Granted they were lucky enough to have the brains, money, connections and encouragement to go to an Ivy League school, but the kids at Yale made a nice It Gets Better Video.
Co-director Sarika Arya said in a commentary:
I and my co-director, Karin Shedd, were inspired by our LGBTQ peers to create the video in the hope of uplifting those silenced by bullying. We are straight allies who believe that security, respect, and dignity (basic human rights) are not hetero but universal. We do not believe your particular sexual orientation dehumanizes you. We are a part of a growing population that cares about you.
Together, we interviewed over a dozen Yale students in one emotionally grueling day. Karin collected additional footage of them in their day-to-day lives, and we spent another three months editing. As we reviewed our work, we realized an urgent need to get a message out to the LGBTQ community, put succinctly by Yale junior, Terrell Carter: “You don’t deserve the pain you’re feeling.” Rather, you have value.
It’d be easy to say that a lot of the gay kids at Yale are probably—though not automatically—from environments where coming out, even if it was traumatic, is not as dangerous as it is for others. But that doesn’t diminish the message.
Arya recounts one particularly moving:
One of our most memorable examples of this was epitomized by someone we never actually interviewed. Instead, Katie Miller, a transfer student from West Point, spoke for Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt, a young man with the U.S. military. Corporal Wilfahrt is gay. When he joined the military, he was not discouraged by the then-active, discriminatory policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He wanted to serve and lay his life on the line for his country, which included those people who disapproved of his lifestyle.
Corporal Wilfahrt was killed in action in Afghanistan.
“He’s someone that served,” said Katie. “It didn’t matter that he was gay. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and I continue to have the utmost respect for him.”
It’s Fleet Week here in New York and as we’ve encountered openly gay and lesbian sailors at gay bars here in New York, we find ourselves in awe of their bravery and sacrifice—not just as members of the Armed Forces but as pioneers in a brave new world.