Out in Print
âIt Gets Betterâ authors and husbands Terry Miller and Dan Savage.
Photo Credit: Kelly O.
High school, it seems, was built for drama.
Maybe itâs because of hormones or because everybodyâs searching for who they are or the person theyâll become, but one thingâs certain: Mean Girls, jocks and cheerleaders, nerdy kids, geeks and bullies generally cannot co-exist in peace.
And, therein lies a problem, particularly if youâre on the receiving end of brutality, teasing or ostracism. Not only does that stuff hurt, but it makes life so unpleasant that you can sometimes see only one way to stop itâŚ
Columnist Dan Savage, with his husband Terry Miller and a friend, decided to do something about that. In âIt Gets Better,â they explain what happened and how their un-splashy video became a tidal wave of support.
Just a hundred videos.
Thatâs the response that Dan Savage and Terry Miller hoped theyâd get from a YouTube post they made in the aftermath of several suicides by LGBT teens. In an AHA! moment, Savage had realized that those kids had no vision of a future and no idea that things get better â hence, the video.
But, one video begat two, then a hundred, then a computer crash, a presidential message and a movement. In this book, they gather notable messages to LGBTQ teens; some poignant and some surprises.
Like teens who see only âone way outâ of the torment, many It Gets Better posters tell of trying to take their own lives at 15, 12, even 10 years old. But, as one pointed out, there are many things she would have missed, were she successful. Another poster begs teens not to make him miss the chance to know them.
The respondents came from around the world: the U.S. and Canada, England, Australia, Iraq. Politicians weighed in, as did ministers, doctors, dancers, soldiers and teachers. The posters were gay and straight, parents and friends. One offered to send readers a letter of support. One gave the website for an alternative school. Some saw being gay as a gift. One man said he was his own bully.
The posters are varied, but the message is the same: find your people. Hang in there â it will be over soon. Donât suffer in silence.
We need you to live.
âIt Gets Betterâ is one of those books that slams you from emotion to emotion in six pages or less. Readers will get teary, theyâll laugh, nod their heads, gasp and want to scream. And this book isnât just for teens: adults who need it and read it will find comfort here, too.
The only caveat is that this book is (somewhat) targeted to middle-schoolers, but it may be too much for them to handle. Whatâs written here is often profane, in-your-face and generally pretty grown-up, so caution should be used before giving this to a kid who isnât ready for it yet.
Still, if you know someone that needs this book, youâll feel compelled to act. After youâve read it yourself, youâll know that âIt Gets Betterâ gives him or her a better chance of surviving. : :
âIt Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Livingâ
by Dan Savage and Terry Miller
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated