Gay troops overseas let teens know "it gets better"
Published: January 24, 2012
NAPLES, Italy – In a move that would have gotten them kicked out of the military just a few months ago under “ don’t ask, don’t tell,” a group of gay troops stationed at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan have produced their own “It Gets Better” video.
Posted on YouTube, the two-and-a-half minute video features members of the gay-rights lobbying group Outserve talking about the importance of being true to one’s self.
“It’s hard being different when you’re young, and when you’re old,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Erin Jones says in the clip. “The sooner you accept yourself for who you are, the sooner you realize that life does get better. But it won’t get better until you start to accept yourself for who you are.”
The video is part of the It Gets Better Project, an initiative created to show young gay and transgender individuals the happiness and potential that awaits them if they can make it through their tumultuous teen years.
“Growing up isn’t easy,” the project’s Web site reads. “Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn.”
The troops in the Bagram video encourage gay youth to surround themselves with people who will support them. “It’s really hard…to be different,” Staff Sgt. Shelise Harmon says in the video. “It’s even harder to be someone that you’re not.
“Just go with the flow. And it gets better.”