Sunday, 4 March 2012

It Gets Better: Apple Employees

The It Gets Better Project was created by Dan Savage and his husband in 2010 in response to the teen suicides that occur across America because of young people who are bullied because of their sexuality, or their assumed sexuality. The project aims to prevent suicides amongst the youth and instead intends to highlight LGBT members of society and gives them a voice in order to tell their own stories.

The project has gained supporters from all different walks of life, including people from the entertainment industry, such as Lady GaGa, Chris Colfer and Zachary Quinto, but members of politics have also made pledges, including President Obama. The presence of such high profile figures in America putting their names towards the cause helps to highlight the severity of the issue within modern society. No longer is it a case of "don't ask, don't tell", but now LGBT members are encouraged to be who they are.

The video produced by Apple employees is surprisingly significant in the way that it depicts ordinary members of a work force who all share something in common: they have all been discriminated against. Often, it is the case for most LGBT people and sadly the struggle against such prejudice has almost become a part of their identity. However, the Apple employees in this video do talk about their own experiences growing up, but they also contrast it with how they live their lives today. Being discriminated against shouldn't be an essential factor of being a LGBT teen in America. Bullying is not a right of passage and it is not something to be tolerated. Most importantly, the Apple employees stress that it is also not acceptable that so many of them faced suicidal thoughts, let alone actual suicide attempts.

For a young member of the LGBT community, seeing such a video might give them hope for a brighter future. Here is a group of people who work for the same company who have shared similar experiences, who have all been told they are wrong, just like the teens of America have been told today. What is paramount, however, is the fact that here is also a group of people who are not wrong, will not accept that they are wrong, and have got through it. Because they survived, they have these wonderful, everyday experiences that they otherwise wouldn't have had had they taken their own lives.

The fact that such a mainstream company such as Apple is proud of their employees, no matter what their sexual orientation, shows the youth of America that times are changing and will continue to change as they grow older. What seems like a struggle today won't necessarily be a struggle tomorrow, and the more accepting they are of themselves, the more accepting America and the rest of the world will be of their community.

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