Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It Gets Better Final Documentary

My name is Lamonica Bettes and as a final project for my audio documentary class we were given the task to create a piece of work that we can research. As soon as I saw this assiggnment I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
In light of all the gay teen suicides that happened in the year 2010 an anti-gay bullying campaign was started by syndicated columnist Dan Savage. After posting a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller hoping to inspire teens who are getting bullied at school by letting them know it does indeed get better.
More than a year later, the It Gets Better Project has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 30,000 user-created videos viewed more than 40 million times. (ItGetsBetter.org) To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, Google, Facebook, Pixar, and countless others.
ItGetsBetter.org was created as a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s also a place where straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. Anyone who wants to can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge,watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN can do it here.
My reason for choosing to do my final audio documentary on this was a personal choice. Being that I am a lesbian I found it very inspiring that all these people told their stories as well as showed their support for this campaign. While researching and getting interviews I realized that the whole documentary became monotonous. Interviews were starting to sound very cut and dry and I wanted something with a little more passion.
It wasn't until an unforeseen main character really helped me zero in and find my story. Yemisi Pleasant became the protagonist of my documentary. It wasn't the fact that she is a lesbian but the fact that she has been through personal struggles as well. From being held in foster care to "coming out" in her junior year of high school Pleasant became a very interesting subject. Below is the final product of our interview together.

For more information or to see the "It Gets Better" videos visit:

It Gets Better Final Doc