Since 2010, we’ve seen the positive impact that our organization’s mission and message can have on the lives of LGBTQ+ youth in the United States. As a global organization, we’re dedicated to making sure that happens for youth worldwide. That’s why we started It Gets Better GLOBAL.
It Gets Better GLOBAL exists to help bring the mission of the It Gets Better Project to countries across the globe, and to support and ensure the success of the storytelling and community-building efforts of the organization’s Global Affiliate Network.
Why the focus on global LGBTQ+ youth?
It Gets Better has never been a solely U.S.-centric or U.S.-focused message; the invisibility of geography on the Internet has made sure that it’s universal from the beginning. In fact, of the 60,000+ videos we have in our collection, thousands have originated from elsewhere in the world. What’s more, nearly 40% of our total social media followers today reside somewhere other than the United States. These followers, video creators, and contributors have backgrounds diverse in nationality, language, culture, political viewpoint, and more. They’ve made this a truly global phenomenon from the beginning, and it’s important we meet them where they’re at, whenever and wherever we can.
What kind of work does the program focus on?
A remarkable number of people from outside the United States have reached out to our organization over the years and expressed the desire to use our message and storytelling methods to promote change in their home countries. Sometimes, those efforts take the form of focused opportunities, such as a museum exhibit in South Africa featuring local it gets better videos or an award-winning film featuring a transgender lead character in Thailand (the film’s title is It Gets Better in Thai). To date, we’ve supported focused opportunities in over 30 countries.
In many cases, a one-time campaign just isn’t enough; many communities want it gets better to be part of a more permanent installment working to empower their local LGBTQ+ youth on a daily basis. This outreach inspired our organization to develop a formal Global Affiliate Network beginning in 2011, one that now spans 4 continents. The bulk of our global work is dedicated to supporting these affiliates and ensuring their success.
What is an affiliate?
An affiliate is an independent organization or association that has adopted the It Gets Better Project’s mission as its own (or has created a special program for that purpose), and has been granted a license to use our internationally recognized and respected trademarks. These include the It Gets Better Project’s name, logo, content, materials, and more. Our affiliates use these trademarks in ways that are responsive to carefully observed needs and local cultures.
To put it very simply: we are a family of storytellers and community builders currently spanning four continents and united under one mission: to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe. Under this umbrella, our affiliates embark on some incredible work. Our brand assures that they hit the ground running.
Check out this playlist of videos to learn more about some of our most impressive affiliates, and please connect with our affiliates on social media.
What kind of a relationship does the It Get Better Project’s have with its affiliates?
All of our affiliates are independent organizations with licenses to do business as It Gets Better in their country. As such, it’s up to them to operate their own programs, cultivate their own funders and sponsors, build their own partnerships, etc. in order to serve their local LGBTQ+ youth.
But just because our affiliates are independent doesn’t mean they’re alone. Our global staff works around the clock to connect our affiliates and provide them with the resources they need to be successful. This can include digital resources, translations, fundraising opportunities, targeted trainings, support from external experts, and more.
We’ve also created the following programs to which our affiliates have priority access (though they’re available to other LGBTQ+ storytelling organizations who qualify and apply):
GLOBAL GRANTS. A portion of our annual budget is set aside to be dispersed as small, one-time investments that support extraordinary LGBTQ+ storytelling projects from both within and beyond our global affiliate network.
GLOBAL SUMMITS. Held at least once a year, our summits bring together our most promising LGBTQ+ volunteers from around the world. Whether regional or global in scope, each summit offers unforgettable opportunities for our emerging leaders to learn and grow from one another as well as from our staff and partners.
We will continue to expand on these resources as our organization and Global Affiliate Network grow. It is our hope that one day there is a permanent It Gets Better installment in every country in the world!
To learn more about our global affiliate network and how to apply to start an It Gets Better affiliate in your country, please read the materials available at itgetsbetter.org/JoinAffiliates.