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Which Family Values Group Will Object to School Libraries Stocking Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Book?

The It Gets Better Project, Dan Savage’s decentralized attempt at collecting more celebrities talking to the camera than an Access Hollywood crew at the Golden Globes, isn’t going to remain just some silly YouTube channel. It’s headed to the raucous and in-demand format known as “books.”

With some 10 million views, the effort is an opportunity for publisher Dutton to package essays from The Famous and The Not Famous, with all proceeds going to gay youth, says Savage.

Just make sure it’s available on Kindle and the iPad, because really, what kid buys books anymore?

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  • J.P.

    HEY! Kids still buy books: well at least here in Kentucky, and actually – most likely – books are bought for them AND Kentucky IS usually 6 months behind everywhere else, so maybe I’m not helping out, but still… ;)


    Which? Pretty much every damm one of ’em.……..

  • Daez

    Leave it to Dan Savage to capitalize on teenage suicide. In related news, gays will get rights because they demand them loud enough.

    Isn’t it about time that we change our approach and realize that we should integrate into society then demand rights instead of screaming that we are gay then demanding to integrate into society.

  • peteNsfo

    Let them protest… nothing does more to make a book of interest to kids… besides, if they’re on Facebook, they already know about it.

    And, lay off Dan Savage- there’s no way his effort can be seen as anything but something good for at-risk kids.

  • TheInsider

    As someone who has worked in media and with celebrities for 20 years, I can tell you this: The moment celebrities get involved and this turns into a book, it becomes all about them. Fact: Most kids do not read books, and in their darkest hours, the last thing they have on their minds is Dan Savage and his family, books (unless they’re “Twilight” or “Harry Potter”) and celebrities. No, there are better ways. A few examples:
    1) Money. Urge these celebrities that will be participating to contribute serious money to several educational initiatives and programs, i.e., to help fund them or start new ones across America.
    2) Honesty. Have celebrities and other influential people that Savage may know come out on these videos. Show the world who they are for REAL, how they faced bullying or discrimination if they did, how they got to be where they are now and if they still feel discriminated, in spite of being rich and famous. Case in point: actor Zachary Quinto has a beautiful and eloquent spot about this issue. However, one can’t help imagine how much more truthful and powerful his message would’ve been had he finally come out and shared his experience with kids. Ditto for someone like Anderson Cooper, who skirts around the issue every time he does an interview related to the subject.
    3) Since most of these media efforts will probably be seen just by adults, address congresspeople, write to them, demand change, and to do that, use connections that celebrities and people like Savage may have, to encourage wealthy gay man to contribute and become “philanthropists” of our youth. Were are David Geffen, Jeff Bezos, Barry Diller, etc., in all of this? Or straights like George Soros, who loves to fund media initiatives?
    4). You want a real, effective PSA Mr. Savage? Ask these celebrities to speak with their agents, directors, producers, so as to demand the inclusion of a public service announcement which they can tape, and that would run right before a movie starts on a screen. Kids go to certain movies in droves, so target those movies, and put short and with a punch messages before them, and plaster info posters on the lobbies of America’s movies chains and malls.
    5) If any of these celebrities is a well-known singer, have him or her record a song, upload it to a music service, make it available for free, and promote it when the artist is going around talking about his album, his concerts or his personal life. To many gays, Madonna is the patron saint of queerdom. And she sure has made a career thanks to us. Isn’t it time she stepped up to the bat? How about asking her to contribute somehow Mr. Savage? Even Lady Gaga has spoken for us about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
    6) Bullying comes in many forms, it affects more than teens, and it is not only insensitive straight youth that carry it out. As young gay men and women grow up and try to find their place in the world, they have no gay role models. And if they are not the perfect ideals of gay physicality, they will suffer, just like so many girls suffer from anorexia and bulimia because the beauty industry and many sectors of society place such a high and impossible-to-attain standard on them. How about launching a campaign with gay clubs across the country, where we are inspired to love our gay brothers and sisters for who they are and how they are, and to encourage us to become mentors to gay youth, rather than to see them as twinkies? Mr. Savage covers the sex industry quite extensively. I imagine he has, or could get, contacts for this. And yes, it is hard to change people’s attitudes, but bringing attention to the issue always raises awareness and maybe, just maybe, someone will reflect more on his behavior and keep his cruel comments to himself.
    7) Try to get straight-gay school alliances involved, and focus on youth that have experienced bullying and make them the stars of the project, not Mr. Savage and friends, unless those friends adhere to point 2 on here.
    And I can go on and on. My point is: yes, YouTube videos are nice, a book is fine, especially for those who participate in it (there is a thing such as free publicity, you know?), but until I see some concrete, long-term planning and reaching across to some of these groups that I have mentioned, there will not be real change. There will be just more death.

  • tavdy79

    One major advantage of kindle/iPad copies of books: kids with homophobic parents can own copies of books without actually having the physical books for their parents to find.

  • Hamburglar

    @Daez: We’re already “integrated into society.”

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