It Gets Better
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|Founder(s)||Dan Savage and Terry Miller|
|Founded||September 21, 2010|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Key people||Dan Savage (Founder / Lead)|
|Method||Public education, viral online videos|
|Revenue||$100,000+ in 2010|
|Parent Organization||Iola Foundation|
|Motto||It Gets Better|
|Support this organization's work.|
The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project's goal is to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better.
The project's website aspires to be a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. On the website, individuals 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.
The project has an office and board based in Los Angeles with representatives in New York, Seattle and Washington, DC.
In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller 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. Within two months, the It Gets Better Project inspired over 10,000 user-created videos viewed over 35 million times.
Savage wrote, about the founding of the project, "I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better."
- September 9, 2010: Billy Lucas of Greensberg, Indiana dies by suicide.
- September 21, 2010: Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller upload their first video on to an official YouTube channel; Perez Hilton records It Gets Better Project video.
- September 22, 2010: Tyler Clementi from Rutgers University dies by suicide.
- September 28, 2010: Lala and Ciara record a video for It Gets Better Project.
- September 26, 2010: Castro Plaza in San Francisco, CA: Filmed an “It Gets Better” message with a large crowd – anyone who wanted to take part was allowed.
- October 1, 2010: Cast of Wicked records a video for It Gets Better Project.
- October 3, 2010: Chicago, Illinois - Center on Halsted invited people to record their own videos for the It Gets Better Project.
- October 4, 2010: Chris Colfer, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, Jenny McCarthy, Anne Hathaway, Rex Lee, Michael Chiklis, record videos for It Gets Better Project.
- October 5, 2010: Ke$ha, Tim Gunn record videos for It Gets Better Project.
- October 6, 2010: Zachary Quinto records a video for It Gets Better Project.
- October 8, 2010: Initial website launched with the help of BlueStateDigital, first official grassroots fundraiser in Washington, DC attracts 500 people.
- October 9, 2010: Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet record a video for It Gets Better Project.
- October 10, 2010: Over 50 members of the Philadelphia community record messages of hope and support for LGBT youth, creating It Gets Better – Philly's Video.
- October 11, 2010: Charlotte, North Carolina – Local LGBT organizations and other community groups partner to present an It Gets Better candlelight vigil and concert in memory of LGBT young people who fell victim to anti-gay bullying.
- October 12, 2010: Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns broadcasts his video for It Gets Better Project.
- October 16, 2010: At Cure in New Orleans, cameras and microphones were set up for people to record their own It Gets Better Project videos.
- October 18, 2010: Dan Savage holds conversation with 500 Rutgers University students, Adam Lambert records a video for It Gets Better Project.
- October 19, 2010: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Google employees record videos for It Gets Better Project.
*October 20, 2010: It Gets Better Project achieves 10 million video views on YouTube, website 2.0 launch. It Gets Better rally in Nova Scotia.
- October 21, 2010: President Obama posts his video for It Gets Better Project. It Gets Better Project reaches 100,000 supporter mark.
- October 24, 2010: Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles record a video for It Gets Better Project. It Gets Better Benefit at Rocca in Boston. The private dining room was set up so anyone who's moved to do so can record their own reassuring messages to LGBT youth.
- October 25, 2010: Cal State Fullerton became part of the It Gets Better Project by holding an event in support of the recent teenage suicides by students who have been bullied because of their sexual orientation. Dressed in purple, students gathered next to the Pollak Library and were given the option to make a video or write on the wall provided to share their stories and words of encouragement.
- October 25 - 27, 2010: The Abbey in West Hollywood transformed into a studio where people could contribute their own It Gets Better videos. Donations as well as a raffle raised money to benefit the Trevor Project.
- October 26, 2010: Facebook employees post It Gets Better Project video.
- October 27, 2010: In response to recent queer youth suicides, Ryerson University held an It Gets Better Project/Because We Make it Better event.
- October 28, 2010: Seattle, Washington: Hivster.com, in conjunction with the It Gets Better Project, sponsored a Trevor Project fundraiser at Rosebud Restaurant & Bar. People were given the opportunity to record and upload their own It Gets Better Project videos.
- November 3, 2010: Eleven in West Hollywood hosts an evening to support the It Gets Better Project and the Trevor Project.
- November 5, 2010: It Gets Better Project event at Soundbar in Lexington, Kentucky raises over $10,000 for the Trevor Project.
- November 15-23: Ohio State arranges for all students, faculty, staff and community members to make their own It Gets Better Project videos.
- November 18: Gender Rights Network and BGLAD at Boise State hold an It Gets Better Project anti-bullying rally, march and vigil.
- November 19: Sponsored by Guava Lamp and [[Outsmart Magazine==, Houston hold’s its first It Gets Better Project event to benefit The Trevor Project.
- November 22, 2010: Sponsored by Equality Spokane and Spotlight Lounge, anyone who wanted to could stop by and make their own It Gets Better Project video.
- Thanksgiving Weekend 2010: It Gets Better Project Film Festival held in Houston, TX. The festival showcased LGBT themed films and concluded with a Gay Teen Awards Ceremony recognizing and honoring gay teens for their contribution to the community.
- December 2, 2010: Rainbow Toastmasters of San Francisco holds fundraising event to benefit the It Gets Better Project, the Trevor Project and LYRIC.
- December 4, 2010: LGBT Community Center in New Orleans held an It Gets Better Project make your own video event. All donations collected were given to the Trevor Project.
- December 13, 2010: GSA in Portland, Maine held an It Gets Better Project make your own video event.
- January 6, 2011: Employees of Microsoft GLEAM make an It Gets Better video; employees of Eli Lilly and Co. make an It Gets Better video.
- January 11, 2011: Employees of Yahoo! make an It Gets Better video.
- January 15, 2011: Members of London’s theatre community make an It Gets Better video.
- January 18, 2011: Utah Senator Ross Romero makes an It Gets Better video.
- January 19, 2011: UCLA makes an It Gets Better video.
- January 21-23, 2011: It Gets Better Project goes to Park City to promote the project at Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals. Slamdance Film Festival held an It Gets Better Project make your own video event.
- January 31, 2011: Dining Out for a Cause in Washington, DC donated 10% of their proceeds to the It Gets Better Project.
- February 3, 2011: The North Carolina State University GLBT Center makes an It Gets Better video.
- February 7, 2011: Employees of Draftfcb make an It Gets Better video.
- February 10-17, 2011: Derek Fabulous hosts an It Gets Better Lounge at New York Fashion Week, where those attending can make their own It Gets Better video. Contributors include Keri Hilson, Kat DeLuna, Isaac Mizrahi, Alexis Bittar, Marisol Deluna, June Ambrose, Pieter & Myken Stewart, Roxanne Jones, Mike Ruiz, Amanda Hearst, Gabrielle Union, Judith Light, Joanna Coles, Ann Shoket, and Miguel.
- February 16, 2011: Solid Ground announces Dan Savage as keynote speaker at 11th Annual Building Community Luncheon on May 6, 2011; employees of fab.com make an It Gets Better video.
- February 17, 2011: SUNY Geneseo makes an It Gets Better Video.
- February 25, 2011: “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”, the Broadway musical, airs first broadcast television It Gets Better public service announcement.
- February 28, 2011: Emory University president Jim Wagner makes an It Gets Beter video; The Vancouver Men’s Chorus makes an It Gets Better video.
- March 10, 2011: World Championship boxer Sergio Martinez makes an It Gets Better video.
- March 17, 2011: Bayer Healthcare makes an It Gets Better video; the National Gay Pilots Association makes an It Gets Better video.
- March 22, 2011: The It Gets Better book is released; Dan and Terry make appearances in New York; Dan Savage appears on the Gayle King Show.
- March 23, 2011: Dan and Terry promote the It Gets Better book in Chicago.
- March 24, 2011: Dan and Terry promote the It Gets Better book in Los Angeles.
- March 25, 2011: Dan and Terry promote the It Gets Better book in San Francisco.
- March 26, 2011: Brazos Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Houston, TX, holds an event to celebrate the release of the It Gets Better book.
- March 29, 2011: Dan Savage and Terry Miller speak at Seattle Town Hall about the It Gets Better book.
- April 3, 2011: Beehive Books in Central Ohio holds an event to celebrates the release of the It Gets Better Book.
- April 14, 2011: Colgate University makes an It Gets Better video.
- April 13, 2011: Named for Seth Walsh, California Assembly Education Committee passes Seth's Law, a bill to address school bullying and create safe environments for students.
- April 15, 2011: Apple employees make an It Gets Better video.
- April 18, 2011: Dan Savage & Terry Miller announced as NYC Pride March Grand Marshals.
- May 2, 2011: Google Chrome releases the It Gets Better Project themed commercial.
- May 8, 2011: Google Chrome It Gets Better Project video airs during NBA Playoffs.
- May 12, 2011: Front Runners New York announces it will donate proceeds of the 30th Annual Pride Run to the It Gets Better Project.
- May 17, 2011: Terry Miller returns to his high school, Shadle Park High School in Spokane, WA, to speak about the It Gets Better Project.
- May 25, 2011: Old Navy announces a new line of Pride shirts in support of the It Gets Better Project.
- May 26, 2011: Texas Legislature passes anti-bullying law.
- May 28, 2011: The Yale Divinity School makes an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 1, 2011: The San Francisco Giants become the first major professional sports team to contribute to the It Gets Better Project.
- June 2, 2011: CA Assembly approves Seth's Law. Measure now moves to CA Senate.
- June 3, 2011 Chicago Cubs announce plans to make an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 4, 2011: Boston Red Sox announce plans to make an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 7, 2011: American Airlines LGBT employees group, GLEAM, makes an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 9, 2011: High School Transgender Prom Queen makes an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 13, 2011: Dan Savage and the It Gets Better Project receive a Webby Award for Achievement.
- June 17, 2011: Dell employees make an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 17, 2011: GM employees make an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 20, 2011: Chicago Cubs make an It Gets Better Project video. CBS employees make an It Gets Better Project video. 24 Hour Fitness make an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 21, 2011: Punk band Rise Against releases music video for "Make It Stop (September's Children)" in support of the It Gets Better Project.
- June 22, 2011: California State Senate approve Seth's Law, to tighten anti-bullying policies and create safe schools for all students.
- June 24, 2011: Marriage Equality Act Passed by NY State Senate 33-29.
- June 26, 2011: Dan Savage and Terry Miller are Grand Marshals of the 42nd Annual NYC Pride Parade.
- June 29, 2011: Thirteen U.S. Democratic Senators make an It Gets Better Project video.
- June 30, 2011: Ernst & Young employees make an It Gets Better Project video.
- July 1, 2011: Boston Red Sox make an It Gets Better Project video.
- July 20, 2011: Stephen Colbert makes an It Gets Project video.
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, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more.
For more information on what organizations and individuals have contributed to It Gets Better, check out:
- YouTube Search for It Gets Better
- It Gets Better's video list
- List of contributors in project's Wikipedia article
- Category:Articles with It Gets Better videos
On March 22, 2011, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, a book of essays edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller on the same theme as the web video project, was released. It contains more than 100 essays, some transcribed or expanded from the videos and others original. Contributors include Jennifer Finney Boylan, Gregory Maguire, Meshell Ndegeocello, Michael Cunningham, Suze Orman, and David Sedaris. The book is published by Dutton Penguin. It made the New York Times bestseller list.
 Stated statistics
According to the project's website:
- Calls to the Trevor Project suicide hotline have increased over 50%.
- 9 out of 10 LGBT students have experienced harassment at school.
- LGBT teens are bullied 2 to 3 times as much as straight teens.
- More than 1/3 of LGBT kids have attempted suicide.
- LGBT kids are 4 times as likely to attempt suicide then our straight peers.
- LGBT youth with “highly rejecting” families are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than those whose families accept them.
- By the end of 2010, the It Gets Better Project raised over $100,000 from 2,500+ grassroots contributors to help LGBT youth.
 Funding / Support
It Gets Better offers multiple ways to give, including online donations and event sponsorship. Videos contained within the project are donated and uploaded to YouTube by individuals.