The rash of recent suicides by LGBT youth has thrown the issue of anti-gay bullying back into the national spotlight, and inspired a number of viral internet campaigns aimed at providing vocal support and hope for adolescents in need.
Among the most prominent of these is columnist Dan Savage's It Gets Better campaign on YouTube, who appears alongside his typically media shy partner Terry to share their stories and impart the very simple but vital message that it does indeed "get better" after school.
The It Gets Better project's Youtube channel has now garnered over a million views and 12 thousand subscribers, with more joining all the time.
Among them a submission from this young Wisconsin lesbian who recounts her own rough time in high school with good humor, optimism, and a few rubber bands:
This openly gay police officer and marine want LGBT kids to know they're perfect the way they are:
One LGBT college student appeared alongside her straight roommate to tell the kids still coming up about how much better it is "on the other side" of high school:
And two gay dads recall the times they felt hopeless, and how thankful they are now to have pulled through:
Actor Neil Patrick Harris also submitted a video to the campaign:
The Trevor Project put together a celebrity studded video to for the campaign, which features appearances by Anne Hathaway, Candis Cayne, Jenny McCarthy, Kristin Cavallari, Pretty Little Liar's Shay Mitchell, No Ordinary Family's Julie Benz and Michael Chiklis, Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder, and Entourage's Rex Lee among others:
Glee's Chris Colfer also made a video in conjunction with the organization, and rumor has it his character will experience a homophobic bullying storyline in future episodes:
On her talk show, Ellen Degeneres delivered an emotional message about bullying to both at-risk youth and society at large:
NBC's Access Hollywood ran a story about out celebrities speaking out against gay bullying on shows like Larry King Live and Glee:
And comedienne Margaret Cho found her own way to address the subject with her performance on last night's episode of the hugely popular ABC series Dancing With the Stars: