When I was younger, the It Gets Better campaign was just beginning and gaining lots of attention. I had lots of friends and adults telling me to watch the videos and use them as sources of support for myself. I know those around me had great intentions, but for me, those videos almost made things harder for me. I wanted things to be better now as well as later. I was tired of hearing “it will get better” as opposed to “it is better.”
For several years, I disliked the entire It Gets Better campaign for those reasons. I felt like the stories told were only stories of lucky people, not everyday people like me. During this time, I didn’t realize all the pain and suffering most of those involved with the campaign had actually been through. The founder of It Gets Better, Dan Savage, is a part of the LGBTQ community himself, which is where he got the idea for the It Gets Better campaign. Even knowing this and realizing that he must have faced inequality and hate the same way I do, I felt like Savage had an easier, luckier coming out process than most, including myself. For that, I was a little biter towards the campaign as a whole.
Recently, however, things have gotten better for me. I have reached the realization that things do eventually get better. My life is far from perfect. I make many mistakes, as do those around me. I struggle at times. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time here on earth, it’s that everything happens for a reason and things getting “better” might not look how we’d expect it to. A very tough journey eventually leads to a happy ending (or at least a happy pit stop) and once you reach the peak, you’re able to look back and appreciate the entire journey. Looking back, I think this is exactly what the It Gets Better campaign was truly about.