I was completely stunned when I learned of a Rutgers University student killed himself after his sexual encounter with another boy was broadcast online by his college roommate, he joined a growing list of gay suicides in recent months. The Rutgers student, Tyler Clementi, apparently jumped to his death from a New York City bridge after his privacy was compromised online, and earlier this week, a Houston teen was also driven to commit suicide after enduring anti-gay bullying in school. And, two other teens, Asher Brown and Seth Walsh committed suicide because they were gay.
"Hearing about these kids that have committed suicide, the reaction as a gay adult is always, 'God, I wish I could have talked to them for fifteen minutes or five minutes and told them it gets better,'" said Dan Savage told ABC News.
In an effort to counter the despair and isolation that many young gay people feel, Savage has launched a YouTube channel to provide positive examples of gay adults living their lives and sharing that simple message -- it gets better.
"It occurred to me that we can talk to these kids now," Savage said.
With the help of social media and YouTube, Savage realized his message could reach gay youth faster. Savage's first video, recorded with his husband Terry, has had over 200,000 views on YouTube. In their video, Terry talks about enduring severe bullying as a teenager, recalling being beaten up, thrown against lockers and stuffed into bathroom stalls in his school.
My friends and I stand behind you, Dan Savage in this campaign to make things/life better for gay youth. Here are our stories:
Together, we can help young people and the people that are troubled daily with being gay. Consider me a relentless soldier for this war...
Thank you, Dan Savage for creating this campaign and, ultimately, saving lives. We salute you!
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