In his September 23, 2010, Savage Love column, Dan Savage wrote about 15-year-old Billy Lucas, an Indiana teen who committed suicide after persistent bullying and harassment by his classmates for being gay. Savage wrote: “I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.”
So Savage started the “It Gets Better Project” on YouTube, in which LGBT adults are encouraged to submit videos of themselves talking to LGBT teenagers who suffer abuse similar to Billy Lucas’s. And several other teens who ended up commiting suicide recently, as it turns out, including Cody Barker, age 17, of Shiocton, Wisconsin; Asher Brown, age 13, of Houston, Texas; Seth Walsh, age 13, of Tehachapi, California; Tyler Clementi, age 18, the Rutgers University student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge; Raymond Chase, age 19, a student in Providence, Rhode Island; and Justin Aaberg, age 15, of Anoka, Minnesota.