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Gay Teen Suicide Prevention

In reference to the last bit in my last entry, some links that can hopefully help someone out there while we all work towards equality, or at the very very least, respect.


From Dan Savage's column this week about the It Gets Better Project:

IT GETS BETTER: Last week, I wrote about Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old kid in Indiana who took his own life after enduring years of bullying for being gay. Billy didn't identify as gay and may not have been gay. But the consequences of anti-gay bullying—whether the kid being harassed is gay or closeted or just different—are often the same: isolation, pain, despair, and suicide.

After last week's column went to press, I learned about another teenager—this one openly gay—who recently took his own life. Cody J. Barker was a 17-year-old high-school student in Shiocton, Wisconsin. Cody was a cyclist and a gardener and a Lady Gaga fan who had planned to start a gay-straight student alliance at his high school this fall. "He really cared about making schools a safe place for students," a friend of Cody's told the Wisconsin Gazette. "That wasn't always his own experience with school."

Billy Lucas in Indiana, Cody Barker in Wisconsin, Justin Aaberg in Minnesota—these three boys and countless other LGBT kids have committed suicide because they couldn't picture a future for themselves.

That's why my boyfriend and I launched the It Gets Better Project, a slightly grand name for a YouTube channel. We made a short video about our lives—the harassment we endured in school, the full and rewarding lives we enjoy now—and invited other LGBT adults to make and upload videos about their lives. The response has been completely overwhelming: thousands of members, hundreds of thousands of views, and more than 100 videos from people all over the world sharing their stories, all in an effort to let bullied and isolated and unhappy LGBT kids know that it gets better.

I think it's up to us, all of us, to make sure it gets better now.


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