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Video: Stephen Schwartz’s It Gets Better anthem released

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  1. It gets better because we roll up our sleeves and WORK on making it better. I’m not sold on this kind of project – who does it actually help? Who is swayed by this message? Is it genuinely of value or is it an ego stroke? Life gets better, laws change, society changes, because those with boots on the ground, at a grass roots level, petition and lobby and volunteer. It is very easy to give lip service to a cause, much hard to show commitment.

    1. “It Gets Better” raises awareness of an issue, which in turn makes the job of “those with boots on the ground, at a grass roots level, [who] petition and lobby and volunteer.” easier.

      The jury is out for me on the choir project because I can’t stand to listen to more than half of it, but perhaps it’s just not my cup of tea and will speak to a completely different audience than the original project. Perhaps an older demographic, who statistically don’t support gay rights as much as their younger counterparts.

      “The men who try to do something and fail are indefinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.” – Lloyd Jones

    2. Here you have examples of Christian like people who bringing their hate speech to Pinknews to try and make something that is so beautiful not so nice. Shame on these Christian people who do more harm than good. Vote them down and know that they are twisted little evil people who want to destroy anybody who tries to do better or get better.

      1. I’m pretty sure Valksy is an atheist and I definitely sure I am

      2. I assure you that I am no bloody christian and consider all religion to be pointless drivel.

        My point is that it is easy to give lip service – that takes very little. But the practical changes that make an ideation of “it gets better” the truth are much more complex and much more hard work by ordinary LGBT folks and their allies.

        I question who the target audience is, whether it will actually reach and affect those who are engaging in anti-LGBT animus and whether it will reach the audience who will be soothed and comforted by the words themselves. I fear that there is more of ego than of activism, and a hijacking of a cause that must not be allowed to exist in a vacuum.

        1. The target audience is those who may benefit from hearing a message of hope, especially young people. And it is already beginning to make a difference. My brother and sister in law retired 2 years ago after teaching high school for 30 years in New York. I gave them the link to the video. Today, my brother called and asked me to send him a physical copy of the video and more information. The principal of the High School he taught in wants to have the video shown to every student in grades 9 to 12
          (High School) to provoke discussion and possibly reach at risk youth. Things don’t get better simply because we want them to or sing a song, but I’m glad this video is out there. It is definitely part of the solution AND NOT part of the problem. Of course there is a lot of hard work ahead but don’t use that as an excuse to say that this isn’t THE COMPLETE SOLUTION.

    3. While the It Gets Better Project has grown enormously beyond it’s orignial intended reach, it is important to remember what the intended audience was – young LGBT identified people, often with no other recognisable LGBT role models or supportive adults in their immediate reach. All the equality legislation in the world means naff all to most young people who just want to feel like there is someone else who feels they way they do – I know that was how I felt at school, regardless of it being a relatively safe environment anyway.

      No one has ever said It Gets Better it is the solution to LGBT discrimination – it’s creator, Dan Savage, is one of the most vocal advocates for LGBT equality in the US! – but is there to provide a source of comfort to young people who want to be told that life beyond high school is worth waiting for.

    4. You may be interested in looking into the Make It Better Project:
      http://www.makeitbetterproject.org/

      I hear what you’re sharing and share many of the same sentiments/concerns, but I consider something like the It Gets Better Project just one piece of the puzzle. Nothing wrong with being a piece, but glad we have people pushing the envelope and demanding ALL the pieces!

  2. That’s an anthem? Christ, pick up the tempo because it sounds like a funeral dirge.We already have the depression, etc. An “anthem” should provide affirmation.

    1. Stunning. Moving. Heartfelt. Watch the whole thing.

    2. I guess you didn’t listen to the lyrics or music at the end.

    3. It is not an anthem and it was never intended to be one. This peace gives understanding to people who relate to their experiences and hope that there can be a change. Many people feel isolated and just knowing that others understand give them courage and support. Nothing works for everyone which is why it is so important for the message to come from many sources.

  3. it was very beautiful and moving.
    I’m generally not attracted to this type of gay men’s chorus repertoire. most of the time it is musically vapid. this wasn’t.

  4. Why wait for it to get better when if all of us LGBT people and our friends and family all around the world worked together to MAKE IT BETTER NOW. The time is now to demand our equal and Civil Rights as well as Human Rights all around the world. We have been pushed down long enough and it is time to rise up and take our rights and freedoms the same all all people. Like they say “freedom is not free” and we have to fight to be free. Make it Better Now while we have this chance and don’t let anybody stop us. Do it for the gay children who will grow up free for the first time in the world, if we fight and demand out freedoms now as LGBT people everywhere.

    1. You have a long ways to go if you’re asking for equal civil rights (privileges bestowed by the state) and human rights (which even the U.N. doesn’t recognize).
      If you really want change, people need to start promoting awareness of the difference between a right and a privilege.
      A right is something inherent, which cannot be controlled by a higher authority.
      A privilege is something controlled by a higher authority – that can be granted or revoked at will, with or without cause, leaving the recipient little recourse for over turning that authority’s decision.

      Marriage – as a state issued license (permission) – is NOT a right, but a privilege. A “civil right” if you will. It is not a goal to reach for, nor a dream to desire.
      Goals and dreams of equality (equal enslavement to a higher power’s demands and mandates) are lofty and ludicrous. Liberation from any authority which believes it can control “rights” should be the goal of all humanity.

  5. Beautiful guys I love you for doing what you are doing and helping to make it better for some many who are struggling to be who they are and to be free. The Gods are smiling down on each and every gay man and woman and child today who are working to make life better for all. God loves us all.

    1. Wait I thought you didn’t like Christians?

  6. Quite a bit of negativity about this so far.
    I for one found it stunning ad profound…we all agree it needs to BE better now but the eality is that there are still young people who think that (because of negativity around them) being gay is the worst thing in the world and death is a better alternative… if you read the article you will see that the words of this song are ACTUAL words of people who made “it gets better” vids… play it again and just listen!

    1. I did hear the words, and I have watched more It Gets Better videos than I would care to count. My biggest fear is that projects like this are a distraction, if not a smokescreen.

      That’s not to suggest that any harm is actually intended – of course not – I fear for a public fatigue for the message, I fear for complacency, I fear that people will assume that this big projects have far more power than they actually do and that means they don’t have to take action.

      Confident, out (especially older) LGBT people are not the audience for IGB. We aren’t the problem, we aren’t the cause. And we aren’t the ones who need a light in the darkness. Is this message going to reach a 14 year old lad who ends every school day in tears? Is it going to reach the 14 year old lad who makes his life miserable and has never been told that his behaviour is wrong?

      Who is the primary audience of the SF Gay Men’s Choir and are they the ones who need the message?

      1. People of all ages struggle with their sexuality, unfortunately. Maybe that is the point of this choral piece it speaks to older men and women who may not identify with the original project.

        Or, it could have just been art for art’s sake, however if it helps one person it’s better than nothing.

      2. This video is already being shown in high schools on day 1 of it’s posting. The video is going viral and is being picked up by tons of news media outlets, blogs, and other resources accessed by LGBT youth. Yes, it is reaching the young people who need to hear the message.

      3. Yeah….it will reach that 14 year old boy who has internet access and views videos on YouTube or watches TV because this is going viral. Let me ask this of you: What are YOU doing concretely to be part of the solution? The intended audience for THIS VIDEO is primarily for young people, but really it’s a universal message for anyone who has ever thought suicide was the answer. And I disagree on one point, confident older LGBT people are equally part of the problem if they do nothing to try to change the world for younger generations. No one is free until everyone is free!

        1. I have been involved in LGBT activism for a long time – indeed this year will be my twentieth year. And I am making the point that saying “It gets better” is lip service if nothing actually changes. We’re in pretty decent shape in the UK. But young LGBT people in the US are hearing it when they can still – in many states – be fired from their job just for being gay, they can be denied goods and services just for being gay, they can be evicted just for being gay… Reversing all of that is going to take a hell of a lot of hard work. And until that is done, saying It Gets Better is just lip service.

          1. It seems you’re criticizing Testimony for not being the complete solution to LGBT discrimination..Go to the Youtube page and read the comments. Testimony is NOT going to suddenly bring about equality or freedom from oppression for LGBT or other youth. However, it may help to keep those young people ALIVE so that WITH hard work, determination and dedication (ie, boots on the ground), they will actually be around to experience what it means to be loved and accepted one day. It may also bring allies to the cause who were indifferent or even hostile. It IS reaching a diverse audience with a 99% approval rating. READ the comments.

  7. Please give some serious thought before you criticize Testimony. Five years ago last January a close friend of mine committed suicide. He jumped off the roof of a hotel because he believed all the lies that he was unloved and lovable just because he was gay. When he came out and was rejected by his so called “Christian” family at 18, he was inconsolable. Shortly after his 19th birthday, he took his life. The message of Testimony is not limited to a single demographic. It’s for all of the Justins of the world, LGBT, straight, young and old who are struggling to cope because they feel “less than”, unloved or out of place. I don’t think the intention of this video is to reach the bullies and haters; it’s hard growing up in this world, gay, straight or whatever and this song is a beacon of hope. I wish Justin had heard this song before he made his choice; it might have made the difference between life and death…that day.

  8. I am a member of SFGMC, and was on stage as part of the performances this past week. I cannot speak to who our “target” audience is, but I can tell you about two people who were there – my in-laws, two conservative, right-wing Christians, who asked me what it was like growing up gay in a staunch Catholic household. I told them that the opening lyrics were pretty much verbatim what went through my mind every day & night from about age 10 until the day I finally came out – & left the Catholic Church & its hypocritical bigotry behind me. I can only hope that they take some of that to heart in the future, when dealing with their grandchildren.

    1. Julian, I am so worried about message fatigue taking place before real change is achieved. If you consider the Civil Rights Act – did that do more or less to change the culture of the US in terms of racism?

      Is there more mileage, at a cultural level, to focusing on establishing a framework of law and hoping that will change attitudes, than hope attitudes change at a reasonable pace in order to establish law? (if the latter is true, then there would be no need for the law to apply a social contract behavioural requirement on people, because they would have evolved there by themselves).

      I worry that energy, focus, time, money is being directed at the wrong place. You hope that your in-laws will change, are your words as powerful as cultural acceptance? Is that cultural acceptance better overturned through legislative process like the Civil Rights Act did for race in the US?

      1. Valsky, I understand your need to want changes in Laws pertaining to LGBT rights. I also understand that you dont like using emotion to relay the present descrimination, and are interested only in the political aspect. Great! We need the hard-hearted as well,( I bury my feelings so deep inside, they turn to concrete) to further our advancement. It is just too bad that, although we are on the same team, you would use this forum to belittle a project that has taken much time, work, and many many tears. I am sorry that you are unable to let your emotions be involved in the struggles we face. I will always support your efforts to change laws, but I will also embrace a gentle and moving expression of our apeals to the world using Art and music, which is the international language.

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