Life on Capitol Hill surely is a reminder that, yes, indeed, it gets better. Dan Savage and partner Terry Miller make their home on the Hill, of course. The couple will appear at Town Hall this week for the Seattle stop of the It Gets Better tour celebrating their book about growing up LGBT. It won’t be just a little jaunt to First Hill for Savage and Miller, however, as the tour launched last week in NYC. Their message is going far beyond the Hill and Seattle as they tour the nation — but it’s cool to remember these are two guys you’ll probably see around Capitol Hill and celebrate the success of their message.
Seattle: It Gets Better Book Event/Signing with Dan Savage & Terry Miller
Time: Tuesday, March 29 · 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Location: Town Hall 1119 8th Avenue
One of our favorite local contributions to the project that we’ve experienced came from the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce’s executive director Michael Wells who knew Savage and Miller back in the day and wrote about contributing to It Gets Better in a recent newsletter. We’ve included the note, below. You can read Wells’ essay posted to the Slog here.
I’ve known Dan Savage and Terry Miller for a long time. I met Dan soon after he moved to Seattle, and Terry, his partner, worked at my former business, Bailey/Coy Books, for many years. Terry did our fabulous window displays and could always be counted on for a pithy recommendation for Cormac McCarthy or Edna Ferber. I was working on the floor at the bookstore when Terry got the call that their son D.J. had been born. I occasionally took on some babysitting duties. It may be cliché but it’s true: we really were a sort of family unit at Bailey/Coy. So when Terry called and asked me to contribute a piece to a book based on the It Gets Better Project, I was delighted to be asked. I certainly believed in what they were doing: trying to make the world a safer, saner place for LGBT teens and kids. I just wasn’t sure about what I was going to say . . .
It Gets Better (www.itgetsbetter.org), for those of you who don’t know, is a project started by Dan and Terry in the summer of 2010 during what seemed to be an epidemic of suicides by LGBT teenagers. The intent of the project is to help kids who are struggling realize that “it gets better,” and that making it through the minefield of adolescence means that a world of possibilities opens to you as an adult. The project started with a video of Dan and Terry on YouTube and soon other people’s videos came pouring in-more than 1,000 in the first week alone. The book arose as an effort to transform some of those videos into written text-a format that could be easily adapted for classrooms. I’m proud to be a part of it.
The reason I’m writing about it here is that my essay is all about how it got better for me on Capitol Hill. I grew up in a small town, Normal, Illinois, where being creative and different were not always seen as positive character traits. My trajectory from childhood on was focused on finding the right place for me-a place that was distinctly “Not-Normal.” As I say in my essay, it took me a while to find Capitol Hill; once I did I knew that I had found my home. Capitol Hill is filled with art and music. Capitol Hill is a celebration of urban life, an embrace of culture and community. When you open a business on Capitol Hill, you will interact with your neighbors and customers on a daily basis. We work and play in a community that encourages diversity. This is the community that I imagined and dreamed of while growing up in Normal. This is where I could fully be myself in the world. And that’s a strong message to send to kids in small towns everywhere who might feel out of place. I’m proud that Capitol Hill is a part of my story. I’m proud that it is my home.
It got better.
Celebrate the publication of It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life worth Living at a special event at Town Hall on March 29. All ticket proceeds benefit the It Gets Better Project. The book will be available for sale on March 22 but you can pre-order your copy at Elliott Bay Book Company today at 206-624-6600, firstname.lastname@example.org.