I have been reading Dan Savage’s advice column in the Village Voice, Savage Love, since I was a teenager. Aside from the general voyeuristic peek advice into other peoples’ lives that all advice columns offer, I’ve always liked reading his because of him. His voice is so human, and he comes off as really funny, non-judgmental and seriously smart. Plus he’s political, an attribute I love in just about anyone. I was reading this weeks’ column while waiting for a bagel this morning, in which he talks about a project he’s doing on Youtube in honor of a kid named Billy Lucas. Billy was a fifteen-year-old in Indiana who endured repeated bullying from his classmates for being a “fag” – so a week into the school year, he hung himself in his grandmother’s barn. Dan Savage talked about how sad it is that grown up gay men and women aren’t generally allowed to come into schools and talk about their experiences being bullied and let gay teenagers know that it ‘s going to get better. In order to get that message out there, Savage has started a Youtube channel called It Gets Better Project. He’s asked gay men and women to post videos, speaking directly to kids who might not have other gay role models in their lives, sharing what their experiences have been and talking about some of the awesome stuff that has happened in their lives since high school ended.
The message that things will get better is one that I think a lot of kids need in high school, gay or not. I also just really love the use of Youtube as a political tool, rather than just a forum for videos of babies and dogs sleepwalking. Click “Read More” for the video Dan Savage and his husband made to start the project as well as Perez Hilton’s contribution.