A while back, following a number of suicides by gay youth who had been bullied, an amazing project was born. The It Gets Better Project is the brainchild of Dan Savage who knows first hand what growing up gay (or lesbian, bi or trans-gendered) is like.
The website has this to say about the project:
What is the It Gets Better Project?
In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
Two months later, the It Gets Better Project has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring over 5000 user-created videos and over 15 million views. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of “Glee”, Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google and Facebook, the Broadway community, and many more. For us, every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it.
The website www.itgetsbetterproject.com is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN.
Along with all the celebrity support, hundreds of videos have been produced by normal, everyday people who want to send messages of hope to the community. Chris and I have talked about making a video, but haven’t done it. We were both bullied as teens and responded in different ways. Today, we believe that It Gets Better and feel that we embody that. We’re both out of the closet, obviously married and not shy about it, we don’t hide our relationship, and are fairly happy having moved past the bullying and negative experiences of our younger day.
One of the most recent videos to be added is yet another celebrity (of a sort) – Max Adler who plays Karofsky on Glee. Karofsky is a football player and more importantly a bully. He’s quite fond of slamming Kurt into his locker and taunting him with hate speech. Recently though, we found out that Karofsky is actually a big closeted ‘mo himself when he kissed Kurt (who finally stood up for himself) in the locker room.
Max shot an It Gets Better video and it was featured on The Advocate.com yesterday. Although Max isn’t gay, I’m sure he’s seen his share of bullying in school and life, and I’m glad that he shot this seemingly honest video to counteract the damage being done by his character on Glee. I think having Karofsky’s character on Glee is important as a way of showing what really happens in school, and how most people who bully are really insecure themselves (although they’re not all gay of course).
You can watch Max’s video below, but be sure to check out the YouTube channel for more videos, and the It Gets Better Project’s website for more and how you can get involved.