The Norman Transcript


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
  • Tornado Repair Oklahoma officials account for $9.4M in disaster spending

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Nearly a year after deadly tornadoes hit central Oklahoma, officials announced that they have spent close to $9.4 million in private donations on relief efforts....

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore schools receive $500K

    As Mickey Davis addressed the auditorium, the picture of a bright-eyed, happy 8-year-old on the podium in front of her could not be ignored. Davis’ son, Kyle Davis, was one of seven who lost their lives in the May 2013 tornadoes at Plaza ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Man arraigned after wife’s death

    A judge on Wednesday denied bond for a 37-year-old Norman man formally charged with stabbing his wife to death with a kitchen knife early Saturday morning in their southeast Norman apartment. Abid Sandhu, 37, was arraigned before Special ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Earth Day activities continue this week

    Oklahoma is no stranger to extreme weather, but many say those extremes are even greater than before. Norman resident and biologist Kathy Rand is convinced those climate irregularities are a result of climate change caused by pollution, ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Oklahoma court rejects death-row inmates’ claims

    Oklahoma court rejects death-row inmates’ claims OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected claims by two death row inmates that they’re entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them....

    April 24, 2014

  • School to present ‘Hamlet’

    To be or not to be? That is the question Norman North High School students are answering during their production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” this week....

    April 24, 2014

  • Historic house celebrates centennial

    When Fredrick Holmberg arrived in Norman more than 100 years ago, he tucked his violin beneath his arm and headed for the University of Oklahoma campus.  A century later, another violinist, Cindy Zhang, will perform at the home Holmberg ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Dorman wants bipartisan appeal

    Rep. Joe Dorman said he’s proud to be a Democrat running for governor, but he hopes to garner bipartisan support. In a visit Wednesday to the Transcript, Dorman said, if elected, he wants to work across party lines like former Gove. Henry ...

    April 24, 2014

  • ‘Frozen’ to air Friday

    Movies on Main in Blanchard will host a showing of “Frozen” at 8 p.m. Friday. The evening will include hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn and free movie merchandise....

    April 24, 2014

  • Safety Town registration begins Saturday

    Saturday marks the beginning of registration for Safety Town classes at Sooner Mall. Safety Town, a 37-year Norman tradition, teaches children, ages 5 and 6, the importance of bicycle, fire and personal safety. Classes are 50 minutes long ...

    April 24, 2014