As a LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersexed)[i] young person, have you ever had such a hard day, or week, or year that you thought things couldnât possibly look up? Ever been in a hole and rather than wanting to climb out, you wanted someone to shovel the dirt in?
The âIt Gets Betterâ Project was created to show young LGBTI people the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach, if they can make it through their teenage years. The project is focused on reminding young people that things can and will get better. I really hope that after seeing some of the videos on the website, youâll feel less alone and more able to push through and keep going!
The Project began in 2010 in response to a number of young people taking their lives following bullying in schools. Did you know that LGBTI young people attempt suicide at rates between 3.5 and 14 times those of their heterosexual peers?[ii] This can result from feelings of isolation, rejection by family and friends, harassment and bullying, feelings of self-loathing and shame (due to bullying, marginalisation). A recent Aussie study shows that school remains the most common place of homophobic abuse, with 80% of young people who were abused naming school as the place where it happened.[iii] Want to take a stand against homophobic bullying in schools? Hopefully our Irish friends will inspire you to âstand upâ:
For some young people, it doesnât just âget betterâ – but they should know that with the support of LGBTI friends they are not alone! Check out this cool video by the awesome peeps over at Twenty10[iv] in NSW:
People from all across the world can submit video messages to affirm that âIt Gets Betterâ, and millions of people can receive the love and support they need, or get more info about how to support a LGBTI friend. Yay! You can also check out the Freedom Centre website (a peer support service for LGBTIQ young peeps in W.A). For even more awesomeness, sign up for their online forum AND follow their tumblr: fcyeah.tumblr.com. All the support!
The âIt Gets Betterâ Project hosts messages from people such as Barack Obama, Ke$ha, Sia and the cast of Glee. The messages are also really helpful to all young people, not just those that are LGBTI. As a young person who deals with lifeâs swings and roundabouts, itâs comforting to know that other people in the world have taken the time to share a message of hope for my future. You can find out more about the Project at It Gets Better or check out the freshly-launched Australian community at igba.org.au!
Also, while youâre on a video-watching/website-visiting roll, check out This Is Oz at thisisoz.com.au. Itâs an online photo gallery where people can help fight discrimination against Australiaâs LGBTI community. Part art project, part human rights campaign, This Is Oz is all about making Australia a place where everyone belongs.
My favourite post that Iâve seen so far was created by presenters and musicians that feature on Triple J radio. Have a look here:
The It Gets Better Project encourages visitors to make a pledge. I did, and you can too!
âEveryone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that “It Gets Better.”
And of course right here on Tune In Not Out you can find more information about sexuality including factsheets and videos,
And my parting words to you today come in the form of music, so enjoy!
This blog is brought to you by YEP Crew. Check out our FB page: www.facebook.com/yepcrew
Become a Youth Content Producer
Would you like to see your blog featured here? Check out our Be Involved page for how too.
[i] Check out what all the terms LGBTI mean here: http://www.freedom.org.au/Glossary/Glossary/menu-id-63.html