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  TODAY'S BUZZ

Members of Congress Tell LGBT Youth "It Gets Better"
From a news release
2011-11-10

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CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The Co-Chairs of the Congressional LGBT Caucus today released a video message of hope and encouragement to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and David Cicilline (D-RI), the only openly gay Members of Congress, produced the video for the "It Gets Better Project," to reach out to young people facing harassment, bullying and rejection and, possibly, contemplating suicide because of who they are.

"Coming out publicly was the most frightening thing I've ever done and, also, the most freeing," said Congresswoman Baldwin, the first openly gay non-incumbent elected to Congress. "I hope young people viewing our video will hear our message that there's a world of opportunity awaiting them and things really will get better," Baldwin said.

"I am very pleased that so many people of all sorts have joined in this important "It Gets Better" campaign. And I think it's especially important for those of us in a position to give personal testimony to make it clear that for us it got better — a whole lot better," said Congressman Frank.

"If a video like this one can help a scared young person who has been the victim of bullying or harassment see past their painful present to a happier future, then this has been worth it. But we must do so much more," said Congressman Polis. "In particular, our schools must become places of acceptance and respect where LGBT students can learn and grow into successful young adults," he said.

"Every young person, regardless of their sexual orientation, must feel safe and respected as equals," said Congressman Cicilline. "I am proud to join my colleagues to encourage hope to the LGBT community, particularly youth, so they know it does, in fact, get better, he said.

The video encourages young people needing help to contact the confidential Trevor Project hotline, a 24/7 crisis line, at 866-488-7386.

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