In 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created the It Gets Better Project in response to a number of heartbreaking incidents in which students took their own lives after being bullied in school.
The project invites people to create YouTube videos that reassure and inspire hope for young people facing harassment. The videos are intended as a personal way for supporters to tell lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender youth that they are not alone, and that things will get better.
Savage will talk about the It Gets Better Project on Sunday, April 29.
Since its inception, the It Gets Better Project has inspired more than 40,000 user-created videos that have been viewed more than 40 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, corporations, political and civic leaders and media personalities, including President Barack Obama; actors Anne Hathaway and Colin Farrell; the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Ernst & Young, Staples and Pixar; members of the Yale Divinity School; and several professional sports teams, including the Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles.
A Chicago native, Savage began writing a sex-advice column, “Savage Love,” in 1991 for an alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle. The column now is syndicated in weeklies across the country, including the Chicago Reader. He also is the author of several books, including It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living (2011); and The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family (2006).
Savage’s lecture will begin on April 29 at 7:00 p.m. in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. A book signing will follow the lecture. The event is free and the public is invited, but please note that seating is limited. Remote viewing sites on campus will be available. For more information, call (630) 617-3390.