Australia now has a chapter of the successful online anti-homophobia campaign It Gets Better.
It Gets Better Australia is now up and running online and features videos from familiar faces, including Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Queensland premier Anna Bligh.
The Australian version of the campaign has been set up by Western Australian-based Jamison Parker who said he decided to take action after being affected by two suicides in his home state.
“I thought a lot about the project and thought it’d be great to have something like that in Australia,” Parker told the Star Observer. “I contacted organisers in the US and they responded positively.”
Eight months later the project will launch in major cities around the country.
Parker said he hopes the show of support will help young people struggling with their sexuality.
“First I thought, as long as it helps one person that would be great,” he said.
“But actually, we have the capacity in Australia to make it much bigger given the nature of Australian people.
“I think bullying and mental health are issues we don’t talk about enough.” Melbourne will launch the campaign on November 25, 7pm–late, with a Gay Prom night at DnM bar, 119 Commercial Rd, South Yarra.
The 18-plus event will raise money for Lifeline and is designed for anyone who didn’t go to, or didn’t enjoy, their high school formal. It will be hosted by Monte Diamonte with performances by Joel Creasey, Katie Underwood, Tommy Little, Rita Ellsea, Kitty DeLux and Lexi Gaga. Tickets are $15 + bf.
A similar event will be held in Newcastle on December 16.Launch events are planned for Brisbane and Sydney, but dates have not yet been confirmed.
The It Gets Better campaign was established by US columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller in September 2010 in response to a spate of young people taking their lives after being bullied.
The US campaign is said to have more than 30,000 video messages, viewed more than 40 million times.