GREECE: IT GETS BETTER GREECE is a proud supporter and co-producer of "BY YOUR SIDE," a nationwide media campaign promoting the visibility of same sex couples in Greece. Recently, it aired on national Greek television, making it the first LGBTI related video to do so. Amazing!
As we speak, the Senate of Chile (the upper house of the country's National Congress) is debating the Ley de Identidad de Género (the "Gender Identity Law"), one that would allow Chilean citizens to change their legal gender to reflect their gender identity. Our affiliate in Chile - TODO MEJORA- is working hard to inform people about the benefits that such a law would bring to LGBTQ youth in the country.
SWITZERLAND: It's important to show LGBTQ+ visibility in all walks of life. Recently, our friends at IT GETS BETTER SWITZERLAND shared a video from Adrian, a local police officer in Switzerland. He shares his story about accepting his sexuality and achieving visibility within his precinct.
PARAGUAY: Our affiliate, TODO MEJORA PARAGUAY, also decided to commerote the International Suicide Prevention Day last month by starting a campaign called #NoEstásSólo ("You're Not Alone") to inspire hope in those who struggle to find the happiness they deserve.
In August we raised over $34,000 from the sales of Humble Bundles, which are collections of video games sold with a portion of the price going towards charity. Super cool! Not to mention we had over 200 new donors support us on #GiveOutDay (August 2), the national day of giving for the LGBT community. What an incredible show of love and support! Thank you.
In August, our affiliate in Switzerland got a name-change! Es Wird Besser Schweiz is now IT GETS BETTER SWITZERLAND in show of support of the many official languages represented in Switzerland in addition to German. Here is Fabio, one of the co-founders of the affiliate, telling us all about what has happened in the 5 years since the launch of our affiliate there. We love you!
Our affiliate in Italy got in touch with the amazing rapper McNill some time ago on Twitter, and it was love at first tweet! McNill then wrote a song about the affiliate and featured it on NOISEY. You can watch the music video featuring the crowd at Bologna Pride!
This is what they accomplished:
- Participated in Campus Party Jalisco, a tech super event that gathers companies and entrepreneurs in the digital world.
- Held a conference on how to create safe spaces for the LGBT Community at work and on social media.
- Collaborated with influencer and trans activist Ophelia Pastrana.
- Joined Movimiento por la Igualdad ("Equality Movement"), a national coalition of LGBT Non-Profits that seek to make things better for the LGBT community.
- Participated at the Pride event that Google organized in Mexico City.
But that isn't all: they also teamed up with Servicio de Agencia to make a special video (below) to share the It Gets Better mission. Wow! What amazing work! Keep up the great work!
Josh and Shoshana are the creators and actors from Super Deluxe's new online series, The Chances. Both are deaf and Josh identifies as gay. Check out their online series!
GLOBAL: As we begin this new year, we look back on 2016 and can only smile at the work accomplished by our network. Below is a recap of what we did last year as a global organization. We are so proud of what all of our affiliates accomplished, and cannot wait to see what 2017 brings!
SPAIN & GREECE: The International LGBT Association (ILGA) Europe recently held its annual conference in Nicosia, Cyprus, and some of our friends from Spain and Greece were in attendance. One of these attendees was Judith Velasco, a recipient of an It Gets Better scholarship offered to help those volunteering with our many affiliates around the world access high quality training experience. She'll be putting together a re-cap video of the conference soon together with some of the other attendees, so keep an eye out for that.
GLOBAL: October was a busy month for us in the states and across the globe. On October 11th we celebrated National Coming Out Day, a holiday to validate the tough but liberating process of coming out for LGBTQ people. Brianna Hildebrand, the recent star of our partner film First Girl I Loved, as well as the superhero blockbuster flick Deadpool, was among our many supporters who shared their coming out stories online. Watch her share her amazing story below.
he gold medal goes to Javier Raya, a Spanish olympian figure skater, for his recent decision to come out! He told his story to our Spanish affiliate, IT GETS BETTER ESPAÑA. We love you, Javier! We need more LGBTQ+ role models like you.
ITALY: Italian swimmer, Rachele Bruni, came out at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio by dedicating her silver medal to her girlfriend. They said it was a first for Italy, but actually Nicole Bonamino, a national hockey player, came out in 2014. She shared her story to our Italian affiliate, LE COSE CAMBIANO back then. Check it out!
Earlier this year the It Gets Better Project TEAMED UP with First Girl I Loved, a film about two teenage girls wrestling with their sexuality at a Los Angeles high school. It originally premierd at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Award for "Best of Next." In August, the film released its first international trailer online, and it has left us agog! It's a must see.
Check out the recap video from our It Gets Better: Poolside Pride Celebration that went down in Los Angeles in June. The video is called #WHYIPRIDE, and it includes amazing interviews led by our friends at IT GETS BETTER COLOMBIA asking folks why they celebrate Pride. LOVE!
PERÚ: If you haven't heard, IT GETS BETTER PERÚ is celebrating the most recent and remarkable progress being made in their country - the passing of a law that now prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It's about time!
CHILE/GREECE: Last month, hundreds of advocates gathered at the annual world conference of the International LGBTI Association's (ILGA) with a united goal to improve the wellbeing of LGBTQ people everywhere. We had three representatives there on behalf of the IT GETS BETTER PROJECT, IT GETS BETTER GREECE, and TODO MEJORA (Chile). They learned a lot while at the conference, and connected with some incredible leaders. Thanks to their experience, we feel more equipped than ever to inspire and empower young people like you!
November was a month to remember here at the It Gets Better Project, thanks in large part to all of the contributions made to our organization on #GivingTuesday. We blew past our $10,000 goal for the month, and we are well on our way to reaching our year-end goal of $100,000. Thank you to all of you who have supported us!
COLOMBIA: IT GETS BETTER COLOMBIA released a touching new video from Angélica Lozano, a member of the House of Representatives in Colombia, at a recent Pride event. We're so grateful for your video, Angélica; you exude so much love and positivity. Thank you!
GLOBAL: On September 21, the It Gets Better Project celebrated it's anniversary. On that day six years ago, Dan and Terry's It Gets Better video launched a movement that now spans the world. Thank you to our supporters for helping us make the world a better place for LGBTQ young people everywhere.
The It Gets Better Project and its affiliates around the world are honoring the International Day Against Homo-, Bi-, & Transphobia (IDAHOT) 2016 in some really cool ways. Click here to learn all about them!
Part of making the next five years even better is making sure that our impact continues to spread to new areas around the world. This year, we added 3 new affiliates to our network (Ecuador, Greece, and Colombia), and representatives from the Project participated in over half a dozen international LGBT conferences across Europe and in Israel and Mexico. We look forward to making those numbers grow in 2016!
PARAGUAY: British Ambassador to Paraguay, Jeremy Hobbs, shared his fantastic story with IT GETS BETTER PARAGUAY - the first ambassador to Paraguay to do so. Thank you, Ambassador!
CHILE: Our friends at TODO MEJORA in Chile launched an amazing new app to expand their Hora Segura ("Safe Hour") program, so young LGBT people can find the assistance and support group they need at the touch of a button. Super cool!
PERÚ: Last month, IT GETS BETTER PERÚ joined forces with The French Alliance (AF) in Lima, an international organization that aims to promote French language and culture around the world. Together they raised awareness and funds through the art of graffit. Check out the amazing photos HERE. Oh, and It Gets Better Perú also reached 10,000 likes on FACEBOOK last month! Awesome!
CHILE: In commemoration of the International Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, our affiliate in Chile, TODA MEJORA, shared this empowering message. Beautiful!
Our Austrian affiliate turned 3 this month with 111 videos uploaded to YouTube with more than 300,000 views. Woo hoo!
This country is going through a lot right now: Italy's Senate just approved same-sex civil unions, a very important first step towards equality, but challenges are still being faced over adoption by same-sex couples. LE COSE CAMBIANO, our local affiliate, is taking part in it. Here's is a picture from one of the flashmobs they attended (plus these ones HERE)! To learn more, check out this ARTICLE from The Guardian.