Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014

It Gets Better Sends Powerful Message to Milwaukee’s LGBT Youth

By Kristina Byas
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“You have more friends than you know / some that surround you / some that need more time to grow.”

Those powerful lyrics, shared in a YouTube video, have given hope to many teens who have experienced bullying. Since the positive reception to the 2010 YouTube video, the It Gets Better Project has now taken that message to stages across the U.S. with the mission to encourage LGBT youth to tough it out through the bullying, antagonism and other challenges in life because they are only temporary.

On March 2, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles will take the stage at Milwaukee’s Uihlein Hall in an effort to communicate the message that has reached millions around the world since its delivery just four years ago.

“It Gets Better” follows a young boy as he struggles with life in school, as well as at home. Breaking the fourth wall, actors will address the audience as they tell of their own real life experiences with bullying, explaining how life got better for them because they stayed strong.

“It’s not a dark show about bullying. It is a show about optimism and hope. Hopefully, people can relate even if they aren’t LGBT members,” said writer and director Liesel Reinhart.

Joining the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles on stage will be a community choir made up of local singers, as well the Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus of Madison, City of Festivals Men’s Chorus, Northwestern Mutual Chorus and Women’s Voices Milwaukee.

“We all get to sing and it’s fun, but to go and sing with a purpose and have it be meaningful to someone, that is a whole different story,” said Community Choir Coordinator Tim Ruf.

“I think some people will experience a healing process from it. They’ll know that they are not the only one experiencing bullying,” he said.

“It Gets Better” features songs written by Avenue Q creator Jeff Marx and Grammy Award winner Mervyn Warren, whose song “You Have More Friends Than You Know” was performed on “Glee.”

Proceeds of “It Gets Better” go to the Cream City Foundation for their anti-bullying campaign.

For more information visit www.marcuscenter.org/show/it-gets-better or www.itgetsbettertour.org.
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