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Los Angeles chorus brings message of hope to Iowa City

By Leah Coffman
On October 15, 2012

  • The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles is featured in the It Gets Better campaign, a series of videos providing solidarity for the LGBT community. The chorus, accompanied by members of the community, will be performing at the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa campus on Oct. 19. Photo Contributed

 

IOWA CITY-The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will perform "It Gets Better," on Oct. 19. "It Gets Better" is a theatre and digital production that spreads the message of the It Gets Better Project across the country.  The show will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Iowa Memorial Union.

After a series of suicides among LGBT youth, author and columnist Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner titled, "It Gets Better," spreading a message of hope and support for bullied and harassed youth.  The video quickly became a viral hit, prompting celebrities, organizations and members and supporters of the LGBT community to upload videos of their own.  To date, more than 50,000 videos have been uploaded with over 50 million views, with contributions from President Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Perez Hilton, and the staff of Google. 

The It Gets Better Project has expanded beyond digital media.  In 2011 the project released a book entitled "It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living." The project is also spreading the message through a collaboration with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles and Speak Theater Arts. 

According to the GMCLA's website, the It Gets Better Musical Theater Project "explores what 'better' means for LGBT youth" while incorporating members of the community and digital media into their performances.  With the addition of members of the community in the performance, the show is able to focus on bullying and harassment in local schools.

The Unity club at Kirkwood Community College, which focuses on LGBT issues, has made plans to attend the event, as well as to make a group video to continue spreading the message of hope and empowerment. Kurtis Fox, special education emphasis, said he had already contributed a video of his own to the It Gets Better Project.  When asked about the important aspects of the message of It Gets Better, he said, "It does not just automatically get better, but it keeps getting better." 

Orlando Brito Jr., studying hospitality management, added, "It also depends on us.  You have to see the good things."

Devon Bruce, English emphasis and member of Unity, related how It Gets Better had helped change his life.  "The It Gets Better campaign actually really helped me.  I told my best friend how I was feeling and she showed me the videos.  It really helped." 


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