It’s been a tumultuous several weeks for the LGBT community and its allies, from the alarming number of gay teen suicides to the recent spike in homophobic violence to Dan Savage’s deeply inspiring It Gets Better Project. In light of all that, we at Flavorpill would like to celebrate National Coming Out Day with a roundup of our 10 favorite celebrity It Gets Better videos. Our picks range from indie musicians (Scissor Sisters, Sia) to viral video stars (Sassy Gay Friend, Chris Crocker) to world-famous TV personalities (Chris Colfer, Tim Gunn). Check them out after the jump, then head to the It Gets Better Project’s YouTube page to watch more clips or upload your own.
Sassy Gay Friend
Brian Gallivan, the comedian who plays the hysterical Sassy Gay Friend in Second City’s wildly popular viral videos, steps out of character to talk about his own experience as a gay man. Although he avoided bullying by remaining in the closet, he regrets that he hid who he was, waiting until his mid-20s to start dating men and avoiding the stereotypically gay world of improv until he turned 30. One of his best recommendations: read to expand your world and feel understood.
From a very early age, the songstress tells us, “I knew there was something special about me… One of them, that I was a queerlord.” While she says she was lucky enough to be raised in an accepting household, she still struggled with her identity to the point that it affected her relationships. Especially considering that — at least, last we heard — she’s dating one of our favorite lesbians, JD Samson of Le Tigre and MEN, we’re glad she’s more comfortable with herself these days.
The hunky Scissor Sisters frontman tells the story of coming out at 15 and the horrible year that ensued. “I was harassed, I was followed, I was threatened. Kids wanted to kill me. I couldn’t go from class to class without being accosted,” Shears recalls, noting that school administrators blamed him instead of the bullies. Now, he says, “I’m living the dreams that I created when I was 15 years old.”
“I know what it’s like to be bullied and teased every single day, and I know that it may seem that there’s no chance of happiness left,” says Colfer, who plays Kurt Hummel — a gay character that has endured his own share of harassment — on Glee. “But I promise you that there is a world full of acceptance and love just waiting for you to find it.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet
The guys who play Cameron and Mitchell, Modern Family‘s adorable gay couple with a baby, talk about their past. Ferguson reveals that he was bullied so much in junior high he had to change schools… but these days, he’s crawling into bed with George Clooney.
“Reach out to somebody before you take any drastic measures,” says the rapper. “A lot of people care. I care.”
The “Leave Britney alone!” kid discusses and shows examples of the hateful responses his viral video received, from anonymous YouTube commenters to Glenn Beck. While he could have been a teen suicide statistic, he tells us, “The moment you decide to believe in yourself and listen to your own voice in your own head, there’s no getting to you.”
Ke$ha is an easy target for ridicule, but it’s hard not to at least give a little bit of respect to a pop star who cares enough to say, “No matter if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — however you are choosing to live is beautiful, and you have my full support and all of my love.”
In a very personal, emotional video, the beloved Project Runway mentor candidly discusses trying to kill himself when he was 17.
Dan Savage and Terry Miller
The video that started it all. Savage and his spouse talk about being harassed and, for Miller, beaten in small-town high schools where they didn’t know anyone else who was gay then go on to discuss wonderful moments in their later lives, from their meeting to Dan’s mom learning to love Terry to vacations with their son. Speaking directly to the teenagers watching, Dan says: “However bad it is now, it gets better… Your life can be amazing, but you have to tough this period of it out, and you have to live your life so that you’re around for it to get amazing.”