The It Gets Better Project's mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.
Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted — even tortured — simply for being themselves.
While many of these teens couldn’t see a positive future for themselves, we can. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.
Natalie Fullam: When I came to Appalachian I was scared to hug people, I was scared to be close to people because I was not comfortable with myself and who I was. I found a group of people who will love me unconditionally. I found my true family here. I have learned to be myself.
Tommy Wrenn: Thanks to my peers, and the staff and the faculty at Appalachian State, I can really walk around each day and I don’t have to worry about being myself.
Linda Coutant: Well I think as we grow older and we have more life experiences we just have a natural deepening of our self-value and our self-acceptance. With that greater self-acceptance comes a greater sense of self-love and when we love ourselves, other people love us. And our whole world can open up. Life just gets better and better as we age, it really does.
Angel Perez: In times when you don’t feel loved because of who you are, it’s because you’re surrounded by people who make you feel bad about yourself. As you progress in life you will find people who are understanding and love you for the person you really are.
Johnny Burleson: From the moment I stepped foot on this campus, I knew that this was a special place. You hear the term the Appalachian Family a lot and it really is, it really is a family. It’s a very supportive community and I’ve not felt any more supported anywhere else like I have here at Appalachian.
Caroline Noel: Before I came up to Appalachian I could never feel like I could tell anyone about me or how I was feeling until I met the group Transaction and made friends there and met people with similar interests and similar problems and feelings and then I could be myself.
Shelby Forsyth: When I came to Appalachian I befriended people who when I came out to them said “Psst, okay” and we went on to discuss other things. It was like nothing to them, it didn’t matter and they loved me for who I was and who I am.
Dr. Peacock: At Appalachian we are a family. I believe it in my heart. I see it in the faces and eyes of our faculty, our staff and our students.
Tommy: It gets better.
Angel: It gets better.
Natalie: It does get better.
Johnny: It really, really does get better.
Linda: Life just gets better. Everything gets better.
Dr. Peacock: At Appalachian it really does get better.
Shelby: It gets better. It gets much, much better.
Caroline: It gets better.
(Music outro; Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina comes on screen)
The Henderson Springs LGBT Center officially opened on October 3, 2008. This Center was founded to provide resources, support, information, and a welcoming atmosphere for LGBT individuals and their allies. The Center is operated by a graduate assistant and a dedicated group of student volunteers.
Volunteers offer time, dedication, and an open mind to serve the needs of the Appalachian community. Student desk shift volunteers go through a training process that enables them to accurately address the needs of visitors and share resources and referrals necessary to answer any questions. Student volunteers are discreet and do not discriminate, but cannot guarrantee legal confidentiality and must conform to the regulations of ASU in reporting crimes. If confidentiality is desired, our volunteers will make every effort to refer individuals to a more appropriate organization.
The Counseling Center offers the opportunity for all currently-enrolled students to meet with a counselor to determine the most appropriate course of treatment, at no charge. At the conclusion of this interview, the clinician will recommend appropriate services. These services may be on campus in the Counseling Center, elsewhere on campus (e.g., Wellness Center, Health Center, Learning Assistance Program, Disability Services, Psychology Clinic, Career Development Center), or a referral to the community.
Services available within the Counseling Center include individual counseling, group therapy, couples and family counseling, some psychiatric services, referral coordination, prevention and outreach education, and the opportunity for consultation. We also offer a variety of services through the Career Exploration Center.
Representatives from the two universities recently signed a memorandum of understanding that promotes the exchange of information and materials that are of mutual interest; develop joint short courses, summer courses, and semester study abroad programs; and exchange academic, research, and administrative staff, visiting scholars, and graduate and undergraduate students between the two institutions, according to Dr. Jesse Lutabingwa, vice chancellor for international education and development at Appalachian.
Everyone has a story. If we each knew these stories, would we have more understanding and compassion toward others? Fifty-five Appalachian State University students participated in a three-day INTERSECT Social Justice Retreat to understand concepts of social justice and leadership by exploring their own stories, the stories of their classmates and issues of oppression and privilege.
Ishmael Beah, born in Sierra Leone in 1980, was still a young boy when his country descended into a horrific civil war. Forced to flee his village when rebels attacked, Beah was picked up as a young teenager by the government army and pressed into service as government guerrilla soldier.
Appalachian State University is committed to providing equal opportunity in education and employment to all applicants, students, and employees. The university does not discriminate in access to its educational programs and activities, or with respect to hiring or the terms and conditions of employment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation. The university actively promotes diversity among students and employees.