Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

‘The Moral High Ground’: U.S. Troops Release “It Gets Better” Video to Boost Gay Teens’ Morale

A diverse group of active-duty U.S. troops stationed at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan has joined in the battle against homophobic bullying by releasing an “It Gets Better” video to promote tolerance and boost the morale of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens.

The video, set to Lady Gaga’s smash hit Born This Way,  was produced by OutServe, an association of more than 4,500 active-duty LGBT troops working to “create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“You never really know what to expect in life,” a male soldier named Proctor tells viewers in the video. “But if you believe in yourself, you’ll be able to do anything.”

“It’s really hard, being accepted, to be different,” a female soldier says. “But it’s even harder to be somebody that you’re not. So, once you find that group of friends that embrace who you are, just go with the flow. It gets better.”

“It’s hard being different when you’re young, even when you’re old,” another female soldier adds. “But once you realize you have friends who are going to accept you for who you are, and the sooner you accept yourself for who you are, the sooner you’ll realize that life does get better. But it won’t get better until you start to accept yourself for who you are.

The “It Gets Better Project” was started in 2010 to show young LGBT people that, well, life gets better if they can just make it through those tough teenage years.  “The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better,” the project’s website asserts. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Drew Brees, Tom Hanks, Larry King, Perez Hilton, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Stephen Colbert, Janet Jackson and even world leaders like President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have made “It Gets Better” videos.

The video’s release sadly coincides with the news that Phillip Parker, a 14-year-old gay Tennessee teen, killed himself after being incessantly bullied at school.

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