Aaron's Reviews > It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living

It Gets Better by Dan Savage
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Aug 31, 11


Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller kicked off the It Gets Better movement after a series of teen suicides caught media attention a few summers ago. In each of the cases, teens committed suicide because they were bullied and taunted for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Some of these teens were queer and some weren't. That fact doesn't really matter because the ultimate harm was done.

Savage and Miller created a short podcasted film that they posted with the hopes of getting a 100 or so other people to do something similar. Each video would talk to GLBTQ kids about being bullied and make sure that they understood that even though they were going through a tough time, they will find that it gets better. They just have to stick it out. And their are people all over the world who are like them, who have been where they are, and want them to hold onto hope for the future because things will improve.

Neither knew how much the movement would take hold. Politicians like President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron participated as did celebrities of all stripes, including young adult authors, athletes like the Boston Red Sox, and actors, musicians, and performers of every stripe. There were also everyday people who just stepped forward to share their stories as well so the teens would realize that happiness could be found without fame or fortune.

This book is made up of essays that summarize the transcripts of many of the videos produced or just new essays that are similar in style. Some or in native tongues like Arabic and Spanish and accompanied by an English translation.

It is really hard to read these works without getting teary-eyed at what some of these people have been through. They really open up about the hardships they confronted, and these really are calls for the kids to just hold out. These are personal please.

If you would like to learn more about the It Gets Better Project, hosted by the Trevor Project, you can see tons of videos and here all sorts of stories at the website.

The only complaint I have about the book is that, while it is incredibly moving, it is hard to read straight through. The message is so consistent throughout that it is hard to stay fresh. That is not to say that it is not a tremendously important message, but it is just difficult to stay unique throughout the length of the book. I would suspect most people would sit down and choose which people they would be interested in reading about.
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