Vancouver Men’s Chorus contributes to the It Gets Better Project
As reported in 2008 Egale Canada First National Survey on Homophobia in Canadian Schools, 1 in 4 queer students are physically harassed due to their sexual orientation and that 70% of queer students feel their schools are unsafe for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered youth. More than 1/3 LGB youth report having made a suicide attempt (D’Augelli AR – Clinical Child Psychiatry and Psychology, 2002). Ellen DeGeneres puts it best, “we have an obligation to change this… We can’t let intolerance and ignorance take another kid’s life.”
In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
The Vancouver Men’s Chorus felt the need to contribute to the project, so in January 2011 we decided to produce a YouTube video – a first for the VMC. We got together at our safe place, our rehearsal space in Vancouver Academy of Music, and sang Fred Small’s “Everything Possible” while various VMC members told a heartfelt story submitted by a long-time VMC member. “With all the devastating news of young gay people committing suicide, we felt as a group that we should share our stories,” said VMC President Stephen Finn, “At times, being young and gay can feel very lonely and hopeless, and we wanted to show that it does, in fact, get better.”
This is our video, our story. Please share it with your friends and family. The It Gets Better Project has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring nearly 10,000 user-created videos and over 30 million views. The It Gets Better book is coming March 22nd, six months after the project launched. Let’s keep the movement going strong. To find out more about the project, please visit http://www.itgetsbetter.org/