“It Gets Better”


Sometimes you’re confused.

Sometimes you may think the world is going to end and you’re clearly out of options and furthermore, out of people to go to for support. You start doubting not only your friends and family, but yourself as well. With all of these thoughts and fears running through your head, drowning even the smallest glimpse of hope, sometimes you simply need to hear that it gets better.

Back in September 2010, Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner, Terry Miller, expanding on these three calming words as a means to help and reassure young adults facing bullying and torment. This loving gesture sparked thousands of individuals taking to the internet with open arms, from celebrities like Tim Gunn to the president of the United States himself creating videos in similar vain.

With this story at its core, Liesel Reinhart set out to write and create a musical just as positive and supportive as the It Gets Better Project was founded on. Shown at Clowes Memorial Hall this past Saturday, “It Gets Better” circles around a slew of stories scrap-booked together through the narratives of LGBT members.

From the mother whose recollection of her son always having fun wearing the most extravagant of Halloween costumes, to the girl who blurted out her love for her best friend on her birthday, the tales created a place of sincerity that is unmatched with most theater productions. This is due in part to the fact that all of the stories are based on real encounters and interviews that members of the musical—and project—had with people they met all over the country.

While this makes the happy stories even happier, the not-so-happy reality of others make them even that much more tragic. Abuse, neglect and venomous closed-mindedness are just the tip of the iceberg as far as some of these theatrical memoirs go.

One tale that truly broke the wall between acting and reality was the story of Tyler Houston, who just so happened to be one of the actors in the production. Between two of the more theatrical portrayals, Houston came center stage and simply introduced himself and his tale.

It was from this conversational aura that the audience got the essence of not only the musical, but of the project as a whole. It was no longer the story of just a name and a place—it was a person with dreams and emotions.

Just as Houston’s story unfolded and transformed from lowest-of-lows to his current state of performing with the It Gets Better Project and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, I think we can all keep sacred in knowing that regardless of our own current state, that it truly does get better.