it gets better. three words and a world of meaning.

October 25, 2010

in life

[note: this post is a more personal one. some days you need to go there.]

it gets better.

today these words immediately connect our minds with LGBT teen tolerance and understanding, thanks to the it gets better project. columnist dan savage started this project for a 15-year-old gay teen who hanged himself, despairing after enduring more bullying than most of us will ever know. dan wanted to talk with this one kid and let him know that things wouldn’t always be as they are. he didn’t get that chance, but he could talk to the many, many others who feel like this kid did. and he could invite others who’ve also grown up LBGT to share their wisdom, experience and encouragement in the hope that it will staunch the pain and let these kids understand that while their pain is unique, their experience is not. really, to tell them that there are people who may be beyond their physical reach but not their emotional one.

it gets better.

these words are simple yet powerful because they say so many different things: i’ve been there; i know. i empathize with what you’re coping with. you’re important. i want you here. i believe you can get through this. i love you.

i know many to whom i want to say it gets better:

a female colleague who struggles with an eating disorder every day and figures she’s never going to get beyond it.

a close friend whose husband died at 32 of a virus that ravaged his body in three months and left her a widow after only one year of marriage.

another friend who’s taking on a new, larger role and is worried he’ll fail.

someone whose marriage has hit a rocky point and for whom the road ahead is unclear.

a family member who’s economic security has slipped away while he struggles to bring two families together—his and his new wife’s.

it gets better.

these words aren’t fancy. they don’t instruct or direct. they’re not hard to utter. they don’t tie us up in discomfiting fits of not knowing what’s the right thing to say.

it gets better.

these words have altered LBGT teens’ trajectories. kids who’ve watched it gets better videos have since reached out to individuals and organizations that can help them weather isolation, loneliness and worse. these words remind us that it doesn’t take much to make things better.


Leave a Comment

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol Harnett October 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Beautifully written, Fran.

I have many friends dealing with the same or similar issues as you. And, even though they can’t see it now, it gets better…

What’s happening with kids is even more heart breaking. For all teens, including LBGT, it does get better.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


fran October 27, 2010 at 11:22 am

thanks, carol. it seems we all take turns saying “it gets better.”



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