar Makhay / $$$ 127
Too Good to Be True Cameron Tuttle 130
Journey to a Better Life Juan Carlos Galan, MS 133
The Gay Guy in the Band Kevin Samual Yee 138
Will I Grow Up to Be Paul Lynde? Andy Cohen 140
Finding Who I Am Hunter Adeline Brady 142
Community Chaz Bono 145
A Message from Nancy Pelosi 147
Gunn's Golden Rules Tim Gunn 149
Perfect, Just the Way You Are Darren Hayes 151
Where Happiness Is Natalie Sperry Mandelin 153
Not-Normal Michael K. Wells 158
Born This Way Perez Hilton 162
Darn It Kate Clinton 165
Look at the Moon Agustin Cepeda 167
Critical Shifts Jesse Barnes 169
For Aideybear Ava Dodge 171
A Message from John Berry 173
The Show Must Go On Kyle Dean Massey 175
Survival Tools Ellen Forney 177
Dear Uncle Ronnie by randy roberts potts 181
My Office Wall Trevor Corneil, MD 185
Keep on Livin' JD Samson 187
It Gets Better Because You're a Little Different Dave Holmes 189
Unapologetically, Me Demetrius Gittens 192
A Collective Voice Gabe Milligan-Green Addy Cahill Russell Peck 195
I Didn't Always Wear a Tuxedo Murray Hill 201
How I Got Over Tuan N'Gai 205
A "Better" Evolution Joseph Odysseus Mastro 208
Save Yourself, Save the World Khris Brown 211
Becoming an Authentic Person Nicholas Wheeler 213
On the Other Side Jay A. Foxworthy Bryan Leffew 215
Bully Me Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum 218
To the Bullies Tristan Jackson 220
The Good Fight Kristel Yoneda 223
A Message from Kevin Hague, MP 226
Haters Can't Hate Someone Who Loves Themselves, and if They Do, Who Cares Lynn Breedlove 228
Not Playing at a Cinema Near You Rebecca Brown 232
From "Faggot" to Field Biologist Christopher A. Schmitt, PhD 235
It Got Better Stephen D. Lorimor 238
Our Parents as Allies Lawrence Gullo Fyodor Pavlov Eileen Charbonneau Ed Gullo 240
Lesbian Teacher Believes in You Kristin Rivers 243
Stepping Off the Sidelines Wayne Knaub 245
My Own Worst Enemy Jessica Leshnoff 248
You Are a Beloved Child of God Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson 254
Transgendered and Self-Educated in Maine Jean Vermette 256
The Power of "You" Luan Legacy 261
It Gets Better for Small Towners, Too Dwayne Steward 264
To Me: With Love and Squalor Terry Galloway 267
Happiness Is Inevitable Henry Winfiele 271
I Wish I'd Been Sassier! Brian Gallivan aka Gay Sassy Friend 273
Protect and Serve Loves Semper Fidelis J. D. Davis Allen D. Stone 275
The Doors of Acceptance Shaun Ridgway 279
Hope Out of Tragedy Matthew Anthony Houck 282
Patience Makes Perfect … Sense Angelo D'Agostino 287
Christian LGBT Kids: You're Part of the Plan Raven Mardirosian 289
Terrible Day Patrick Murphy 291
The Worst of Both Worlds Michelle Faid 294
Closets on Fire Anthony Antoine 297
The King Brothers Dick Mark S. King 300
Community Found Taylor Bailey 303
From Scared to Proud: The Journey of a Gay Medical Student Jake Kleinman 307
Authentic Self Sara Sperling 310
You Can Live a Life That's Worth Living Kate Bornstein 312
Epilogue Terry Miller 315
Some Curriculum Guidelines for Schools and Teachers 321
The Trevor Project 325
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) 327
ACLU LGBT Project 329
Photo and Comic Credits 331
Posted March 18, 2011
In response to the news of bullying and suicides, Savage and Miller made and uploaded a video 9/22/10 to tell teens it gets better. They expected 100 total videos. W/in 24 hours a second video was uploaded. In 3 days, there were over 200 videos; at the end of the week there were 1000. In week 4, President Obama has a video to upload. There are now more than 10,000 videos, and this is a printed form collection of over 110. The theme of the essays are why gay or questioning or outsider or bullied or any youth should not kill themselves or be self-destructive. It includes resources and suggestions. Contributors include Barack Obama, David Sedaris, Kate Clinton, Murray Hill, Bishop Gene Robinson, Ellen Degeneres, Tim Gunn, UK PM David Cameron, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Chaz Bono, Bruce Ortiz, PereZ Hilton, Alex Orue and many more. It also includes Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender woman who teaches at Colby in Maine, who writes about a post college incident where she drove to the literal edge of North America to end her life from a cliff; Gregory MaGuire, the author of "Wicked," as well as Kevin Yee, an actor in the Broadway musical based on the book, "Wicked," who in one of the funniest (and sad) essays, writes on his teen years in a boy band (Youth Asylum) in which the producers dyed his hair blond and tried to teach him to act more str8, wearing baggy pants, and mumble (their concept of str8). Urvashi Vaid (partner of Kate Clinton) writes about taking action in teens' lives; and Bishop Gene Robinson writes about god's love, religion, true religion, and how it gets not only better but continues to get better. Brinae Lois Gaudet in Wisconsin, just 1 year out of HS, writes about finding a safe zone in a college dorm (in high school, a local citizen forced his HS to remove "safe zone" signs). Alez R. Orve of Mexico City and Vancouver writes in Spanish about life in Mexico and Canada; Mark Ramirez (Anchorage) submitted an essay in ASL sign language; and another submitted an essay in Arabic. Lance Corporal James Wharton in London writes of life in the British Army and how he was married to his partner in his military barracks and was recently the cover pic and story of the UK's army magazine. Award winning novelist, Michael Cunningham, author of A Home At The End of the World, about a gay teen's crush on a straight friend, writes about confronting childhood friends and coming out on NPR; and Alison Bechtel submits a cartoon. In one essay, 22 Broadway actors tell snippets of their stories; while A. Y. Daring, a black lesbian and choreographer for Lady Gaga share hers. David Sedaris tells readers that people should keep journals, and that people who are good to you make lousy stories. The ones who are mean to you can be good essay characters. Jakes Shears (Jason Sellards) who with Scott Hoffman makes up the Scissor Sisters submits an essay on coming out at 15, being bullied very badly, and having the principal blame him for his own abuse (it was so bad, he moved schools), but finding a great life after graduation. There is a wide range of essays, and something for probably everyone to learn from.
8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 26, 2011
Before reading this book I had heard about the It Gets Better project and looked forward to reading the essays. As a teacher I wanted to read this collection to help my students but I had no idea the impact it would have on me. This book is not just for LGBTQ kids and teens, but for anyone who is even a little different and was made to feel bad for it. I found these essays encouraging and insightful and in addition to making me feel better about my own past, they were just what I wanted for helping my students. The educator guide at the end was an extra treat and I cannot wait to keep spreading the message that it does get better. Read this collection and soak in the wisdom and love of the included authors and prepare to feel hopeful and inspired. Spread the word.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 22, 2015
OMG!!!!! Im 13 too. And ive recently discovered that im a lesbian. I think the best thing to do first is tell your absolute closest friend. Thats what i did and shes still my besr friend. She was the one i had a crush on too. Also you dont have to tell people if ur not ready. They will probably get hints here and there as time goes by anyway. I dont think u should worry too much about it. Things will happen when ur ready for bthem to happen.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 21, 2015
Im bi maybe even straight out lesbian. Im 13 and i need help coming out to my parents. I dont know if they are gonna hate me or not. Parents are all different. If youave a coming out story or advice please respond to BFY -BFYWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 22, 2014
I am not here to insult you. Un like some of those other Christians im not "homophobic" which is fake. Im straight but i come bearing news. God destroyed Sodom and Gamora because there was thievery, rape, prostitution, and homosexuality. I am coming to warn you that if you continue on this path it will lead to destruction. I do not come to judge nor hate. I come to bring you to the love of God. Jesus died for you can you not listen to His laws. The Lord of all Creation. Died. And rose again for YOU. To the Christians: I know you may claim to be Christian but my dear brothers and sisters can we ever truly be Christians unless we know God? God would not yell at people or make up fake phobias for people who are different. We are the salt of the earth. The kingdom of the Creator. We are Gods army. our weapon is love. Our ammunition is in the Bible. Our shield is of the Lord God himself. Remember this and do unto others as you would have done unto thyself. Do it for God. ~ MIBNJBWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 16, 2014
Posted March 1, 2014
I know everyones like its wrong and the bible says not to do it. But the bible doesnt want you to do homossexual acts like just having sex to take advantage of the body in front of you. If god created us he knew whether we be straight or not if he knew we were gonna be gay why create us in the first place? He knew who we were gonna love. And we should love who we want regardless of gender. Im a christian and bi.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 25, 2013
You idiots think Gid didnt create s as well as you? Well im just going to say ee all came out a vagina give or take and we were all screaming kikinh crying and bloody right? Yep exactly we came out the same and it doesnt you kniw what i am kesbian and proud u dont care if you think i am disgusting bu imma do me so ehy cantbyou lay off and do you? I think bpeople who jydges others because they are not straight need to shove it because bet money somebody in there family is gay rather they eant them ti be o not... it isnt fair to be honest that we cant msrry we cant go into the army and get the same benifits bbut all you arrogant a-holes csn get thebenifits yiu know what God msde us an we ca be who we want to be because that is what He intended for us.... no mstter what you idiots who bring the bible and god into this like itbis anyone of their faults... and speaking of the bible that book is as old ss rocks and ya'll trying to usr that against us..... that aint gone work.....sorry but try agian... and seriously if you arr gay lesbian pabsexual transender or bisexual DO YOU!!!!!!!!! Aint nobody dtopping you but you so just be yourself..i mean i dont kno how to com out but ppl know just by looking at me....but i dont care i brud it off and try to get back up when i knocked down... and to those who mock us you bigots shouldnt know us down... and then stomp us ehen we try to get back up... its wrong.... oh and homophobia isnt real...its all in your head you lousy scum...grow up if you are still using that you are centuries late and need to grow up....dead serious...*Jade Farmer*
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 9, 2013
This girl at my school is bi and we r bestfriends every body has ther own opinions she is my bff and nobody talks crap about her cause she is black and stuff but every body liked her shes that girl who will stand up for u nmw ~ haters gona hateWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2013
Hahaha, you dirty homophobic scum. You actually think an internet famous gay teen is going to agree with you? Don't even try. If you think God doesn't love us: the Bible in no part says that being gay will make God no longer love you. It does say, though, that you should spread love, not hate. Gay people never make fun of heterosexual people for being straight. So why do that do us? What do you have against us? If you agree with me that straight people are more abnormal in agreement with the bible, post a review with the title #paytonisright. Post this on your Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else you have. Spread the word. Make sure everyone you know sees it.
~ Payton <3
Posted September 2, 2013
Ive told a few friends that Im bi and I have a girlfriend but I dont know how to come out to my parents. They arent homophobic but my girlfriends parents are extremely homophobic. I dont want to get her in trouble. Im 13 so I dont think theyll take me seriously. I want them to know. Coming out stories and advice would bf helpful. Thanks, <3 BekkahWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2013
When i was 8 i was introduced to porn then found gay porn and relized i liked that to i got cought several times on porn sites and then i met my older bros friend in boy scouts and we went out for awhile without anyone knowing then i moved and met my now best frend for life and she was bi and ecouraged me to come out of the closet and i started by dropping hints andthen i told my mom about my boy friend on acsedent when i was txting my friend about him then she told my dad and they were both fine with it andi found out my favorite unble is gay so that was an eventful day i hope this helps and i hope it workh out between u 2 <3 uWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 15, 2013
Posted July 14, 2013
Listen if u think being gay bi lesbian ect makes u an 'abomination' becuase god hates fags then why are we here!? God created us just like u so dont hate just cuz he made us cuter ~Jasmine LujanWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2013
Posted June 26, 2013
To all you ppl who say ewww or bring the bible into this shut up you have no right to tell other ppl they cant love who they want to love who do you think you are god?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2013
Dont go Tell people that being whatever they are is wrong. Thats just rude and sick in this context. Im Pansexual((meaning you dont have a sexual preference, you'll date anyone no matter trans bi lesbian gay etc)) But who cares wat other people preferences are?? Leave Lbgt People alone if you dont like them! "Homophobia isnt a phobia. You arent scared, youre just an as.s.hole" Morgan freemanWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2013
Posted May 21, 2013
Posted May 4, 2013