# It Gets Better

Vilsack to rural and small-town LGBT youth: "It gets better"

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack submitted a video this week to the It Gets Better Project “because he wants LGBT youth – especially youth in small-town and rural America – to know that they are never alone.” The “It Gets Better” Project grew out of syndicated columnist Dan Savage’s reaction to several suicides this year by teenagers who were bullied for being gay or being perceived to be gay. The project’s mission is to help LGBT youth “imagine a future for themselves.”

I posted Vilsack’s video after the jump. Excerpts (my transcription):

I’ve been made fun of for being different. Growing up, I was chubby and I was teased for being overweight. […]

Today, if you’ve been bullied, I want to let you know that it gets better. I know that it can be particularly hard as an LGBT youth in a small community or in a rural town. You might never have known an openly gay adult. But know that in rural America, there are thousands of gay adults and teens leading normal, happy lives.

The USDA also provided these links and resources for young people who have been bullied or harassed.

As Iowa governor, Vilsack was a strong supporter of anti-bullying policies. The Iowa Civil Rights Commission created the GLBT Youth in Iowa Schools Task Force in 2002. Vilsack publicly supported that commission’s work, but Republicans lawmakers repeatedly blocked legislation to address bullying in schools. Under Democratic control, the Iowa House and Senate passed an anti-bullying law during the first year of Chet Culver’s administration.

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