Tell Lady Gaga how YOU Make It Better
Last week, 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer died by suicide. He was part of the LGBT community, he had been bullied and harassed because of his sexual orientation, and he had even created an It Gets Better video.
We’ve been through this before. We cannot go through this again. We can and must Make It Better.
There are plenty of ways for you to participate in Make It Better Semester, and we hope you write letters
, put up posters
, and create videos
. But this fall, we’re not acting alone. In response to Jamey’s death, Lady Gaga tweeted: "Bullying must become illegal."
Criminalizing bullying is not the answer
. There are proven, positive ways – from starting and supporting Gay-Straight Alliance clubs to advocating for policies that explicitly prevent bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression* – to Make It Better. It’s important now more than ever to stick to these concrete steps, and not turn to punitive, reactionary measures that cause more harm than good.
Lady Gaga means the best, and we love her activism. So let’s help her fight for social justice by telling her how we are making it better right now, every day, in our communities through positive measures. Let’s tell her this is how we can Make It Better.
Are you in a Gay-Straight Alliance club? Did you advocate for anti-bullying policies in your community’s school that spell out that nobody can discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression? Did you make sure those policies were posted in the hallways and on your school’s website? Did you train your teachers to intervene when slurs occur?
Then film a Make It Better video and thank Lady Gaga but tell her: this is how we can Make It Better.
*Updated to clarify. Policies that enumerate sexual orientation and gender identity and expression -- and anti-bullying laws that require such policies in schools -- are essential. Anti-bullying laws work when they don't criminalize the behavior of young people or use a "zero tolerance" approach to address bullying.