Many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults, and as recent suicides in the United States have hit the worlds press, Noted writer and media pundit Dan Savage has founded the “It Gets Better Project” as a unique way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT Youth that – it gets better.
David Valdes Greenwood was 15 when he climbed to the highest arch of a bridge in his small Maine town in the US and got ready to jump.
It was 1982. He was distraught over a pastor’s Sodom and Gomorrah sermon that said his homosexuality would bring God’s wrath down on everyone around him. He didn’t think his friends, family and fellow churchgoers deserved to suffer because he was gay.
“It had never occurred to me that I would wound people by my simply existing,” Greenwood said. “And it seemed kind of true.”
Thankfully, a neighbour walked by and shouted for him to stop fooling around up there. Greenwood listened, then fled town the first chance he got.
All grown-up, married to a man he loves, with a 5-year-old daughter they adore, the 43-year-old Greenwood hopes gay young people in pain will now listen to him. So do hundreds of others who, like Greenwood, have taken to YouTube to make a promise: If you hang on through the self-doubt, the coming-out years, through the slurs, the isolation at school and being slammed up against the lockers, through the rejection and anger of parents and grandparents, it gets better — a whole lot better.
Moved by a recent spate of suicides by teens who were believed to be victims of anti-gay bullying, syndicated relationship and sex advice columnist Dan Savage began the YouTube project Sept. 21, hoping it would turn into exactly what it is: a destination for gay young people to receive comfort from a variety of perspectives on their Internet home turf.
Dan recently gave this interview to CNN about the project :
Here in the UK, we also have many agencies and help groups available to support people struggling to accept their sexuality. Most of our major towns have gay switchboards and their contact details and phone numbers can be found here.
The Wiltshire & Swindon Men’s Sexual Health group have also produced a guide to “Coming Out” which can be found here.