Speaker John A. Pérez: It Absolutely Gets Better

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released a Youtube video as part of the It Gets Better series created in the wake of national headlines of LGBT kids committing suicide after anti-gay bullying and harassment by their peers.  The series was created by columnist Dan Savage, and in it participants are asked to convey to LGBT kids that it gets better by sharing their stories of coming out, their experiences as LGBT youth and adults and the ultimate message that it gets better.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6vDoWWtKEU[/youtube]

“The rash of suicides we’ve seen in the past year have been nothing short of heartbreaking in every sense of the word. The particulars are the same in every case, where the kid felt so lonely and isolated and had no hope for the future to the point where they felt the only answer was taking their own life,” Pérez said. “The It Gets Better series is a way for each of us who struggled with the same issues to reach out to the kids and let them know how wonderful and special and not alone they are. I chose to do this video now because with the holiday season approaching it’s more critical than any other time of the year to send the kids a message of hope.”

In the video the Speaker discusses his experiences coming out over the Thanksgiving holiday when he was in college. The Speaker also sends a strong message to LGBT kids in California that it gets better.

“I was so lucky to have loving and understanding parents and tomorrow I will be saying a prayer of thanksgiving for that,” Pérez said. “Not every kid is so lucky, which is why it’s so important for them to hear something positive about who they are.”