VCU students to make video for gay youth

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The death of a Rutgers student has sparked a nationwide discussion about the bullying of gay students and the possible, tragic outcome.

Some Virginia Commonwealth University students are responding with a message of hope for other young people.

They're going to make a video, much like one already on YouTube, about life improving over time.

The VCU students hope their message will empower others and combat homophobia.

The "It Gets Better" YouTube video by Seattle gay activist Dan Savage offers a promise of hope.

"Life gets better and the bigots don't win," said Savage on the video launched last week.

The VCU student group Queer Action plans to emulate the video.

"With the number of suicides I think the important part that we need to convey is it does get better," said VCU senior Cameron Hunt.

At least five young men have killed themselves in recent weeks after being bullied over sexual orientation.

Hunt says anti-gay bullying has gone on far too long.

"My own life has been full of ups and downs people throwing bottles at me threats and the like," said Hunt.

"In high school I was criticized a lot for acting gay and I wasn't out in high school because I was afraid what would happen," said VCU sophomore Troy Sanford.

But 19-year-old Sanford, who recently came out to his family and friends, says he pulled through with the help of others.

"It does get better it just takes time you have to have a really good support group," said Sanford.

A number of students, including Hunt, will appear in the VCU version of "It Gets Better" to talk about darker times and how their lives have improved.

Hunt hopes the positive video will counteract all the negativity that's easily accessible in this age of technology.

"If we choose to let bully's affect us if we don't rise above let positive messages balance out the negative ones then absolutely it's instantaneous It can be very destructive," said Hunt.

Queer Action hopes to finish work on the video in about two weeks and be able to show it during a presentation at VCU.

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