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It Gets Better : Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living

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Pub. Date:
Dutton Adult
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Every story can change a life. Growing up isn't easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, making them feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted - even tortured - simply for being themselves. After a number of tragic suicides by LGBT students who were bullied in school, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage uploaded a video to YouTube with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for LGBT youth facing harassment. Speaking openly about the bullying they suffered as teenagers, and how they both went on to lead rewarding adult lives, their video launched the It Gets Better Project YouTube channel and initiated a worldwide phenomenon. With over 6,000 videos posted and over 20 million views in the first three months alone, the world has embraced the opportunity to provide personal, honest and heartfelt support for LGBT youth everywhere. It Gets Betteris a collection of expanded essays and new material from celebrities, everyday people and teens who have posted videos of encouragement, as well as new contributors who have yet to post videos to the site. While many of these teens couldn't see a positive future for themselves, we can. We can show LGBT youth the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach if they can just get through their teen years. By sharing these stories, It Gets Betterreminds teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
A Message from Presidentp. 9
You Will Find Your Peoplep. 11
The Life Almost Lostp. 15
In the Early Morning Rainp. 18
Something Has Changed Within Mep. 22
Action Makes It Betterp. 24
You Are a Rubber Band, My Friendp. 27
God Believes in Youp. 30
The Person Worth Fighting For Is Youp. 35
A Messagep. 38
Life Unfolds Exactly As It Should (But Not As You Planned)p. 40
It Gets Better for a British Soldierp. 42
Getting Stronger and Staying Alivep. 45
Coming Out of the Shtetl: Gay Orthodox Jewsp. 48
Going Back Inp. 54
And the Emmy Goes to …p. 59
A Message from U.S. Secretary of Statep. 62
This I Know for Surep. 64
It Gets Better Broadway by Members of the Broadway and New York Theater Communityp. 67
Rockin' the Flannel Shirtp. 71
How It Got Better for an Ordained Christian Ministerp. 74
Out of Darknessp. 77
I Was a Teenage Lesbianp. 79
Something Specialp. 80
The Dinner Partyp. 82
What I Wish I Knewp. 87
Freedom from Fearp. 91
A Message from Prime Ministerp. 94
You Will Meet People Who Celebrate Youp. 96
An Identity Unfoldedp. 99
A Messagep. 102
Brothers: It Gets Betterp. 104
Drop Dead, Warlockp. 110
Gwendolyn Gonep. 112
Growing Up Gay …p. 114
The Biggest Giftp. 117
A Message from Senatorp. 121
Transsexual Prairie Girlp. 123
Art from Ragep. 125
It Gets Betterp. 127
Too Good to Be Truep. 130
Journey to a Better Lifep. 133
The Gay Guy in the Bandp. 138
Will I Grow Up to Be Paul Lynde?p. 140
Finding Who I Amp. 142
Communityp. 145
A Messagep. 147
Gunn's Golden Rulesp. 149
Perfect, Just the Way You Arep. 151
Where Happiness Isp. 153
Not-Normalp. 158
Born This Wayp. 162
Darn Itp. 165
Look at the Moonp. 167
Critical Shiftsp. 169
For Aideybearp. 171
A Messagep. 173
The Show Must Go Onp. 175
Survival Toolsp. 177
Dear Uncle Ronniep. 181
My Office Wallp. 185
Keep on Livin'p. 187
It Gets Better Because You're a Little Differentp. 189
Unapologetically, Mep. 192
A Collective Voicep. 195
I Didn't Always Wear a Tuxedop. 201
How I Got Overp. 205
A ˘Better÷ Evolutionp. 208
Save Yourself, Save the Worldp. 211
Becoming an Authentic Personp. 213
On the Other Sidep. 215
Bully Mep. 218
To the Bulliesp. 220
The Good Fightp. 223
A Messagep. 226
Haters Can't Hate Someone Who Loves Themselves, and if They Do, Who Caresp. 228
Not Playing at a Cinema Near Youp. 232
From ˘Faggot÷ to Field Biologistp. 235
It Got Betterp. 238
Our Parents as Alliesp. 240
Lesbian Teacher Believes in Youp. 243
Stepping Off the Sidelinesp. 245
My Own Worst Enemyp. 248
You Are a Beloved Child of Godp. 254
Transgendered and Self-Educated in Mainep. 256
The Power of ˘You÷p. 261
It Gets Better for Small Towners, Toop. 264
To Me: With Love and Squalorp. 267
Happiness Is Inevitablep. 271
I Wish I'd Been Sassier!p. 273
Protect and Serve Loves Semper Fidelisp. 275
The Doors of Acceptancep. 279
Hope Out of Tragedyp. 282
Patience Makes Perfect … Sensep. 287
Christian LGBT Kids: You're Part of the Planp. 289
Terrible Dayp. 291
The Worst of Both Worldsp. 294
Closets on Firep. 297
The King Brothersp. 300
Community Foundp. 303
From Scared to Proud: The Journey of a Gay Medical Studentp. 307
Authentic Selfp. 310
You Can Live a Life That's Worth Livingp. 312
Epiloguep. 315
Acknowledgmentsp. 319
Some Curriculum Guidelines for Schools and Teachersp. 321
The Trevor Projectp. 325
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network)p. 327
ACLU LGBT Projectp. 329
Photo and Comic Creditsp. 331
Permissionsp. 333
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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