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Monday 08 November 2010

"It Gets Better"

Posted in: True Stories
By Jacqui Stanford - 25th September 2010

Billy Lucas
It's a story that is distressingly all too common in our communities. A teenager 'dies suddenly' (which is the media euphemism for suicide). It later emerges that the teenager was struggling with their identity – and was viciously bullied and picked on because their classmates decided they were gay.

Indiana teenager Billy Lucas took his own life earlier this month after being tormented by his peers.

"People would call him 'fag' and stuff like that, just make fun of him because he's different basically," fellow student Dillen Swango told Fox59 News.

"He was threatened to get beat up every day," friend and classmate Nick Hughes told "Sometimes in classes, kids would act like they were going to punch him and stuff and push him."

Friends say Lucas was tormented for years and nothing was ever done about it.

It Gets Better!

Dan Savage (right) and his husband Terry Miller

The teen's death has led American sex advice columnist and author Dan Savage to make a YouTube video with his husband Terry Miller, sharing personal stories and telling GLBT youths that although being a teenager can be hard, it really does get better.

"If you're gay or lesbian or bi or trans, and you've ever read about a kid like Billy Lucas and thought, 'Fuck, I wish I could've told him that it gets better,' this is your chance," Savage writes.

"We can't help Billy, but there are lots of other Billys out there—other despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don't think they have a future—and we can help them...."

Savage is urging adult gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to spread the simple message that no matter what young people are experiencing, including family rejection, bullying or harassment, there is a future beyond high school.

"Today we have the power to give these kids hope," he told MSNBC. "We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. So let's show them what our lives are like, let's show them what the future may hold in store for them."

Savage has also encouraged others to create videos for the project, a challenge which has been accepted by many people already, including blogger Perez Hilton.

Watch the video below:

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Jacqui Stanford - 25th September 2010