Learn the stories and efforts when it comes to Celebrities Against Bullying!
“I was always the new kid with the wrong shoes, the wrong accent. I didn’t have a friend to share things with and confide in. So many times a big bully comes up, pushing me. Your heart’s pounding, you sweat, and you feel like you’re going to vomit.” ~Tom Cruise.
It’s not just Tom Cruise whose peers had made his childhood rough. Ryan Gosling, musician and actor, “hated being a child”; he was bullied in elementary school and had no friends until he was 14 or 15. Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, actresses and singers, Eminem, rapper, Chris Rock, comedian, Mika, singer and song-writer, Tyra Banks, model and businesswoman, and so many more… were all relentlessly bullied in their youth. Nevertheless, they stood their grounds, grew out of the bubble of the victim, and blossomed into art icons and celebrities, whom are loved and respected by millions of fans worldwide.
Actors and musicians have set out to say that “It Gets Better” to encourage LGBT youth to be themselves despite peer pressure and attacks, and through The Trevor Project, which provides videos which carry a specific message; that “there is hope, and there is help”, musical, film and political celebrities have all recorded videos within the foundation’s efforts to prevent youth suicide among LGBT and questioning youth who constantly get bullied at schools and online.
Celebrities Against Bullying: The Trevor Project
Founded in 1998 by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone, the creators of the Academy Award, The Trevor Project started with a winning short film Trevor, a timeless story about love, loss, and learning to be yourself.
Trevor is an exuberant, happy 13-year old who has a crush on the most popular boy in school, Pinky Faraday. When Trevor’s classmates discover his true feelings for Pinky, they tease and mock him. Sad and friendless, Trevor decides the world would be better off without him and tries to take his own life. But Trevor is no victim. By the end, it’s clear his developing sense of self and undeniable enthusiasm for life will always see him through.
When TREVOR was scheduled to air, the filmmakers realized that some young viewers might face the same kind of crisis as Trevor and could use support. They searched for an appropriate lifeline number to broadcast with the film but no such number existed. On August 8, 1998, the founders opened the Trevor Lifeline. Since that time, The Trevor Project has become a national leader providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
Participants in The Trevor Project included Anne Hathaway, Ian Somerhalder and Candice Accola, who all affirmed that “There is hope, and there is help” for whoever needs help. Daniel Radcliffe, the Harry Potter star, had a simple message: “Be proud of who you are”. Moreover, Darren Criss, the recent addition to the cast of Glee, performed “Not Alone” for The Trevor Project.
Celebrities Against Bullying: It Gets Better
In September 2010, columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
Their 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.
“Bullying isn’t only beating someone up, or taking their lunch money; it’s any time you call someone a name, or write something mean on their Facebook page. The kids who are teasing you… They don’t know anything about you, who you are and what you can do.”, says Bruno Mars in his dedicated video. Adam Levine adds “…people can be really horrible to each other, especially in high school, and it can be seriously traumatizing”. Even the reality star Kim Kardashian got bullied, as “People always have something negative to say.” Sometimes, she takes a look at the Internet only to see people calling her “fat.”
But it doesn’t stop at sharing experiences and heart-aching stories. Adam Lambert, who came out as homosexual after the American Idol 2009 season, encourages youth to stay strong, as “…these people are so ignorant and fearful of your lifestyle. If you’re giving them the power to affect you, you’re letting them win, and they do not deserve that”. And as artist Jason Derülo said, “…being different makes you special, and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can overcome any pain, with your own permission.”
Instead of turning to self-harm, or believing they’re alone in this world, youth are encouraged to look for help, which was the highlight of US President Barack Obama’s “It Gets Better” video:
“If you’re in trouble, there are caring adults who can help. I don’t know what it’s like to be picked on for being gay, but I do know what it is like feeling you don’t belong. It’s tough. When you’re teased or bullied, it can seem like someone you’ve brought it all upon yourself for being different or not fitting in with everyone else. But what I want to say is this: you are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong, or anything to deserve being bullied, and there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities. There are people out there who love you and care about you, just the way you are. Instead of listening to what people are saying, you’ve got to reach out for people you trust, your parents, teachers, folks who care about you just the way you are, and not feel alone. The other thing you should know is: Things will get better.”
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also participated in the project, with a message for people out there who are being bullied, who are feeling alone and find it hard to imagine a better future: “Think of the progress women, ethnic and religious groups, and other minorities, have made over the course of our history, and many Bi’s, gays and lesbians who openly serve their country in several positions. I just want you to remember that you are not alone, that there are people out there who support you, and count me one of them. Take care of yourself.”
Disney also made their heartfelt dedication to whoever has been harassed, bullied or teased, especially those who are deemed different. It presented several – rather personal – testimonials from Disneyland staff, who shared their childhood stories about being bisexual, gay or lesbian to encourage youth to be themselves regardless of what people think.
The It Gets Better Project™ has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of “Glee”, Joe Jonas, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more.