UPDATE: We know a little more now about how this video was compiled. Senator Lautenberg with his staff took the initiative, in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month, which is October. To accommodate busy schedules, blocks of time over two weeks were reserved at the Capitol Visitor Center Recording Studio, with invitations to members of NJ’s congressional delegation to record. There are a few faces missing – it would be even better with Reps. Andrews, Garrett, Frelinghuysen, Pallone and Smith. And we must point out that Lance & LoBiondo voted NO on DADT repeal, as Runyan might have but he wasn’t sworn in yet. But the effort, and especially Senator Lautenberg’s initiative, are much appreciated.
BTW – I’m told this is the first-ever It Gets Better video that includes elected Republicans.
The New Jersey suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi and other other young gay people prompted the It Gets Better Project, a labor of love from columnist Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller. The project took off like wildfire; over the last year celebrities, sports teams, and ordinary people have turned their webcams on themselves to give encouragement to teens and kids of a welcoming future for themselves. And those videos, some of them simple and low-tech, made by ordinary people, are bouncing all over the internet.
Last month, an upstate New York 14-year-old named Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself outside his house. A smart kid, with supportive parents, and friends who cared about him. A kid whose NY state senator had led other Republicans to reverse course and help pass marriage equality in New York State, in part after Jamey’s hero Lady Gaga had asked her Buffalo audience to ask him to. Jamey’s last message was a thank you to Lady Gaga for her message of self-worth to gay kids. And Jamey had himself just months earlier made an ‘It Gets Better’ video to give confidence to other kids. Jamey himself died last month, after a particularly rough bout of online bullying.
Proof if ever there was any that there’s work still to be done. This is the ‘It Gets Better’ video that’s going to the press later today, with our thanks to Senator Frank Lautenberg’s office for the advance heads-up: