The Norman Transcript

Headlines

December 2, 2012

Savage talks bullying, hope to students

Dan Savage — syndicated columnist, media pundit and co-founder of the It Gets Better project — visited the University of Oklahoma on Wednesday evening to discuss the project’s mission, widespread success and continuing challenges facing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.

For a standing-room-only audience, Savage detailed how he and his husband, Terry, were inspired to found the It Gets Better project in 2010 following the suicide of Indiana 15-year-old Billy Lucas. A victim of extreme anti-gay bullying, Lucas was the recipient of public, online hate messages even after his tragic death.

Based on personal and widespread outrage at Lucas’ experience, Savage was particularly inspired by the comment of one online reader, expressing how they wished they could have told Lucas that “it gets better.”

“LGBT kids are at four times greater risk of suicide, and what we should understand from bullied LBGT kids who commit suicide is that they can’t imagine a future with enough joy in it to compensate for the pain they’re experiencing currently,” Savage said. “What I want to tell those kids is that what they’ve been taught about being gay as a 15-year-old in Indiana is a lie, and I can refute it with my own life if I can share my story with you — and in the YouTube era, I and other LGBT adults can do that with videos.”

Since a modest inception at which Savage and his gay and straight colleagues were hoping for a mere 100 videos, It Gets Better is now a worldwide enterprise, comprised of more than 80,000 videos, blogs merchandise and messages of hope, solidarity and resources for international LGBT youth.

Savage expressed particular concern for LGBT youth growing up in homophobic or religiously conservative households, describing how It Gets Better includes outreach from ministers and seeks to provide non-homophobic parental figures for youth most at risk.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Bad year won’t dampen peachy tradition

    PORTER — A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.” Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU football recruit under investigation in assault case

    An attorney representing Joe Mixon confirmed Friday evening that the highly-recruited Oklahoma running back is being investigated by Norman Police in connection with an incident in which a woman suffered multiple facial fractures early ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Campus Cornerassault

    Norman Police responded to an alleged aggravated assault at the Campus Corner Pickelmans Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning....

    July 26, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia firing across border

    KIEV, Ukraine — Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the ...

    July 26, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014