gemified | November 23rd, 2010 - 12:01 am

It Gets Better

When I was recently in the US the news was filled with the story of Tyler Celmenti, the Rutgers student who committed suicide. This was one of a number of recent suicides amongst LGBT youth in the US. It was Tyler’s death however that stuck most in my head. His picture was shown every time there was a news broadcast and was on the front page of publications such as People and not just newspapers. It was the fact that he was a Rutgers student, the same school that Rachael Hip-Flores and Alexis Slade graduated from, that resonated loudest. This student, whose face stared out at us, could have been their classmate, he could have been staying in the same dorm as them, and they could have passed him a hundred times in the hallways.

Tyler’s story is the one of many LGBT youth in the US, and around the world, who are tormented and bullied because of who they are. Make no mistake, it is because of who they are that they are victimised. It is not because of the colour of the socks, or where they live, or because they talk with an accent. They are targeted because they simply are who they are. You would hope that we as a species would have moved on to a level of intelligence and decency that being who you are is celebrated, unfortunately that time has not yet come. Many LGBT youth feel they have no choice but to hide who they are. They have seen what can happen when you don’t. Without positive openly gay role-models in their lives they struggle to believe they have much of a future.

The It Gets Better Project is designed to do exactly what it says on the jar, to tell LGBT youth that it does get better. Started in September 2010 the It Gets Better movement has swept across the world. Politicians, celebrities, youth groups, organisations, and many others have recorded video messages that have been broadcast online spreading the It Gets Better message.

“The website is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people 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 story of Vivian and Aster is central to ABM, and I have no doubt that the presence of such a positive depiction of a young gay couple is part of its mass appeal. The LGBT community is close to the hearts of all of the ABM cast members and they work tirelessly, in addition to their work on the show, with various LGBT groups and other charitable organisations. Rachael Hip-Flores will be narrating the documentary ‘One Voice, Many Faces‘ on homeless LGBT youth in the near future. Nicole Pacent is in the process of creating a non-profit organisation called Relief through Rock in order to raise money towards cancer research in the hope that something can be done about that terrible disease in our lifetime, and has already appeared in an It Gets Better video created by the team from Autostraddle. The cast and crew of ABM do so much for us, and for the communities they and we are apart of, that I think it is time we did something in return.

We want to create an It Gets Better video, and we need YOU to make that happen. Now I know we lead busy lives, that some of you have college assignments, or children, or other numerous demands on your time. I understand that, trust me I do. What I am asking you though is this, if you cannot afford the time, can you afford to live in a world where people like Tyler or Justin Aaberg or Billy Lucas or Cody Barker or Asher Brown or Seth Walsh or Raymond Chase or countless other youth whose stories we don’t know take their lives because they feel they have no other option? I hope your answer is no.

When you are young, everything is magnified and the challenges the world throws at you often seem overwhelming. Sometimes all you need is someone to tell you that you can make it through, that there is so much more to life, if you just stick around to see it.

I appreciate that not all of you are comfortable in front of the camera either, I really understand that one. You may not want to record a long message; however, many of the messages on It Gets Better videos are simply people saying that, “It gets better.” Imagine what that would mean to you, if when you felt most down, someone you didn’t know halfway round the world took the time to turn to you and say three simple words, “It gets better.” Those simple acts of kindness, although seemingly small, are the very things that change the world.

If you would like to contact us to be part of this project please do so. Our contact details can be found in the ‘About Us’ section. We are available via the Forum, by e-mail, by Twitter, yell loud enough and we might even hear you.

Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon
ABM Fans

For anyone who is affected by bullying then know that there are people to talk to. Please contact the Trevor Project to speak to someone or a similar organisation in your country.

You are not alone, and it does get better!

2 Responses to “”

  1. Mayara says:

    I feel so stupid….I don’t get how it works! the whole page, I don’t get it! =/ I wanted to participate in the Mastermind..=/ I didn’t understand it =/

    • gemified says:

      Don’t feel stupid, what’s the problem? We normally put a post in the Forum but we didn’t for this round, we will for future rounds though. Just tell us you want to be included and let us know your e-mail and we’ll be in contact. Simple :)

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