Bullying | Dan Savage | News

Watch: Dan Savage Launches Anti-Bullying YouTube Project


"It gets better."

That's the message Dan Savage wants to send to LGBT and questioning youth in America who are being bullied, with the launch of a YouTube channel to which he hopes people will contribute.

Writes Dan:

I’ve launched a channel on YouTube—www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject—to host these videos. My normally camera-shy husband and I already posted one. We both went to Christian schools and we were both bullied—he had it a lot worse than I did—and we are living proof that it gets better. We don’t dwell too much on the past. Instead, we talk mostly about all the meaningful things in our lives now—our families, our friends (gay and straight), the places we’ve gone and things we’ve experienced—that we would’ve missed out on if we’d killed ourselves then.

“You gotta give ’em hope,” Harvey Milk said.

Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it gets better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can’t imagine a future for themselves. So let’s show them what our lives are like, let’s show them what the future may hold in store for them.

Watch Dan and Terry's video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Instructions for submitting your own video are here.

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  1. You go, Dan. Good on you.

    Posted by: Kyle Sullivan | Sep 21, 2010 6:55:28 PM

  2. It's a great gesture and I like the beginning bit, but then Dan and his partner come across as a bit too smug and in love with themselves and their pretty little lives. Yeah, it got better for YOU! But not everyone has accepting families who embrace them AND their boyfriends and are wealthy enough to adopt kids.

    Posted by: James Marigold | Sep 21, 2010 7:01:37 PM

  3. This man disgusts me!! He always looks soo sickly and sallow and yet sooo freaking smug!! I pray for those children!!

    Posted by: Kayla | Sep 21, 2010 7:13:22 PM

  4. James, I'm sorry but, you sound like you are still in high school. I don't have an accepting family but have found one of my own in my friends and I am not wealthy but I am fortunate in that I am raising my daughter on my own. I hope you find your happiness some day.

    Posted by: Phil Listrom | Sep 21, 2010 7:15:22 PM

  5. "Yeah, it got better for YOU! But not everyone has accepting families who embrace them AND their boyfriends and are wealthy enough to adopt kids."

    I know plenty of gay people who are not accepted by their families, don't get to take their partners home, and don't have children. They still have happy lives, especially compared to the hell that high school is for many gay kids.

    The point is IT GETS BETTER.

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 21, 2010 7:16:01 PM

  6. i wonder how many high school kids will listen to middle aged gay men? Will the kids really pay attention? Both men look great. They don't smoke nicotine, they work out and respect their bodies, and they stay active with gay citizens. Bravo. I just don't think the kids will pay much attention to men old enough to be their dads. Just sayin.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Sep 21, 2010 7:21:27 PM

  7. Yeah, I can't quite put my finger on it, but Dan comes across a little bit too happy with himself and his precious husband. Instead of giving hope to teens, he seems to be celebrating himself as usual.

    Posted by: Peter | Sep 21, 2010 7:22:03 PM

  8. Is Savage trying to increase gay teen suicide, telling young people that they're gonna be like him is like giving them a loaded gun and telling them to pull the trigger! God, I repeat, this man disgusts me!!

    Posted by: Kayla | Sep 21, 2010 7:26:09 PM

  9. Dan is always a bit smug but he's also usually right. High school kids might not listen to just any middle aged man, but Dan is a nationally known sex columnist read by millions of people, as well as the go-to gay for CNN and tons of other networks, in addition to his speaking tours and many other public appearances. If they seem happy I don't see how that's a bad message to send kids. (Actually junior high was far worse for me than high school, but that's irrelevant. My advice to unhappy gay youth would be to skip grades, escape high school ASAP, and go to college somewhere gay friendly.)

    I've always wondered what Terry looks like.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 21, 2010 7:32:41 PM

  10. A media whore is a media whore no matter what. Let's hope he does some good anyway.

    Posted by: Jimbo | Sep 21, 2010 7:36:20 PM

  11. Wow.

    What a lot of nasty, negative, cunty remarks on this thread. Typical. Someone tries to do something POSITIVE for the queer community and dumbasses shit all over it because they don't like the messenger. And, it DOES GET BETTER! (and, if it doesn't, then you're doing something wrong.) Teenagers have zero power. Turning 18 and graduating from high school gives EVERY LGBT teen the power to change their lives by going to college, getting a job, moving to a new and more tolerant place; doing SOMETHING to leave that old life behind.
    Or, they can stay where they are, continue their harassed lives and grow up to be a bunch of bitter bitches that comment on websites and shit over everything they don't like.

    Posted by: Michael Strangeways | Sep 21, 2010 7:37:22 PM

  12. @ strangeways, I not a bitter bitch, and actually just left my teenage years, being 20yrs old (soon to be 21 in November). But Dan's disgusting column in response to the prop 8 vote, means he will always be hated by myself. It's become my personal indulgence to despise Dan Savage, otherwise, I'm a very happy, pleasant and rather fun human being! I reserve all my rage for one man, and his name is Savage!!

    Posted by: Kayla | Sep 21, 2010 7:46:30 PM

  13. I don't post much and this may be a bit off topic but what about the negative comments that the "pretty" gay guys say about gay men who may be overweight or just "average?" I've heard it myself and to be quite honest, it was hurtful.

    Posted by: Chance | Sep 21, 2010 7:50:04 PM

  14. sorry about the typo "I'm" not "I"!!

    Posted by: Kayla | Sep 21, 2010 7:50:35 PM

  15. OK... If this is the only video they post, then ya - it's smarmy and a little bit self-congratulatory. But it's a channel, see, so I'm guessing there's is just the first of many identical videos to be posted.

    Suddenly the whole thing seems a little more acceptable. Good, even.

    I will admit, however, that there should be a mandatory age at which peroxide is banned from a man's hair care routine.

    Posted by: Dan | Sep 21, 2010 7:58:53 PM

  16. Kayla, no one cares about whatever petty grievances you cooked up inside your head.

    The man's trying to prevent gay kids from killing themselves - can this take precedence over your personal indulgences?

    Posted by: Halcyon | Sep 21, 2010 8:00:00 PM

  17. So, let me get this straight, Kayla...you didn't like Dan's stance on Prop 8, (and as far as I'm aware Dan was AGAINST Prop 8, so I'm not sure what the hell you are referring to...) and you hate him with a passion and you're going to berate him for now doing something very positive and healthy for the community, ie helping queer teenagers so they don't commit suicide? Is that about it?

    That's ludicrous. That's fine you personally don't like the man, and I will say that Dan FREQUENTLY says shit that makes me want to climb the wall, but he does 99% of that to get a response out of people so they pay attention to what he is saying.

    If this projects helps ONE gay kid to NOT kill themselves, then it's a worthy project for that alone.

    Posted by: Michael Strangeways | Sep 21, 2010 8:00:12 PM

  18. If you listen to his podcast you would realize that he recently had teens call in contemplating suicide and Dan had to tell them "It get's better." Teen suicide is a serious subject and you all should first appreciate the work that is being done to combat this issue.

    What a bunch of nasty, sitting onyourass preachers we have on here who are hiding behind hateful words on their computer. Let me ask, what have you done today to get the word out to stop teen suicide?

    He is speaking to LGBTQI teens who might otherwise not hear what he has to say. Get over your preconceived feelings of him and celebrate that word continues to get out to these at-risk kids who feel like they have nothing to live for.

    I applaud him

    Posted by: Giff | Sep 21, 2010 8:05:52 PM

  19. @ Michael Strangeways: Looks like you just don't like anything negative said about Savage. Which is fine. But everyone is entitled to their opinion. Many of the posts commended his gesture, but also noted that he was a self-serving smug jackass. There's nothing wrong with that. No need to call those posters names and accuse them of being bitter bitches and cunts. Which reminds me: YOU should watch your language.

    Posted by: Jimbo | Sep 21, 2010 8:14:02 PM

  20. Some of you must either be retarded or don't understand how viral media works... or in Kayla's case, you simply have a personal ax to grind. And quite frankly, you're not even old enough to drink, yet already carrying that big of a grudge? LOL. Get a grip, Mary.

    The point of Dan and his boyfriend making their own video is to encourage many others to do the same. It doesn't matter if their story resonates with gay teens... hopefully someone's, anyone's, will.

    Bravo to Dan for getting it started.

    Posted by: nodnarb | Sep 21, 2010 8:17:25 PM

  21. @Strangeways, umm... you don't have to care!
    @ Giff, I work at my University hotline, helping suicidal teenagers every weekend, so I do my bit. I also have been in many protests for equal rights!! Dan Savage is a disgusting human being whose visage makes me want to retch!! I pray for those children, they must feel like terror hostages!!

    Posted by: Kayla | Sep 21, 2010 8:20:34 PM

  22. @Kayla - So you're just a homophobic c*nt. Get a clue -- everyone here despises Prop 8. Go light yourself on fire.

    Posted by: Mikey B. | Sep 21, 2010 8:25:15 PM

  23. @mikey, um.. please get a grip, what would make you think that I'm homophobic?? I'm certainly not in the least bit homophobic, you really need to acquire reading comprehension then you can get back to me. Because I hate one homosexual man, doesn't mean I hate all homosexuals!! I'm pro gay marriage, and am actually quite disappointed since I used my first voting opportunity to vote for Obama and he's not done a thing. And of course they just screwed up the DADT repeal, even though most of the country's for it!! why would you say I'm homophobic? that hurts my feelings!

    Posted by: Kayla | Sep 21, 2010 8:30:21 PM

  24. Why are so many being such assholes about this effort? At least Dan is *doing* something. Reality is that life is often hard for us in our teen years, we might as well own that until we can change things long-term.

    Dan is right it DOES get better. At least he's conveying an honest message rather than sickly sweet platitudes. If you can't do the same, at least write a goddamn cheque to the LGBT charity of your choice once in a while.

    Posted by: Tone | Sep 21, 2010 8:33:49 PM

  25. @ Kayla: Don't even bother with idiots who call you names. I'm proud of your attitude and the good work that you do. They're obviously Savage groupies! They deserve what they get.

    Posted by: Jimbo | Sep 21, 2010 8:37:30 PM

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