The It Gets Better Project Executive Director Brian Wenke takes a look at what we have planned for 2023 and beyond. Plus: Our annual report.
Every year, the process of assembling our annual report becomes more complex, because the It Gets Better Project’s programs and services have been expanding at breakneck speed. And, we have no intention of taking our foot off the gas in 2023. Frankly, we can’t slow down.
LGBTQ+ young people are being robbed of their joy and confidence every day, be it through excessive bullying, family rejection, or political posturing. That’s what makes our work at the It Gets Better Project so incredibly important.
We pour our hearts and souls into supporting the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth — and saw some incredible results this year, like:
- Launching 50 States. 50 Grants. 5,000 Voices, a grantmaking initiative that distributed $500,000 to middle and high schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia to support creating more inclusive communities for LGBTQ+ students.
- Hosting the ILGA World Conference in Long Beach, CA, an effort that drew 891 LGBTQ+ activists from 111 countries to discuss global issues impacting LGBTQ+ youth and the strategies to address them.
- Winning awards for Writing Our Own Dictionary and LGBTQ+ Fundamentals —two original It Gets Better web series designed to inform a young person’s sexual orientation and gender identity journey.
This is just a sampling of our ongoing efforts to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe. So, what does this look like in 2023? We’ll sharpen our focus to continue to effectively meet LGBTQ+ youth where they live, learn, and socialize. That means:
- Amplifying our presence within the gaming community on Twitch. In 2022 we logged more than 1,200 hours on the platform and created the ultimate safe space for LGBTQ+ youth to connect with their peers.
- Expanding our reach into Spanish-speaking communities – one of the fastest growing audiences in the US, and a dominant population throughout the It Gets Better Project’s global affiliate network.
- Strategically investing in student-led LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts in middle and high schools in the US and Canada.
- Elevating original It Gets Better content that positively informs the LGBTQ+ youth experience from the early stages of self-discovery to the critical decisions needed for a healthy transition to adulthood.
We are always on a path to a bigger, better, and more impactful future – for the It Gets Better Project and for the thousands of LGBTQ+ youth we have the honor of serving every day. Next year will be no different, and we have you to thank for that.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – we are so much better together. Thank you for sticking with us to create a better world for LGBTQ+ youth.
We’ll see you next year!