Shangela, Frankie Grande and more share throwback photos to show queer youth how ‘it got better’

Lily Wakefield September 19, 2019
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Queer celebrities are showing LGBT+ youth that "it gets better." (It Gets Better Project)

LGBT+ celebrities including Amber Heard, Frankie Grande and Bobby Berk have shared throwback pictures in a new project to show queer youth that “it gets better”.

The It Gets Better Project’s ‘Queerbook’ shows then and now throwback photos of famous queer faces, along with “senior quotes” to inspire and lift up young LGBT+ people.

The It Gets Better Project is a charity which aims to “uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe”.

It’s website says: “Growing up isn’t easy, especially when you are trying to affirm and assert your sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It can be a challenging and isolating process – but, the good news is, no one has to do it alone.”

Keep reading for a selection of glow-ups from Queerbook 2020

Amber Heard

Amber Heard celebrity throwback
Amber Heard. (Queerbook)

Senior quote: “Queer /kwir/ adjective: 1. strange; odd. Synonyms: weird, bizarre, unusual. Embrace your weird. It took me a long time to realise that your ‘weird’ is the best part of you.”

Amber Heard was told coming out as bisexual would ruin her career. Her reply? “I cannot do this any other way. Watch me. ”

Bobby Berk

Bobby Berk celebrity throwback
Bobby Berk. (Queerbook)

Senior quote: “My place in life was never quite clear, now it’s fully queer.”

Queer Eye star Bobby Berk grew up gay in rural Missouri, where coming out was “not an option”.

Now he is using his fame to fight for visibility and acceptance, and said previously: “It’s up to people like myself who have the luck and are blessed to have a platform that we use it. With more visibility comes acceptance.”

Frankie Grande

Frankie Grande celebrity throwback
Frankie Grande. (Queerbook)

Senior quote: “I used to worry about fitting in, now I do everything to stand out.”

Ariana Grande said that she quit the Catholic church after her gay brother Frankie was told “God doesn’t love you”. He has since become a YouTuber, TV host and broadway star.

Jake Choi

Jake Choi celebrity throwback
Jake Choi. (Queerbook)

Senior quote: “Braces made my teeth straight but that’s all it made straight.”

Sexually fluid actor Jake Choi came out last year, but this year the Human Rights Campaign presented him with its Visibility Award.


Shangela celebrity throwback
Shangela. (Queerbook)

Senior quote: “It not only gets better… it gets sick’ning! Halelloo!!”

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Shangela became “one of the first, if not the first, drag queens, in drag, to ever walk down the red carpet at the Oscars”.

More: Amber Heard, Bobby Berk, Frankie Grande, It Gets Better, shangela

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