Some of the attorneys working pro bono on the It Gets Better Project summarize the effects of the campaign so far in “It Gets Better”:
The Trevor Project, which operates a 24-hour crisis hot line, had been getting about 400 calls a week before the It Gets Better Project launched; now they’re getting about 1,000 calls a week. “Much of the population the Trevor Project serves is very difficult to reach,” notes Seth, so the It Gets Better Project has provided an invaluable resource for at-risk teens.
As of mid-November the It Gets Better Project had raised over $100,000 through foundation grants, individual donations, and t-shirt sales for The Trevor Project and GLSEN. Other exciting opportunities continue to emerge; for instance, Dutton, a division of Penguin Group USA, is publishing “It Gets Better” as a collection of essays from celebrities and ordinary people who want to share their stories. The book is scheduled for publication in March 2011, and Savage will donate his proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union to support its efforts on behalf of LGBT youth.
I am not a Glee fan (I am not a TV fan for many reasons), but I have the utmost respect for this show’s connection to the IGBP: Glee, Katy Perry, It Gets Better Project: An insiders look as to how songs and videos inspire a movement is well worth reading. Highlights:
The It Gets Better movement, which has already:
- Kicked out a bigoted Arkansas School Official
- Inspired anti-bullying legislation across the country, including in New Jersey and Texas
- Boosted calls to the Trevor Project hotline by 50%
- And most importantly inspired a new audience, an audience that a columnist from the Advocate calls goes “beyond the gay.” A stat that nobody knows — half of the thousands of people who have taken our pledge or donated are straight (an LGBT advocacy organization’s dream).
That’s monumental and a foundation for what Senator Sherrod Brown said on the Senate floor last week is a new generation of advocates for equality:
“History is on your side. It will, in fact, get better. Workers fought for the right to organize, women fought for the right to vote, African-Americans fought for equal justice and now LGBT Americans of all backgrounds are fighting for equality. It’s up to us to join this fight…it’s that spirit of inclusion, it’s the pursuit of the American Dream that will, in fact, make it better for these young people and that will make it better for all Americans.” – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown speech on floor of U.S. Senate (OH) 11/30/2010
If only we had 99 other Sherrod Browns in the Senate. We’d have equality and actually talking about issues like taxes instead of having endless and useless “debates” and “hearings” which waste time and government money.
I can’t wait to make it better. Can you?
I can think of a couple others to list as well:
- Write a Letter, Make It Better
- Inspiring legislation outside this country as well: It Gets Better Europe