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It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living Paperback – January 25, 2012
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"A masterstroke . . . revolutionary." — Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City
About the Author
More About the Author
Savage is the author of: American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics; The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family; Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America (Lambda Literary Award for Nonfiction); The Kid: What Happened When My Boyfriend and I Decided to Get Pregnant (PEN West Award for Creative Nonfiction); and Savage Love. He co-authored How to be a Person. The Kid was adapted into an Off-Broadway play and has recently been optioned for film.
Savage is the Editorial Director of The Stranger, Seattle's weekly alternative newspaper, and his writing has appeared in widely in publications including The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Rolling Stone, The Onion, and Salon.com. Savage is also a contributor to Ira Glass's This American Life. "Savage Love" is syndicated in newspapers and websites throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
In 2010, Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, launched a YouTube video meant to offer hope to bullied LGBTQ youth. The It Gets Better Project has become a global movement, inspiring more than 50,000 videos. Savage and Miller co-edited the It Gets Better book, published in March 2011. In 2012, the It Gets Better Project received the Governors Award at the Creative Arts Emmys.
Savage grew up in Chicago and now lives in Seattle, Washington with his husband and their son, DJ.
Photos by LaRae Lobdell.
Top Customer Reviews
Within 24 hours, someone uploaded a second video. In 3 days, there were several hundred videos. At the end of the week, there were 1,000. In week 4, the White House called with a request to add a video from President Obama. There are now more than 10,000 videos in the It Get's Better collection.
About 1% of these were selected and transcribed and combined with expanded and original essays to present these messages in written form. The themes of the essays are why gay, bi, questioning, outsider, bullied, or any other youth should not kill themselves or be self destructive, since their lives will and do get better. The book includes resources and suggestions, and should be read by teachers, librarians, youth workers, parents, and of course, youth.
The book features contributions by President Obama, David Sedaris, Kate Clinton, Murray Hill, Bishop Gene Robinson, Ellen Degeneres, Tim Gunn, UK PM David Cameron, Suze Orman, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Chaz Bono, Bruce Ortiz, PereZ Hilton, Alex Orue and many more.
There is something for nearly everyone: Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender woman who teaches at Colby, writes about a post-college incident where she drove to the literal edge of North America to end her life from a cliff (but didn't); Gregory MaGuire, the author of "Wicked" writes an essay; while Kevin Yee, an actor in the musical, "Wicked," also writes one. It is one of the funniest essays in the book.Read more ›
It's an earnest, uneven, truly inspirational collection, with enough of those heart-in-your-throat moments to keep you reading.
Interestingly, the most famous names in the book have the least impact. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Al Franken, Suze Orman and even Ellen Degeneres are all here, but their pieces feel about as passionate as thumbing through their cue cards. Maybe fame leads to caution.
You'll have to settle for celebrity twice-removed to tap a wellspring of real emotion. Randy Roberts Potts is the grandson of the late, ultra-homophobic televangelist Oral Roberts, and Randy shares a family secret more salacious than his own homosexuality: his uncle, Ronald David Roberts, was also gay, and he was so despondent after coming out to his famous father that he killed himself with a gunshot to his heart.
Randy's own story is filled with religious and social trials, but there is victory. "I had to fight hard for it, but it finally happened," he writes, "the freedom to just be myself." And then he can't resist this: "My grandfather was famous for telling people, `Something good is going to happen to you!' And, it's strange to admit it, but he was right."
I still have the voice of lesbian Gabrielle Rivera ringing in my ears. Gabrielle appears on page 45 and not a moment too soon, bursting with truth and anger and passion. "It kind of doesn't get better," she proclaims. "...but what happens is this: You get stronger. You learn how to love yourself. You learn that other people are just crazy and caught up in their own crap.Read more ›
I read the excerpts by Dan and Terry and they really moved me and I read of few of the entries as well. I left with a few tears and it really opened my eyes to bullying experienced by LGBT, and bullying in general.
My personal experience: I grew up in the 90's. I was never bullied (I look back and wonder why considering the geek I was) and I thought bullying was just boy humor that was exaggerated out on Saved By the Bell and other comedic shows. I look back and wonder why I never saw much bullying happening. Actually, now that I think really hard about it, maybe it was happening, but I didn't realize it was bullying. People were made fun of - but for really dumb things, like their clothes, or just random accusations about people. I guess I just thought they were dumb comments, but didn't realize it might have affected people so much. There was one suicide and I remember people were sad about it. What struck me the most was I loved gay people. I don't know how I even came to know what gay was, but I had a couple friends who I was pretty close with and I was naive (again) to their sexual orientation. When they told me, I thought it made them cooler. Little did I know what they were going through. Obviously, I feel that if they couldn't even talk to me, then it's great that others can reach out to them first to know that there are safe places they can go to and talk about it.
The book itself is moving. The recent interview with Dan and Terry at Google adds more depth and realism to their excerpts because it adds the emotion of their voice and heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The content here was passionate and diversified, representing a variety of experiences to ensure that it's target audience—teens—find an essay or two that resonates with their... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ryan Mease
As a young gay man coming to terms with his sexually, this is exactly the book I needed to make through the dark days, I would have probably committed suicide without the support... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Andrew Pravecek
When I first got it, I though it was going to be another advise or how to book about loving life and coming out as an lgbt teen. But once I got it I was proven so wrong. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sarah Rosenberg
Very inspirational to hear people sharing their stories in order to inspire others to hang on until It Gets Better.Published 7 months ago by ABJames
As a person currently going through the process of coming out, I found the stories in the book very inspiring. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Robert E Cashman
The world can be a very confusing place when you are a sexual minority. Feelings of isolation is perhaps more likely to occur in LGBT-indivuals. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lukas Nathan Rasmussen