More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
GLAAD Encourages Support for the Make It Better Project
GLAAD is proud to announce that it has signed onto and endorses the Make It Better Project, which is sponsored by San Francisco’s Gay-Straight Alliance Network and was founded in response to the recent suicides of several young boys who had suffered significant anti-LGBT bullying. The Make It Better project encourages youth and adults to get involved in improving schools so they are safer and friendlier to LGBT youth, and has been growing exponentially since its formation.
The Make It Better campaign strives to reach out to LGBT youth who feel like they have nowhere and no one to turn to when dealing with things like low self-esteem, loneliness, and depression. Members of the LGBT community—adults and young people alike—are creating videos to share their stories of bullying and how their lives improved after or while they went through that difficult time on Make It Better's website and YouTube channel. The following is a featured video of two young LGBT students who decided to take pro-active measures to improve their lives after being victims of bullying.
The project emerged after columnist Dan Savage’s video response to the suicides of Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, and Tyler Clementi, and takes his message even further. Currently, “Make It Better” is endorsed by more than 35 organizations, many of whom have made their own videos to show their support. An online calendar gives individuals who want to get involved a list of events and opportunities to consider, including a national Day of Action on October 12th, declared officially by Make It Better and GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) as a day for supporters to contact elected officials about passing the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act. These two federal bills would increase protection for children in schools on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Make It Better is associated with the Gay-Straight Alliance Network – a youth-based initiative that brings together Gay-Straight Alliance clubs from different schools, connecting them with each other as well as with other community resources. It emphasizes taking grassroots action to create a safe environment for LGBT students.
GLAAD has been closely monitoring and compiling its own list of anti-bullying resources as well, and will continue to draw attention to this important issue.