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WATCH: MTV’s “It Gets Better” Special With Dan Savage Debuts Tonight

Set your DVRs: The “It Gets Better” project is airing a True Life-style hour-long special on both MTV and Logo tonight at 11pm EST.

Dan Savage teamed up with the networks to create the special, which follows three different LGBT teens at different stages of telling the world they’re queer. One is just beginning to come out to his family, another has come out to her parents but is still working with them to establish a deeper understanding of gay issues, and the last is a transgender man about to get married to his female partner (photo at right).

“What you see in the special are all these young people who are at different stages of the coming out process, making it better for themselves using their own power to change and transform their lives,” Savage told MTV News.

And what would an MTV special be without celebrity guest stars? Expect to see messages from Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Zachary Quinto, Margaret Cho, Chaz Bono, Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears.

You can expect to to see Savage on MTV a lot more come this spring, when his upcoming series, Savage U debuts. The series follows him around to different college campuses, offering a crash course on relationships, responsibility, sex, love and life.

On:           Feb 21, 2012
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    • Ryan

      The problem is it’s coming from the same channel that makes “1 Girl 5 gays” where the panelists are clearly cast and encouraged to be as superficial and bitchy as they can possibly manage. And they go out of their way to have the gays be an extension of straight girls interests. That’s just what gay guys are used for, as a minstrel show for straight girls. MTV is part of that baggage trickle down and until they stop influencing youth culture with that type of material one “It get’s better special” isn’t going to make it better.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle

      @Ryan: Ryan, I agree with you. You make a lot of sense.

      I believe that they need to get new gay guys on 1 Girl 5 Gays. It’s a show about nobody’s espousing their opinions. Why do I have to see the same nobody’s over and over again? I recently saw the chunky gay guy on that show, and he looked extremely affected. He looked like he was straight out of Cannes. It was laughable.

      It Gets Better seems like MTVs “True Life” to me. What’s the difference?

      If you want to see a network where there tons of gay people, in power no less, watch Bravo. There are gay guys in every single show.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsp

      @Ryan: actually Ryan it is produce in Toronto, Ontario, Canada by MTV Canada. MTV Canada is owned by Bell Media, with its name licensed from the American channel of the same name, which is owned by MTV Networks, a division of Viacom.The channel launched as talktv in 2000, but was not as widely available prior to its relaunch as MTV in March 2006. Unlike MTV channels in the U.S. and elsewhere, the channel cannot carry music videos nor carry music programming due to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) genre exclusivity restrictions, thus it is just called “MTV” instead of “MTV: Music Television”, the full name used in the rest of the world prior to February 2010. MuchMusic, now a sister channel of the Canadian MTV channel, had been launched in 1984 with exclusivity in the mainstream music category.

      (just to clear that up….ni dissing)

      I do agree that there should be a more diverse rottating panel. I apreciated the teen panel, the lesbian panal but the regular panel….come on, there are gay men in their 30’s and 40’s, etc. that may have somthing to say.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adrian

      Guys, I understand your opinion regarding the show “1 Girl 5 Gays” I tried watching that show and I could not bring myself to sit through a whole episode. I had to change the channel.

      That being said, asking to rotate that panel is like asking to rotate the panel on “The View.” Sure there are many women that have opinions but the ladies of The View are the chosen ones for that show.

      As for the “It Gets Better” show, I can see how it can help a struggling LGBT youth. I know that when I was coming out as a teen “My So Called Life” and “Queer of Folk” were a beacon of light in my life…Queer as Folk went to shit after the second season but it still helped me not feel so alone at the time .

      Feb 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair

      I think this is a mistake. Encouraging young people to come out early, where people can be surrounded by bullies, hateful admins, and ignorant parents. Then throwing in the sentiment ‘you’re not alone’? Please. Many young people are alone, and there’s nothing they can do about it until they leave home.
      Savage has made a few excellent arguments for us on national television. Not just great reasoning but beautifully arranged as well. That writing gig has really paid off.
      But he’s made serious mistakes. Frothy mix was terrible pr and makes us look like total sleaze. It gets better was invented by someone else. And Savage has done a terrible job with implementation, allowing gay activists to promote comming out regardless of someone’s circumstances.
      He gets away with the incompetence because he has a deep voice and looks great, which in our community is all that matters.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      I am sick of this Dan Savage. I see him as being in money-making mode. How much money is he making from the “It Gets Better” concept? I want to see his bank account. I want to see how much money he’s making from a failed campaign. Kids are still killing themselves despite the campaign. It’s NOT getting better, Mr Savage.

      The mere fact that Savage would collaborate with the homophobic MTV speaks volumes. MTV is homophobic. It once had a show which promoted the notion that lesbians and bisexual women were pick-up fodder for sleazy straight guys. Has MTV’s highly disrespectful treatment of lesbians and bisexual women ever crossed his conscience?

      You’re a creep, Dan. We don’t want anything to do with you or MTV.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      MTV has a record of having shows that refused to include gay and bisexual men. It once had a bisexual dating show with Tila Tequila. It was just an excuse to show fake bisexual women as sex objects for sleazy straight guys. No bisexual men were included in the show.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron

      It Gets Better, as long as you’re part of mainstream gay culture. Otherwise, go kill yourself.

      I love you, Dan! I’m sure he’ll totally handle the Transgendered Man well, if he even appears!

      Feb 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David

      It doesn’t get better if you’re bisexual, trans, gay and femme, lesbian and butch, not-vanilla, or LGBT and not white and rich.

      Dan Savage the media whore finally got what he set out all along for by starting his “It gets better” project a special on MTV, media exposure, money, and a reality TV show on MTV all by pretending to give a shit about GLBT youth, GLBT rights, and GLBT equality when in reality he is a bully, is highly transphobic, biphobic, and racist. He’s also the last person who should be doing any sort of work with young people or for GLBT equality.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erasure25

      All this hate reeks of petty jealousy. Yes, obviously Dan makes money. Its called a job. People get paid for doing work. The CEO of ALL non-profit orgs make money. If you’re expecting people to spend their entire day working on GLBT advocacy projectS entirely for free, then I invite you to go ahead and get on it. I think the project is fantastic and has helped a lot of people. I sure wish I had this as a kid. Will it solve 100% of the problems? Of course not. But hyperbole aside, I support Dans efforts and the project. Is Dan a media whore? I don’t know… Maybe. Who cares. At least he is articulate and can hold his own in a debate with right wingers.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh, ok.

      @erasure25: That must be it, everyone is jealous of Dan Savage. Thanks for clearing that up.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Bedwell

      First, go to today’s “Advocate” online interview with Savage where he makes VERY clear that he is NOT telling every kid to come out! While, save for a dumb remark about gays not being able to join the military prior to repeal when, of course, only OUT gays couldn’t, it’s the best interview I’ve ever read with him. BUTTTTTT: sadly, however, the trailer for the special above has a major disconnect. In the interview, he agrees that, “the political climate for gay people really does impact young gay people. What kind of a world are they coming into? Are they coming into a world where they are citizens or not citizens, where they are equal or not equal?” But the trailer’s sound bite from Obama’s disingenuous “It Gets Better” video implies that he and Savage are on the same proverbial page when the truth is that Democrats such as him—regardless of however affirming they might be in other ways—are just as damaging when they say “marriage is ‘one man-one woman’,” that they oppose or are only “evolving” on marriage equality as when it’s said by any Republican—probably having a far worse effect given such “liberals” as Obama saying we deserve some rights but not others. We are either “equal” or we’re not.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan

      @dsp: Right sorry I’m in Canada, I’m not sure if U.S MTV is as brutal as that show is. Trying to be positive:

      Maybe the “it get’s better” special will be appreciated by some younger viewers, I just hope MTV examines it’s own role in the negative environment in other areas of it’s own programming.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron


      Considering this program has a guest spot by Vinny Guadagnino, that seems rather unlikely.

      I think the fact Savage didn’t object to that shows money is most likely his first priority, lip-service tolerance his second.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drew

      It gets better is just a bullshit PR campaign, nothing more. Telling kids to put up with bullying until they leave school is not constructive advice. It’s cruel. School boards, school administrators, teachers, etc, need to have zero tolerance policy for bullying. It’s not uncommon for teachers and even some school administrators to bully unpopular kids themselves. That’s where the changes need to be made… The reason “It Gets Better” caught on with politicians and celebrities is because it’s great PR and it requires absolutely NOTHING from them in the way of real action.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mylife

      Dan Savage is trash. I want him to be involved in a spectacular scandal. I just hate him.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair

      @Drew: I have to agree. I never thought of that, but now it makes total sense.
      It’s an old, old trick to put all the responsibility on the victim while never challenging the bully. It’s typical of opportunists using sentimentality as a smoke screen.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex Sarmiento

      I support the concept of “It Gets Better”. But I doubt that such a message coming from a pampered celebrity who probably never experienced anything close to bullying in the first place (and I bet a lot of them have done IGB videos) would make any difference. Sometimes I think that it only gets better if you’re heterosexual, white, male, Christian, and have more money than God (or Goddess or the Flying Spaghetti Monster).

      Feb 22, 2012 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ugggghhhhhh

      those of us in seattle know that dan savage is an opportunistic parasite who will not hesitate to throw you under the bus if you don’t fit into his vision of right wing Log-cabin-lite politics. The It Gets Better campaign does nothing to empower queer youth. in fact, we are seeing a whole generation of gay kids make these videos and then kill themselves, while dan savage tells them to pull themselves to up by their bootstraps and he profits off the dead by hawking his self-help books. what we need is action and strategy, a battle plan to help gay kids survive, and deal directly with the homophobes (for example, how to file a complaint and lawsuit against your school district) and not snake oil charms like the It Gets Better media sham.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw

      Why do all the people who hate Dan Savage never miss an opportunity to post a nasty comment? You know what, I’m really tired of it. If you don’t like what he does, don’t listen, and don’t read it. All you f-ing knowitalls should start YOUR OWN projects instead of constantly criticizing his. Frankly, I have worked with a few moderately important people and a whole of not important people – guess what? They’ve stepped up to the plate, put their hat in the ring, took charge, ran for office or whatever and they ALL have egos. And probably their own agendas, more so and less- so, depending on the person. I agree with other comments here that everyone, including the CEO of non profits gets a paycheck, nobody works free. So….if you know so much better, and can’t stand what Dan is doing, then I can’t wait to see what you come up with to empower Gay youth and change things, etc.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 1:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • roro

      Not sure why but I’m not a Dan Savage fan either. I don’t care how much money he has but I didn’t watch this special and I won’t be watching his upcoming show. Maybe I missed something but what makes him a “relationships, responsibility, sex, love and life” expert. bleh

      Feb 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BubbasBack

      Awful. Burp.

      Feb 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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