Company members will conduct a multimedia journey through the brief but powerful history of the It Gets Better movement, including a detailed discussion of the development of the new live stage work, it gets better, and a curated selection of videos form the project.
The first part of the presentation follows the timeline of events that inspired Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller to record the first video in September 2010. The couple was inspired to take action after being moved by one too many news stories about young lives cut short as a result of bullying and isolation. Several of these teens and children identified as gay or lesbian (or were perceived as such by their peers), while others were merely targeted because of their “differentness.”
Their video went live on September 21. One month later, President Obama uploaded his video for the now‐global project, and the site reached 10 million views and 100,000 registered supporters.
Those who wanted to add their own videos to the site were asked to take this pledge:
Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and other bullied teens by letting them know that “It Gets Better.”
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) was one of the first organizations to produce its own It Gets Better video in October 2010: Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” arranged by Matthew Brown, which has become emblematic of the anti‐bullying movement. The video has now been viewed more than 900,000 times around the world.
GMCLA has performed since 1979 to bring an end to homophobia and discrimination of all kinds through the entertainment and education of its community.
The Chorus’s experience working with high school students blossomed in 2008 with the Alive Music Project, which brings live performance, music education, history, anti‐bullying and the sharing of personal triumphs to Los Angeles area classrooms. Combining those elements with the It Gets Better message was a natural next step.
It Gets Better Journey participants will be taken behind the scenes to witness the development of the live stage work from initial inception, selection of music, collaborative script development, early workshop experiences, and work with an internationally renowned group of artists and educators. Company members will share their personal stories and offer reflections about the mission of it gets better ‐ including experiences on the road with the production. This presentation also addresses some of the controversy about the It Gets Better Project, specifically the need for more immediate community action to make life better immediately for LGBT youth in all communities. (50 minutes, including Q&A; maximum participants: 40. Audio/video projection capability required.)