It Gets Better

by Kate Henley Averett

Whilst procrastinating on my work last week, reading feministing–one of my favorite blogs–I came across the most beautiful thing.

It’s called the It Gets Better project, and it was started by Dan Savage and his husband Terry in response to the latest rash of gay teen suicides. Dan and Terry, like many others, reacted by saying “I wish there was something I could do about this.” But rather than stop there, they actually did something, and have given others an outlet to do the same.

The premise of the project is simple – GLBT adults are invited to make a youtube video addressing GLBT/questioning middle and high schoolers with the simple message that “it gets better.” People are responding, and in doing so, creating a virtual community of concerned, caring GLBT adults and allies, providing a virtual safe zone for kids who don’t have a physical one.

I haven’t made a video yet. I plan to. But I have spent some time watching some of the videos that have been posted. One thing that struck me right away in the first two videos I watched – Dan and Terry’s video, and one made by Perez Hilton – was the experience both Dan and Perez described of being bullied at their Catholic high schools. My heart breaks for any kid who is bullied at any school, but there is something especially wrong, in my mind, with this happening in places where Jesus’ message of love and justice is taught alongside other subjects.

I’m also struck by how, despite the bad experiences these men had at their religious high schools (Terry was also mercilessly bullied at a Christian school), there is something so incredibly Christ-like about this project. I like to think that if Jesus were on earth today, this is exactly the kind of thing he would do about the bullying of gay kids and teens – speak out against the injustice, and also do what he could to welcome these youth into his community.

Kate Henley Averett is currently pursuing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. A former youth minister and nanny, she cares a lot about the well being of kids, especially GLBTQ and otherwise gender non-conforming kids. She hopes that you’ll take some time to watch some of the amazing videos on the It Gets Better project’s youtube channel, at


One Response

  1. […] This post originally appeared on From the Pews in the Back on September 29, […]

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