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Tuesday, April 24 • 9:20am - 9:40am
It Gets Blurrier: Redefining Queer Success Through The "It Gets Better" Project

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In September 2010, Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller uploaded a video to Youtube, prompted by a perceived increase in the suicide rate among queer youth. With the hope of explaining to struggling (and perhaps suicidal) teens that "it gets better", this video started a trend that later became a large-scale social movement for queer youth, dubbed the "It Gets Better" (IGB) Project. This article investigates the 20 most viewed videos made for IGB, focusing specifically on how the videos, while encouraging hope and perseverance, ultimately reproduce a neoliberal definition of success and reinforce homornormativity. Although these IGB videos were recorded with the best intentions in mind, they also reinforce other narratives consistent with consumerism and neoliberal values. A content analysis of these IGB videos will be used to discuss the project's overall message and the themes that frequently emerge from within the project's dominant narratives. Results imply that these videos encourage neoliberal ideology, identify suicide as a personal failure, and encourage homonormativity.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am PDT
236 Zageir Hall