South Africa's Archbishop Tutu Echoes "It Gets Better" Message

Published: October 14, 2011

Outspoken Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in solidarity has joined the University of Cape Town in creating the first ever local ‘It Gets Better’ campaign video.

The video forms part of the global campaign targeting sexual minorities who experience discrimination in secondary schools and beyond.

‘It Gets Better’ Cape Town was launched for free viewing on YouTube on Tuesday, October 11 2011. Later this month, part of the collection of videos will be screened at the Out in Africa: South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

The director and producer of the series Andrew Barry, a Master of Philosophy in Education student at UCT said, “I want sexual minorities in Cape Town to know that there are individuals and organisations who will support them.”

Tutu who was recently in the news for speaking out on the issue of a South African visa denial to the Dalai Lama, joined students and staff, local civil society organisations and high-profile individuals in creating the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign video.

First launched in the USA in September 2010 by American syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage, with his partner Terry, the campaign was aiming to responding to the suicide of a number of students who were being bullied in school.

The videos, targeted especially towards young people who are considering suicide, explain that their lives will “get better” and since the first video, the It Gets Better Project has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 25 000 user-created videos that have been viewed more than 40 million times.

People have featured in the ‘It Gets Better’ videos include US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, actress Anne Hathaway, entertainers Adam Lambert and Kesha as well as the staff of Facebook, Google and Apple Computers.

On the Cape Town ‘It Gets Better’ video Tutu says “If you experience discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, I want you to know that It Gets Better. There are people and organisations throughout this wonderful land that will support you. We should support one another as an act of true ubuntu.”

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