Today marks ten years since the first It Gets Better story was released on YouTube. The hope was that other people would join the chorus — ten voices, maybe 100. Our goal was to make a positive difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ young people having a rough time on their path to acceptance. No one ever imagined the words “it gets better” had the power to spark a global movement which today spans four continents and six major languages.
We have seen our stories circle the globe, connecting an incredible global community around the empowerment of LGBTQ+ youth. Our ten-year anniversary is a proud moment for the It Gets Better Project, but it is also bittersweet.
Our organization was born out of a tumultuous time for young LGBTQ+ people. In spite of the progress our community has seen over the last ten years, younger generations continue to face toxic social narratives exacerbated by higher rates of bullying, family rejection, homelessness, and the slate of mental health issues symptomatic of these experiences.
The real cause for celebration will be when the It Gets Better Project becomes irrelevant. But that day will only come when all LGBTQ+ young people are free to live equally and know their worthiness and power as individuals. It will be underscored by the universal understanding that our lives have meaning and value and are uniquely beautiful.
We aren’t there yet, but we have made significant progress.
For the last decade, we have made it our mission to uplift, empower and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe. As we kick off our anniversary year — one that will be filled with exciting announcements, new ventures, and events both digital and (we hope) in person — we bring you “10 Years Better,” a new web series that looks back on some of the first It Gets Better videos through the lens of the people who recorded them. Our first alumni is Gigi Gorgeous!
The world can be unforgiving, and 2020 has tested the resiliency of our community repeatedly, but we can assure you that the It Gets Better Project will be present every step of the way, providing a virtual safe space to help LGBTQ+ youth realize and pursue their greatest potential.
Check back to itgetsbetter.org for updates on our 10 year anniversary plans and to stay up to date on our work with LGBTQ+ youth.
Stay loud, stay proud — always!
– Brian Wenke, Executive Director — It Gets Better Project