The “It Gets Better” project began in September of 2010 when columnist and author Dan Savage sought to create a powerful way for individuals to support LGBTQ youth experiencing bullying and harassment. In response to the alarming number of young people taking their lives as a result of verbal and physical abuse, Dan and his partner Terry made a video meant to inspire hope. Since that initial video, the campaign has grown to thousands of videos and a book that was released in March of 2011 – It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. The partnership between this project and The Trevor Project has become an important source of help and inspiration to people worldwide.
The complexity of being a member of the LGBTQ community and a person of color often results in harassment and rejection from many different angles. Members of the QWOC + Boston community have experienced this first hand and use inspiration and lessons from their stories to further the mission of the organization – “creating and sustaining a truly diverse social space for LGBTQ women of color” to ultimately bring about positive change in our society. With this in mind, we have decided to create an “It Gets Better” video – QWOC + Boston Edition. By sharing our stories through this powerful social media outlet, we hope to reach out to those, from any generation, stuck in the struggles created by the many facets of their identity. Many of us can now speak from the other side of the giant hurdles, so we want to let others know that this side does exist. It is essential to send a message that will resonate with the unique challenges of people of color. We also cannot forget our siblings abroad, living in countries where they fear for their lives because anything outside of heterosexuality and gender roles is not only taboo but also illegal. With this project, we hope to provide a glimmer of hope to queer and trans people of color everywhere.
What would you have wanted to hear during your toughest times? Knowing what you know now, what would you say to a young person struggling to hang on? In the spirit of QWOC Week, we hope you join and support us in this endeavor. It is a chance for all of us to engage in activism that will have an immeasurable affect. Diversity speaks, so lets make sure everyone can hear it.