The “It Gets Better” Campaign Becomes A Cynical Political Football

No prominent Republican politician has ever made an “It Gets Better” video. But now that Republican Scott Brown is the only member of the Massachusetts’ congressional delegation not to take part in their IGB video, everyone’s feigning shock and outrage. GOP peeps are saying that Brown is focused on job creation and didn’t want to join a campaign founded by a “lewd, violent, anti-Christian” like sex columnist Dan Savage. In response Savage said, “No GOP elected official can back the seemingly radical notion that LGBT kids shouldn’t kill themselves.”

And with this, the “It Gets Better” campaign has changed from a way for public figures to seem queer-friendly by reciting optimistic platitudes into a way for queers to dress down Republicans. That is, the anti-bullying campaign started ostensibly for gay kids is now a way for politically-minded adults to bully each other instead. The change has cheapened the It Gets Better project even more than it already was.

Why would anyone expect Brown to become the first Republican to participate in Savage’s campaign? How would that help him, his party or any suicidal queer kids whatsoever? Any depressed kid in Massachusetts who gets sent over the edge by one Republican delegate not telling them “It Gets Better,” has much bigger problems than Mr. Brown, 11 delegates and a YouTube video can solve.


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  • christopher di spirito

    Republican Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) was partially elected because queers in Massachusetts told reporters he is “hawt.” So boys, you’ve got your “hawt” representative now. Enjoy.

  • disco lives

    “Hi. I’m Bob Johnson, candidate for Springfield County Water Commissioner. I’d like to tell all the gay youth out there that I support you and that it gets better! I would also like to point out that my opponent for county water commissioner has not recorded one of these videos. It will get much better if I win, so please visit my website at Thank y’all so much.”

  • Eric

    What a poor opinion piece. Could you imagine the women’s rights movement if people were saying, “we don’t need men politicians publicly supporting women’s rights”? It takes all kinds to speak up. I suppose you don’t think we needed that republican swing vote to win marriage equality in New York either? Or that the Log Cabin Republicans weren’t critical in helping to stop the Brigg’s initiative?

  • Alex

    “Brown is focused on job creation and didn’t want to join a campaign started by a “lewd, violent, anti-Christian” like sex columnist Dan Savage.”

    “There’s also the fact that Savage is gay,” a secretary reported Brown saying off-camera. “I don’t want to join a campaign started by a gay man. I think that Savage is representative, you might say stereotypical, of all the lewd, violent, anti-Christian gay men out there. As a very proper and posh straight male, who serves our Lord God in public office with all zeal, how can I support the campaign of a lewd, violent, anti-Christian?”

  • Joe

    @christopher di spirito: Christopher, unless you have links to news stories of a major GLBT organization in MA endorsing him maybe you should think about not talking so much.

    Queers had way less than partially anything to do with Brown’s election. He won because his democratic challenger, she who shall not be named, ran the single worst campaign in modern US history.

  • Joe

    For those of us who actually live in MA it’s a lot more than a way for “queers to dress down Republicans.” It is, however, another way for us to remember that Scott Brown is not one of us.

  • Steve

    The Republicans have been too busy trying to repeal social security and medicare, to spend any time making videos that might save lives.

    After the recent attacks by the Republicans, not just on gays, but on ordinary people in general, I doubt very many of them will be re-elected.

    Good riddance.

  • Jim

    Is it sad that I know where the cartoon-ish image used on the main page for this article came from?

  • alan Balehead

    so dumb…how typical…

  • Steve

    Cheapen the campaign? That might be going a little far. However, if this new trend continues, it seems it will start to draw a line in the sand and create a world of “us versus them.” Hopefully political figures will realize that, if this line is going to be drawn, they have to make a choice. How that ends depends.

  • EVAN

    this is better than some of the sport ones. Seriously, we have to stop being critical and just take it for what it is. The more the better. Don’t hate.

  • Bertrand

    I feel pretty gratified that Kerry was a part of this video. If a former presidential candidate can throw a lifeline out to gay kids, that tells you how far we’ve come since the 90’s.

  • huxingn110

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  • Dave

    Puhlease! Transphobic, biphobic, woman hating racist that has exploited LGBTs for his own pocketbook calling someone else a scumbag grifter? Hypocrisy, thy name is Miss Dan Savage. *spits*

    Dan Savage is a self-centered embarrassment.

    Mr. Savage himself is the worst spokesman the gay community can ask for. He should stick to offering advice on putting metal rods up your dick and stop pretending he has anything intelligent to say on matters of institutional importance.

    Dan Savage makes lots more money by saying controversial things. He does not simply have an opinion about non-monogamy, he strongly pushes it any chance he gets. It is part of his money making brand, just like always wearing a T-shirt, and making himself Mother Teresa with “It gets better”.

    On Dan Savage, I certainly don’t want him representing gay men. Who the fuck appointed him? If he wishes to be a media whore, he should represent himself under the Dan Savage banner, not the gay rights banner.

    The more Savage opens his mouth, the less interested I am in what comes out of it.

  • Elloreigh

    @Dave: “The more Savage opens his mouth, the less interested I am in what comes out of it.”

    Great minds think alike! See the last line of these two posts:

    There has to be a way to *Santorumize Savage with that.

    *Santorumize: To wage a campaign that causes search engines to return negative definitions/associations with a person’s name as their top results.

  • Elloreigh

    When politicians seize on something like the “It Gets Better” campaign for political gain, then its meaning and relevancy are exponentially negatively affected.

  • Queer Supremacist

    @Dave: On Dan Savage, I certainly don’t want him representing gay men. Who the fuck appointed him?

    Dan Savage appointed himself.

    Let’s face facts. Most people get into positions of power and influence because of who they know, not because of ability. That’s true of just about every part of the public and private sector. If this were a meritocracy the gay rights battle would have been won 30 years ago. Frankly I am not surprised that Scott Brown, a Republican, doesn’t want to do a video full of empty platitudes as part of a feel-good campaign by a man who said he wished all Republicans were dead and only apologized to cover his ass.

    99% of the people doing this are only in it to feel good about themselves. Some of them, such as Kermit the Frog, aren’t even real. It doesn’t get better unless you actively work to make it better.

    @Eric: I could mention who filed that little lawsuit that got DADT declared unconstitutional, and who got a stay on it to push a watered-down repeal that permits discrimination through a lame duck congress so he could hog all the glory for himself.

    And I could mention the voting tallies by party on the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    And I could mention the 0% success rate of groups like HRC.

    And I could trot out the old cliché-that’s-a-cliché-because-it’s-true, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

    Or I could point out that until there are third and fourth parties in this country that actually get people elected, we need support from both the ones we’re stuck with.

    Or I could mention Messrs. McClurkin and Warren and their relationship to the current Panderer-in-Chief.

    But I won’t. Despite how these issues affect me personally, I enjoy watching insane people trying to do the same thing over and over again and get different results. It’s like a real-life Donald Duck cartoon.

  • Miguel

    I am a gay man and I wouldn’t mind at all having Dan Savage represent me. I think he has a rare combination of intelligence, independence of thought, and courage.
    I have listened to his show and read his column for years and I really don’t understand where some of these people pull these accusations of him being transphobic and so on from. He has transpeople and advocates on every second or third show he makes. I personally have learned more about trans issues and perspectives listening to his show than listening or reading anyone else.
    Finally, Dan doesn’t represent all gay people. He represents himself and those who share his perspective. There is no one “gay perspective”. If you want advance other gay rights perspectives through other means you are free to do so — start a blog or podcast or something or other. In today’s age of accessible internet media technology there is no lack of opportunity. Dan started as the sex advice columnist for a small independent newspaper. He has gained stature because he is intelligent and entertaining. It’s not like he’s Murdoch’s nephew.

  • Henry

    @Dave: “The more Savage opens his mouth, the less interested I am in what comes out of it.”

    I don’t know, you seem awfully interested in what comes out of Dan’s mouth. If you want to suck on Dan’s spit so much, that might be a problem, he already has Terry, and I don’t think Dan would give him up for you.

Comments are closed.