U.S. Department of the Interior: It Gets Better

U.S. Department of the Interior: It Gets Better

Growing up in central Illinois I too was bullied
and teased. I was harassed and picked on and called names and it didn’t make me feel good. I think I first realized I that may be gay
my freshman year of high school and once I started having those thoughts and feelings,
the comments and whispers from my schoolmates became more prevalent. Junior High and High school were extremely
difficult years I was subject to quite a bit of taunting and tormenting and sometimes physical
abuse. As a lesbian youth one of the difficulties
I experienced was being straight is being accepted and being lesbian well, often time
isn’t. Coming out was always a process of course
and for me I was fortunate really not to be bullied although I heard a lot of disparaging
things about people who were gay or lesbian. Well I was asked to leave my church. That
was a that was a hard thing. I was very committed to my church growing up was a Sunday school
teacher I loved teaching the youth. I was always excited about Sunday mornings and when
I came out my church pastor and his wife sat me down and said we can’t have you in our
church anymore and that that hurt. My strategy was I deflected a lot. I tried
to excel in everything else, I deflected a lot with humor and I threw myself into my
career and my interest and excelled at those It’s not — the fear of having that first
conversation is so much worse than the conversation itself it’s that feeling of relief after you’ve
talked to somebody and shared with them a little bit about who you really are really
outweighs all the sort of build up getting to it. Some of the strategy I took I came out to
people maybe people I shouldn’t have, but I came out. As I matured a little bit more and realized
how alone I was, I began to become more aware of the LGBT movement and began to educate
myself on members of the community and the movement in general and I felt that it was
a great disservice to the tens of thousands of LGBT Americans and allies who are fighting
so hard for equal rights for all Americans that I was sitting here hating myself and
I began to realize that all the dreams and hopes that I once wanted to accomplish could
be accomplished. Big thing for me was the self acceptance.
It took me till I was 35 to basically go through my life and wonder, “Why am I not happy what’s
not just wrong with me but what’s wrong with my life?” I started to ask those questions
and I started to do that exploration you know going on my motorcycle trip and seeing the
country being alone in my head and thinking I came back with a renewed understanding of
you know the only thing holding me back was myself. I would say that you know there are there
are a lot of people who although you may not be sure how they personally feel they are
very professional — like the people at your school or people who are in positions of authority
and and who while its really scary and you’re not really sure how to talk about things that
you know I always knew that if I was being bullied or if I was in danger of physical
confrontation there were people who would have my back. Life is wonderful now I’m very thrilled with
the way my life has turned out and I’m so glad that I’ve made it through those early
years that I that I didn’t lose hope that I didn’t lose confidence in myself. I survived bullying in my school — grade
school and high school — and college, and now I’m living and working in Yellowstone
National Park. What could be better than that? Life is so much better than high school. It’s
even better than college. It couldn’t be any better I’m married to a wonderful woman. We
have a beautiful daughter. I have a job I love. I have friends and family who accept
me for who I am. I belong to an fantastic church. Life couldn’t be any better than it
is today. Bullying happens everywhere in every school
all across America. Make sure that you are seeking help and you’re telling somebody about
it — where you tell your parents or tell a friend or tell somebody in your school.
Things are going to get better. Millions of Americans have been bullied in this country
and as you go through junior high and as you go through high school I can only guarantee
you that it’s going to get better. It gets better. It gets better. It gets so much better. It gets better. It gets better. Its gets better. It gets better. It’s so much better.

41 thoughts on “U.S. Department of the Interior: It Gets Better

  1. My 41-year old daughter is a lesbian in Jamestown, ND. Her youth years were extremely difficult in the extreme conservative surroundings in ND. Due to bullying, and rejection by her adoptive family and her classmates she at one time weighed over 350 pounds and to this day is an alcoholic. Even though she is a successful mental health professional, she cannot escape the damage done to her in the past. If only this kind of help had been available when she needed it the most. Great video!!!

  2. Coming out is the most difficult thing that any GLBT person will ever do in there lives. Some never will! Why? Because of societal pressures and bullying, and yes every murder because they are different (remember Matthew Shepard). It does get better. It has for me.

  3. Thanks to the DOI for making the effort to produce this. I'm proud to say I know several of the speakers and sincerely appreciate that they took the time to share their emperiences for the benefit of youth struggling through the same issues they did. You wouldn’t necessarily expect the Secretary of the Interior to show this kind of commitment but he did. That's real leadership. Downright inspirational.

  4. This is a tough topic to openly discuss. I commend Secretary Salazar and the Department of the Interior for producing this video. Very well done.

  5. All the wisdom of the ages is at 3:17 – 3:50 "Why am I not happy? …The only thing holding me back is myself." Well said, Amélie!

    And thanks to DOI for putting this together.

  6. @Nebkhat Care to show where in the video people clearly claimed that "only gays are bullied" or that "being straight and Caucasian is an abnormality?"

  7. Wow, Nebkhat and Rosie – What sort of "heroic white men" could one learn about in school? Only George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, FDR and his cousin Teddy, Harry Truman, Ben Franklin, nearly everyone who has served on the supreme court – wait, is that nearly everyone we're taught about in American History? Why yes, it is. Give us a break. Straight Caucasian men have been celebrated throughout American and European history for at least the past 2,000 years.

  8. @dougsteven63 “Sissification of America.”? This is one of the reasons people make these videos. To push back against ignorant speech that is used against us. What is your problem? You have a problem with people taking some side time to show support to kids who are having a hard time? letting them know it gets better? Did you know the President of the united states made one? THE HORROR OF PEOPLE BEING CARING!

  9. My wife and I volunteer for USDI in the National Parks. This is one of the reasons that as retirees, we want to give back to our country through the NPS and USDI. Secretary Salazar is to be highly commended for this video. The USDI and NPS exhibit the kind of inclusiveness that should be the norm and model for all US citizens! It is so very good to see a Federal Department that embodies what our nation should and could be pervasively.

  10. Thanks for sharing your experiences in this video and for inspiring other to not give up hope. the good Lord continue to bless you all and touch the hearts of those in need of inspiration

  11. Funny that this video begins with the background of Yellowstone National Park, which is smack in the middle of conservative Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Kudos! The brilliant color surrounding the pool and your wonderful messages are a bright beacon that It Gets Better.

    Thanks you so much, not just for your message, but for maintaining the beauty within the US and us.

  12. 🙂 This video makes me very proud to be an employee of the DOI. I have many LGBT friends and family and it truly touches me when others around me feel the same way. This video just reassures me the NPS is the right place for me 🙂

  13. This a great effort, It Gets Better. Unfortunately a co-worker abused it & because they did not like me they filed a discrimination claim. The incident went on for 5 years. Now I avoid all sorts of people. The Dept of Interior staff would not talk to me or others listed in the complaint. I wish you lots of luck and look forward to the day no one is bullied. I only had 5 years of verbal abuse so I cannot imagine what it is like for longer or as a teen. Maybe one day I can be supportive again.

  14. Great job… The more we get it out there that being gay in a normal part of nature instead of choice, hopefully people will not be so judgemental of it. Washington State has the highest gay seagull population and it's seen in the animal world. It's a shame some religions are so intolerant and can not accept it's nature running it's course. Very fitting video coming from NPS. I hope you get more funding! We need to safe keep our parks and environment.

  15. This is a great video and it makes me even more proud to be an employee of the DOI. Thank you all for doing this and for being leaders for change in our Department and in our nation.

  16. @USInterior

    It thrills me to no end, the degree of "Pride" I am able to take in you all!!! I Love you all immensely for this! You've made me so proud and grateful for this beloved "Republic" of ours!
    May G-D Bless You All!
    Blaine Andrews

  17. As a DOI employee, my message to youth is you won't be harrassed as a DOI empoyee. Remember you are a child of God, he loves you regardless of what you think of yourself. Keep His commandments & you will have inner happiness, as, "Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God." – Joseph Smith

  18. How did I end up here? I am not gay or lesbian and have nothing against you people. But once again how did I got here, YouTube is getting weird everytime.

  19. Outstanding! Until I viewed this phenomenal video, I never imagined that LGBT employees of the United States Department of the Interior were so BRAVE! Thank you for your service to our Country and to OUR COMMUNITY!

  20. There are hate pages on Facebook and the rest of the internet slamming this video! God forbid that we talk to kids about bullying! PATHETIC

  21. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16
    {{(remember this day! It will be brought up at Judgment day if you dont repent of your sins, and accept Jesus Christ as your only Savior)}} 🙂

  22. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16
    {{(remember this day! It will be brought up at Judgment day if you dont repent of your sins, and accept Jesus Christ as your only Savior)}} 🙂

  23. Oh my god, you people are really annoying. Just annoying… not intimidating, fucking annoying. So please by all means shove those words back up your ass where you found them. 🙂

  24. Thank you DOI and all your excellent staff! You inspire all of us govvies, and the young people who need to know it gets better!

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