Arment Dietrich

Viral Video Campaign: It Gets Better

By: Arment Dietrich | October 28, 2010 | 
15

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?

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15 Comments on "Viral Video Campaign: It Gets Better"

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jonbuscall
5 years 6 months ago

Here in Sweden we teach kids from a very young age that its socially acceptable to be gay. As early as kindergartan. I love the fact that Mr Teen can bring his friends home, including his openly gay friend, and no one bats an eyelid. Friends, parents and all the other kids. I hope it becomes as open as this all around the world. But it takes courage and legislation.

KevinVandever
KevinVandever
5 years 6 months ago
Thanks for the post! I think you are correct. Getting through to the bullies is the hard part. I’m no expert, but it seems that there so much depth and complexity behind what makes a kid become a bully. When I coached youth football just outside of Chicago, I saw, and worked with, some of these kids and they were usually insecure and non-trusting of teammates. As coaches, we tried to teach all the kids to trust one another and understand the need to work together to achieve success. By season’s end, we usually had them on the same page… Read more »
ginidietrich (Gini Dietrich)
5 years 6 months ago

Really good message from @MolliMegasko on bullies and gay youth http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

katieatvistage (Katie Reynolds)

RT @ginidietrich: Really good message from @MolliMegasko on bullies and gay youth http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

kevinvandever (Kevin Vandever)
5 years 6 months ago

RT @ginidietrich: Really good message from @MolliMegasko on bullies and gay youth http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

angelica7641 (Angelica)
5 years 6 months ago

RT @kevinvandever: RT @ginidietrich: Really good message from @MolliMegasko on bullies and gay youth http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

MomieTullottes (Lyn Lomasi)
5 years 6 months ago

RT @ginidietrich: Really good message from @MolliMegasko on bullies and gay youth http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

SuccessParent (Parent Successfully)

RT @ginidietrich: Really good message from @MolliMegasko on bullies and gay youth http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

ginidietrich (Gini Dietrich)
5 years 6 months ago

The “It Gets Better” campaign…thoughts from @MolliMegasko http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

shellykramer (Shelly Kramer)
5 years 6 months ago

RT @ginidietrich: The “It Gets Better” campaign…thoughts from @MolliMegasko http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

iabhealthplans (Cris Badgley)
5 years 6 months ago

RT @shellykramer: RT @ginidietrich: The “It Gets Better” campaign…thoughts from @MolliMegasko http://bit.ly/a6JCPo

wabbitoid
5 years 6 months ago
There are several lessons here. As the parent of a gay teen I’m strongly supportive of the message and know it’s absolutely crucial. But you don’t have to be down withou our cause to see the strength of this campaign. This has been a huge issue in the abstract for a long time, but we’re seeing a very human side to it that was missing in all the politics and grandstanding. People, working together because they simply felt htey had to, have turned that issue around. It’s simple and direct. They tell their stories plainly and let you draw your… Read more »
jelenawoehr
jelenawoehr
5 years 6 months ago
I think the bullies need to hear “It gets better,” too. Many of them aren’t getting love or attention at home. Some kids are for sure just bad seeds, but more often they are learning violence from their parents whether from parents abusing each other, abusing them, or simply ignoring them. The bullies don’t know it gets better, so to get to the same level as others instead of raising themselves up they tear anyone who looks like an easy target down. I’m a big believer in animal-assisted therapy and nature therapy for kids with anger issues (obviously not the… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t know if high school would be the same if there were no bullies, but I think this message should extend further than gay youths. It could be the same for kids with handicaps, kids from broken homes, kids in lower income families, kids in higher income families. Yeah…everyone. We all get bullied. We all judge others. It’s time to begin treating one another with respect as human beings. Perhaps America should take lessons from Sweden, as @jonbuscall suggests.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
5 years 5 months ago
I agree– while these messages are great, we need to emphasize not only that it gets better but that we have to CHOOSE to make it better– that there is some level of agency in all of this. Likewise with bullies. I’d venture to bet, though, that many would not consider themselves bullies if they were asked. The “it gets better” message may be a way to reach bullies, too, who via these videos, realizes (maybe even subconsciously) the damage they’re doing. As an aside, here is a humorous take on the “it gets worse” concept for bullies: http://youtu.be/sJGkPrUOnbA Finally,… Read more »
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