Anti-gay-bullying video debuts

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

The first locally produced video — telling gay teens that life eventually gets better and not to succumb to bullying — debuted on YouTube last week.

In it, village trustees Colette Lueck and Ray Johnson ask gay teens to see through the hate toward a better future.

"Close-minded school administrators and parents may not let LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) adults talk to their children about their futures, but we don't have to get permission to tell kids that it does get better," Johnson says in the video, which wraps up with 200 local people reading a pledge.

Lueck and Johnson, who are both gay, first proposed in October that the village make its own video for the "It Gets Better Project." The website was started in September by columnist Dan Savage after several teenagers committed suicide because they were bullied for being gay.

The village is partnering with Oak Park and River Forest's Gay-Straight Alliance to produce a video, which should be added to the It Gets Better website sometime in December. Award-winning videographer Joe Kreml — who manages village hall's in-house TV station — is shooting and editing the video.

Kreml shot a dozen or so testimonials on Nov. 13 at the Oak Park Area Gay and Lesbian Association's annual gala event. He plans to shoot more at his village hall studio in the coming weeks, and at the high school on Dec. 1.

"I think once it's all complete and finished, it's going to be a pretty powerful piece of work," Johnson said.

Reader Comments

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Melissa from Oak Park  

Posted: November 19th, 2010 5:29 PM

Thank you for writing about and bringing to our attention this hopeful message.

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