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Authors: Dan Savage

It Gets Better

BOOK: It Gets Better
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Table of Contents
 
 
Also by Dan Savage
Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist
 
The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant
 
Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America
 
The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family
DUTTON
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.); Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England; Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd); Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd); Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India; Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd); Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First printing, March 2011
 
Introduction and epilogue copyright © 2011 by Dan Savage and Terry Miller
All rights reserved
 
Permissions appear on pages 333-338 and constitute an extension of the copyright page.
It Gets Better
®
, It Gets Better Project
®
, and the It Gets Better Project logo are trademarks of Savage Love, LLC.
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
 
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA HAS BEEN APPLIED FOR.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-51340-8
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
 
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

http://us.penguingroup.com

For all the LGBT kids . . .
“You gotta give 'em hope.”
 
—HARVEY MILK
STAY WITH US
by Jules Skloot
BROOKLYN, NY
 
 
O
kay. Listen up, people.
It gets better. You being here makes this world a more blessed place. There's art to be made. And there are songs to be sung. There's so much to learn about yourself. There are sexy people to make out with. Yeah.
There's joy coming for you. So stay with us. It gets better.
 
Jules Skloot
is a performer, choreographer, and educator working to make things better every day in Brooklyn, New York.
INTRODUCTION
O
ne hundred videos.
That was the goal, and it seemed ambitious: one hundred videos—best-case scenario: two hundred videos—made by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.
I was sitting in a hotel room in Bloomington, Indiana, when I began to suspect that we were going to see a lot more than one hundred videos. The video that I had made with my husband, Terry, a week earlier, the very first It Gets Better video, had been live on YouTube for just a few hours when e-mails and likes and friend requests started coming in so fast that my computer crashed. The second It Gets Better video arrived within twenty-four hours. Three days later we hit one hundred videos. Before the end of the first week, we hit one thousand videos.
Terry and I were relieved to learn that we weren't the only people out there who wanted to reach out to LGBT kids in crisis.
 
Justin Aaberg was just fifteen when he killed himself in the summer of 2010. He came out at thirteen, and endured years of bullying at the hands of classmates in a suburban Minnesota high school. Justin hanged himself in his bedroom; his mother found his body.
Billy Lucas, also fifteen, wasn't gay-identified but he was perceived to be gay by his classmates in Greensburg, Indiana. His tormentors threatened him, called him a fag, and urged him to kill himself. Billy hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property in early September of 2010. His mother found his body.
Reading about Justin and Billy was emotionally crushing—I was particularly outraged to learn that “Christian” parents were blocking efforts to address the rampant anti-gay bullying at Justin's school, claiming that doing so would somehow infringe upon the “religious freedom” of their straight children—and I began to think about the problem of anti-gay bullying.
BOOK: It Gets Better
11.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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