On September 21st 2010, Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller inadvertently founded the “It Gets Better” Project by making a video in response to the sudden rise in suicides among bullied LGBT youth. Their goal was clear and simple: to inspire hope and prevent suicide among LGBT youth by creating a personal way for supporters to let teens know that yes, it does indeed get better. The project had grown so rapidly in such a short amount of time that it had reached YouTube’s 650 video limit within the first two weeks of being launched. Since its start, it now has more than fifty million video views from all over the world. It operates as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with contributions not only benefiting its own organization but also “The Trevor Project,” and the “Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.” Although this project is still fairly new in comparison to some other well-known causes, it has had an enormous impact on our society thus far.
You may be wondering how this cause got so big so fast. Well, with the alarming spike in teen suicides, news outlets from all around the country continue to report instances of teen suicide, and thousands more are generally left out of the public eye. It will suffice to say, this really struck a chord with masses of people. While there are thousands of videos uploaded every day by supporters of the cause and the people, what really made this project so successful was the involvement of countless celebrities and the never-ending media attention it received from all over the world. It is not an exaggeration to say that almost every popular celebrity has contributed to this campaign by making a video. Celebrities ranging from Lady Gaga, to the cast of Glee and Modern Family and even Kermit the Frog, have all spoken out in support of this project. Even President Obama and numerous Corporations such as Pixar have made videos to show their support.
There was a point in time when you couldn’t go onto any website or blog without seeing a new video or update from this campaign. There has not been any charity to date, that has received this much positive media attention in such a short span of time. The project received its pinnacle of recognition when the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences bestowed upon them the Governor’s Award at the 64th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards for “strategically, creatively and powerfully utilizing the media to educate and inspire.”
If there’s one thing to take away from reading this, it’s that if you have a worthy cause and you use the media to positively influence society, you may just start the next revolution. If you would like more information on the “It Gets Better” Project or if you would like to donate, please visit http://www.itgetsbetter.org