I think people living in places like Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa sometimes get a distorted sense of how much anti-gay hostility still exists in the world. Gay people living in more conservative areas still face a substantial amount of discrimination, bullying, and condemnation. Dealing with that must be especially difficult for young people, who don’t yet have access to the kind of resources, networks, and self-sufficiency they will acquire with time.
As such, I think Dan Savage’s ‘It Gets Better‘ initiative deserves praise. The project consists of videos arguing that the lives of gay teens will improve, with the specific aim of discouraging people from committing suicide. Savage says the project seeks to “speak directly to LGBT kids about surviving bullying and going on to lead rewarding lives filled with joy, family, and love. We didn’t need anyone’s permission to tell them — it gets better”.