If you have not heard of this video campaign targeting gay youths, you must not go online often. Thousands of people, including handfuls of celebrities, have made YouTube videos letting gay teenagers know that “it gets better.”
Just four weeks ago, after the horrible news of tragic teenage suicides (due to being bullied to the point where they thought ending their lives was the easier decision), Dan Savage, a homosexual sex columnist, started the viral campaign with messages of how it does get better, also pointing viewers to the Trevor Project, a toll-free telephone line for gay youths at risk.
According to the New York Times, “The YouTube channel for ‘It Gets Better’ is the third largest source of traffic to the Trevor Project, and there has been a great increase in calls in the last month.”
Videos such as Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns holding back tears telling his story and Chelsea Handler saying that being gay is OK, are just some of the popular messages that are getting through to people. It’s fantastic to see everyday citizens getting together to do what they can and using social media to help others. But it hurts to read that the teachers, parents, and principals of the kids who took their lives knew that they were getting bullied.
What are we doing to get through to these bullies that their actions might end up in the loss of a life?
Is there something we can do to reach these kids? With the success of the “It Gets Better” campaign, can we piggy-back off of that in a way to let these bullies know that their lives could get worse? That they could suffer from the burden of something as heavy as death for as long as they live.
I applaud Dan Savage and all those who have made a video and taken the pledge on the site. It is obvious that this powerful campaign is helping. Now let’s take it one step further and do the hard part. Let’s spark change. Let’s gather ideas here and we’ll collect some of the top thoughts to present to Mr. Savage and see where we can help.
What are some of your ideas on reaching and getting through to the bullies?