It Gets Better Project

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Blogs We Follow


#college

University of Iowa makes history by adding LGBT identity questions to admissions form

campuspride:

University of Iowa becomes the first public institution and the second, and largest, U.S. institution of higher education to ask students demographic questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in college admissions

imageCampus Pride, the nation’s leading educational organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, is praising the decision today by administrators at the University of Iowa in Iowa City for including optional questions about students’ sexual orientation and gender identity in their college admission application.

The University of Iowa, a public institution of higher education founded in 1847, becomes the first public institution and the second U.S. college or university to add LGBT-specific demographic questions to its college admission form. The school follows Elmhurst College, a private four-year liberal arts college, which made history in August 2011 as the first U.S. institution of higher education to ask such demographic questions on their admission form. Elmhurst’s and Iowa’s decisions reflect a conscious choice by administrators at the schools to actively exercise responsibility for retention and academic success of LGBT students.

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I came to the It Gets Better Project for some inspiration. I watched so many videos. It ignited a courageous flame within me and I came out to the sister I’m closest to. She was so happy to know that I was finally being who I am, and that I was on my way to being much happier. She stood by my side every step of the way. It was extremely difficult, but extremely worth it. I came out to all my sisters and the response was overwhelmingly supportive. It DOES get better and there are people who TRULY care about you and will stick by your side through thick and thin. I promise. Stay strong folks, clouds are separating and good things are coming your way!

Anastasia A. (Columbia, MO)


Campus Pride releases first-ever list of the top ten trans-friendly colleges & universities across the nation →

Woohoo! We love this.

Campus Pride, the nation’s leading educational organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, announced today the first-ever national “Top 10 List of Trans-Friendly Colleges & Universities.” This transgender-specific resource listing was created in part from data complied annually since 2007 in the Campus Pride Index, which takes an in-depth look at LGBT-friendly policies, programs, and practices.


Jeff Sheng's 'Fearless' Project Features Intimate Portraits Of High School And Collegiate LGBT Athletes →

In 2003, the year after Jeff Sheng graduated from college, he began working on a project photographing and interviewing high school and collegiate athletes across the United States who openly self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), but continued to play sports on their predominantly “straight” school sports teams.

The series, which he titled “Fearless,” features individuals immediately after an intense workout or practice, in a location of their choice where they feel most comfortable as an athlete. Sheng chose to exhibit his work in locations such as student centers, college gyms, dining facilities and dormitory common areas to force an otherwise non-art-going public to see the images and consider the issues being presented.

Click the link to read more!


Love. That is the complex answer to a very simple question for me. When I was younger, I kind of cast off relationships and love as something I would never have because I was gay; I saw it as something sinful and shameful. But after coming to college, I have been able to see myself in a new light, and redefine myself as a beautiful, unique individual with something to offer.
—Hunter M. (Jonesboro, AR)

Today is so much better. I am a college student, open about who I am and loving life. I have never felt so free. I found friends who are both gay and straight who love me for who I am and hold my hand through the tough times.
—Megan M. (Laconia, NH)

Check out this great video from Camp Pride, Campus Pride’s annual summer leadership camp for LGBTQIA college students.

Photos and video credit: Katie Ellen Simmons-Barth


The message It Gets Better sends is important — it inspires, empowers and motivates young people to take a stand and work to create safer, more inclusive spaces on the campuses and in their communities for their fellow students, for other local LGBTQ young people and for future generations.
—Shane L. Windmeyer, M.S., Ed., is a leading author on gay campus issues, a national leader in gay and lesbian civil rights, and a champion for LGBT issues on college campuses. He is co-founder and executive director of Campus Pride, the leading national organization for student leaders and campus organizations working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. Learn more online at www.CampusPride.org.

For the last fifteen years, I have had the opportunity to see the positive impact of LGBTQ activism on college campuses. It all started when I was an undergraduate college student on my rural campus of Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas.

This was before the days of out high-profile celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres and long before the media was even paying attention to LGBTQ youth issues. My campus passed “sexual orientation” as part of an inclusive nondiscrimination statement and also created one of the first national “Safe Zone” programs for gay and lesbian students. I look back on this remembering how difficult it was to get college administrators to listen, understand and then make the changes. Of course, I am quite proud of this accomplishment back in the early 90s — and in the middle of Kansas.

Since then, I have seen LGBTQ and ally college students do the same fierce activism and, in most instances, still encountering difficult challenges from college administrators. Sometimes the LGBTQ and ally students stage peaceful sit-in protests and other times using “glitter bombs” to get necessary attention. As the founder and executive director of Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit organization for LGBT and ally college students, I applaud the college students working tirelessly to continue this legacy of activism and truly help others.

A safe, welcoming learning environment should be afforded to all students.

Shane L. Windmeyer, M.S., Ed., is a leading author on gay campus issues, a national leader in gay and lesbian civil rights, and a champion for LGBT issues on college campuses. He is co-founder and executive director of Campus Pride, the leading national organization for student leaders and campus organizations working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. Learn more online at www.CampusPride.org.