'It Gets Better' message for gay youth in US goes viral

An Internet campaign to support gay and lesbian youth who are being bullied, designed in response to several cases of suicides by gay youth, has become a viral online hit.

The campaign has garnered millions of views leading up to Wear Purple Day on Wednesday, championed by gay activists in a bid to stand against homophobia.

The "It Gets Better" campaign kicked off in late September when a gay male couple in Seattle posted a video to show support for troubled youth, promising their lives will eventually improve despite the hardship they face right now.

Since then, response and reply videos from hundreds of everyday Americans, celebrities, Broadway stars and even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have inundated the web with voices of solidarity.

"These most recent deaths are a reminder that all Americans have to work harder to overcome bigotry and hatred," Clinton said in a video posted online Tuesday, on the heels of a string of suicides by young people bullied because of their sexuality.

"I have a message for all the young people out there who are being bullied, or who feel alone and find it hard to imagine a better future: First of all, hang in there and ask for help," the top American diplomat, former first lady and ex-senator said, adding: "Your life is so important"

Dan Baer, the deputy assistant secretary of state, meanwhile also posted a video in direct response, praising the viral campaign.

"It gets better. That started off when a bunch of citizens came together to do something and yesterday the secretary of state posted her own video," he said Wednesday.

In the United States, gay youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexual youth, according to The Trevor Project, a helpline that provides advice and guidance 24 hours a day to gay youth in distress.

In one of the highest-profile recent suicides, a university student killed himself by jumping into the Hudson river after two fellow undergraduates filmed him having a gay encounter and broadcast it on the Internet.

The students who filmed the encounter were arrested last month.

The tragic incident appeared to be the latest in a growing trend of sophisticated technology and social networking sites being used to give old-fashioned bullying a vicious new twist.

But the proponents of the "It Gets Better" campaign hope to use those same tools to protect the victims of bullying.

One video, featuring young Texas councilman Joel Burns addressing local assembly, has become a stand-out hit.

"To those who feel very alone, things will get better," he said in the video that has so far attracted 1.8 million views.

"The attitude of society will change," he said in defense of youth tormented at school or in their communities for their sexual orientation.

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

    £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

    £18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum