In this week's Savage Love, Dan Savage responds to a reader who wrote in about Billy Lucas, a gay fifteen-year-old in Indiana who killed himself after being bullied by his classmates. The reader and Dan both wish they could've talked to the poor kid for just five minutes to reassure him that life gets better after high school. To that end, Dan has started a YouTube channel where gay adults can post videos about surviving adolescence and all the things they'd have missed if they'd given up.

Billy Lucas's story is heartbreaking and all too familiar. It's hard enough to be a teenager without having bigoted classmates, teachers, school administrators, and even parents telling you your sexual preference makes you worthless. I was a straight teenager with supportive classmates, teachers, parents, et al, and it still sucked pretty hard; I don't know many people who wouldn't say the same. I can't imagine what it'd feel like to be in an exponentially worse situation and not even have anyone to promise you that there's life — rich, strange, unpredictable life — outside of your shitty town and the stupid, small-minded people you're trapped there with. It Gets Better is a moving and important project that we at Nerve wholeheartedly endorse. If you have supportive words for gay teenagers, check out Dan Savage's YouTube channel and contribute a video.

Commentarium (12 Comments)

Sep 21 10 - 7:40pm
bearman33

I wonder what Dan Savage thinks about Mad Men?

Sep 21 10 - 7:53pm
jaw

No doubt gay kids need to know that it is true that life gets better after high-school...But, for most everyone...life gets better after high-school...trust me...just stick it out as best you can to get through because you're so close to getting out anyway.

Sep 21 10 - 9:00pm
bearman33

There's no guarantee that life gets better after high school, there may be a few homophobic assaults in the offing, you can't predict the future.

Sep 21 10 - 11:14pm
ThreeLane

I think life usually gets better after High School, but more importantly your brain chemistry stabilizes and the mood swings, emotional outbursts, and feelings of being stuck certainly improve. So there's that. Kidos to Savage for taking some action, maybe it will help someone.

Sep 21 10 - 11:15pm
ThreeLane

When your day is long, and the nights are yours alone. When you think you've had too much, of this life, well, hang on.

Sep 21 10 - 11:21pm
bearman33

Walking over cars in stopped traffic.

Sep 21 10 - 11:31pm
Tates

True, there are no guarantees that life gets better after highschool, especially if you are one if those pathetic bullies who set out to makes people's lives miserable. Those people tend to lead miserable lives stuck in the miserable town they grew up in while those they picked on dream of getting out and they break free and they thrive!!

Sep 21 10 - 11:37pm
Anon

Very awesome, you're a great guy Dan!!!

Sep 22 10 - 1:48am
jr

This is fucking awesome.

Nov 20 11 - 9:32pm
Darnesha

Too many compliments too little space, takhns!

Nov 21 11 - 2:15pm
bkkiyesvgk

RGHzRs kfsfrelxralr