New York Fire Department says ‘It Gets Better’ on National Coming Out day (VIDEO)
LGBT members of the New York City Fire Department produced the inspiring ‘coming out’ video to mark National Coming Out day.
The video features a number of LGBT firefighters, paramedics and others, opening up about the challenges they have faced – both before and after coming out.
They also talk about their professional experiences as members of the LGBT community.
“What people care about here is whether you can do your job,” shares paramedic Samantha Wilding.
“And whether you can apply yourself and be about giving yourself to other people”.
“Being able to embrace who you are and say ‘this is me, I’m not changing for anyone, I love who I am,’ is such a powerful, empowering experience,” says Lt Victor Berrios.
“I was so uncomfortable for my first six months in the job, thinking that I had to maintain this façade and then one day someone just looked at me and went, ‘What are you doing?’” he adds.
Other also talk about considering suicide when younger, due the pressures and fears they faced before coming out.
“I remember very clearly not seeing a future for myself, or at least a future that involved happiness or peace,’ says Ann Kansfield.
“Had I ended it I would have missed so many wonderful things in my life.
“If I can give a message to myself when I was a teen, it would be don’t give up on who you are,” she added.
Founded in 2010 by Dan Savage and Terry Miller in response to LGBT teen suicides, the It Gets Better Project uses all forms of media and engagement to reach LGBT youth worldwide in order to provide critical support and promote one clear message – that life does get better.
“As firefighters, paramedics and EMTs in the most diverse city in the world, FDNY members have the tremendous opportunity to inspire young people through their brave work every single day,” said Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro upon announcing the video.
“Through this video, they deliver an important message to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth around the world – it absolutely does get better.”
The FDNY are not the first NYC based emergency service to lend their voice to the campaign – the NYPD previously released a similar video back in 2012.
Watch the full video below: