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Dan Savage to LGBT Teens: 'It Gets Better'
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Sex advice columnist and author Dan Savage is sending a message to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens: It will get better, really!
Savage has launched the It Gets Better Project, a campaign on YouTube that's meant to assure young people that no matter what they are experiencing, including family rejection, bullying or harassment, there is a future beyond high school.
The project, he tells MSNBC, was prompted by the recent suicide of Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old who reportedly suffered homophobic harassment at Indiana's Greensburg High School. Savage created the site in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day, held earlier this month.
The It Gets Better Project features an eight-minute video where Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, candidly discuss their experiences as gay youth, fast-forwarding to their lives today as a family and the parents of a son, D.J.
Savage tells MSNBC he hopes others will create videos for the project, as well, sharing messages of optimism about their adult lives as open and proud gay and lesbian people.
"Today we have the power to give these kids hope," he tells MSNBC. "We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. So let's show them what our lives are like, let's show them what the future may hold in store for them."
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's latest National School Climate Survey, released earlier this month, reports nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment and nearly two-thirds of them felt unsafe in school. Only 11 states currently specify LGBT students as a protected class in anti-bullying and harassment legislation.
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