Started as a response in the 'suicide epidemic' that was sweeping US at that time due to the homophobic bullying to teenagers such as Raymond Chase, Tyler Clementi, Ryan Halligan, Asher Brown, and Seth Walsh - the 'It Gets Better' project (IGB) have swept all over the United States, Europe and here in our little island of Singapore.
With the main goal to prevent suicide of LGBT teens by offering words of advice through personal experience sharing, IGB have touched tens of thousand of LGBT teenagers in the world - providing a virtual shoulder to lean on, when things get too rough in their lives.
The man pushing IGB into the foreground is Dan Savage, who said that he never got the permission to speak to Middle or High Schools in US; and realising, in the age of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, he didn't need that permission anymore.
IGB started on 21st September 2010, with its first viral video from Savage and his partner, Terry uploaded onto YouTube, encouraging others to take part in this movement. By the end of the first week, 200 new videos were uploaded onto its YouTube account and it reached its maximum 650 videos in the account by the end of the following week. To date, over 100,000 online videos from organizations, companies, celebrities, country leaders, ordinary netizens - from a myriad of different countries including everyone from the rainbow spectrum of sexual orientations - have contributed to IGB - now all safely organised in its own website - http://www.itgetsbetter.org/
Not seeing any signs of the movement slowing down, IGB launched a book in March 2011 - a collection of essays from the videos and from the various LGBT-friendly and community organisations. By evoking a strong sense of memory and inspiring hope in its viewers, no matter whether you are 8 or 80, IGB continues till this day to let video contributors tell their stories, in any way they want.
Hopefully, in time, it will help the millions of LGBT teenagers and those young at heart around the world - to inspire them with a message of a simple of hope and understanding - cos in life, it DOES GET BETTER.
Here are a few of our favourite IGB videos:
1) the video that started it all - Dan and Terry:
2) the Presidential IGB video that got the rest of the world leaders doing the same:
3) the IGB video from this little island of Singapore:
4) Chris Colfer from "Glee" shares a personal note for the Trevor Project
5) the Google Chrome PSA, that was featured in this week's "Glee" episode that got us grabbing the hankies.