It Gets Better: Leeds University Students Make Their Mark In LGBT Project (VIDEO)

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Leeds Students Make Their Mark In It Gets Better Project. Creators Christopher Lee And Alan Holmes
Leeds Students Make Their Mark In It Gets Better Project. Creators Christopher Lee And Alan Holmes

For the past few weeks university students have been working to develop a video for the "It Gets Better Project", in order to raise awareness about LGBT issues.

Members of the Leeds University Union's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans (LGBT) Society have now submitted their creation to the project - which has seen companies as big as Apple and Google contribute.

The It Gets Better project was started in 2010 by sex columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller in response to the shocking number of students committing suicide after being bullied at school because they were LGBT.


Dan Savage (right) and Terry Miller (left), founders of It Gets Better project

"Its goal is to prevent suicide among LGBT youth by having LGBT adults convey the message," Christopher Lee, co-events and promotions officer of Leeds University's LGBT society explains.

"Whilst teenage years may be challenging, things do get so much better and that those who are LGBT can have full of happiness, joy and freedom.

"We decided to make a professionally shot video that would serve as a flagship for other LGBT societies around the country to follow," Lee told The Huffington Post UK.

"It is vital that this message gets across to the younger generation. We felt the need to highlight how university can be the perfect place to come to terms with who you are, to grow on not just an academic level, but a personal one too."

Lee adds the video, which was filmed over four recording sessions in three weeks, also serves as an "educational tool for people who may just not know what they identify as yet".

According to Lee, the Leeds campus is "very accepting" of LGBT students but there still may be some who live in fear of being "outed" or who feel they cannot accept their sexuality because of their background or religion.

"It can be a very scary time not knowing who you are or where you fit within society but we hope that this video will give people the strength to keep calm and enjoy the experience.

"This video aims to give those people the confidence to accept themselves and to stay strong."


Contributors to Leeds LGBT Union's It Gets Better video

President Obama and Hillary Clinton are just a few of the many public figures who've contributed to the It Gets Better Project with official YouTube videos so far, helping to make it a worldwide movement.

In February, an hour-long special aired on MTV, telling the story of three young people all of whom were either gay, lesbian or transgender.

Lee adds interviewing the students who appear in the film was a journey which will "stay with me for the rest of my life".

"This subject is very close to [the society's] heart and the message that this video portrays is crucial.

"By sharing our experiences with others, we aim to show them that they are not alone, and there are lots of people going through the exact same thing."

 
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