Tim Gunn, Ke$ha, and others join the It Gets Better Project

Tim Gunn and Ke$ha are the latest celebrities to make videos for Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project. Gunn’s video, in which he talks about his attempted suicide at 17, is particularly moving. “I understand the desperation, I understand the despair, and I understand how isolated you feel,” he says, choking back tears.

Ke$ha … uh, made one too:

Anne Hathaway, Jenny McCarthy, Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, and a host of others:

I also really dug Dave Holmes‘ video:

Have you made a video, PopWatchers?

Read more:
Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Dan Savage speak out about gay-youth suicide
Lance Bass admits he bullied kids in the past for being gay

Comments (88 total) Add your comment
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  • tracy bluth

    This is a terrible tragedy. It is horrible what that young man had to go through. I have been trying for years to get my friends to stop using “gay” as an insult. My room mate last year didn’t get how calling my friend Ethan (who is gay) the other f word made me mad.

    • tracy bluth

      Can I just say that typing that last sentence made me tear up a little? What is wrong with some people today???????

      • davey

        You sound like such a sweetheart – if only there were more like you in the world :)
        Thanks for being you.

      • MC

        Truly sweet tracy! it’s really sad how prominently “gay” is used in a derogatory manner, especially from kids and teenagers. My partner and I have a lot of straight friends that often bring other straight friends to our house because we are very welcoming and like to have a good time with everyone. more often than not, the new straight people that come into our home say something like “that’s gay”, and we gently inform them not to use that term in a derogatory manner, at least not while in our house. they are always very understanding and apologize profusely, sometimes saying it again and catching themselves and saying sorry another million times, but it’s just the point that it’s so ingrained in their minds like there’s nothing wrong with it, and sadly, they learn it when they’re kids. i’m glad there are people like you tracy. we may not be able to change the world all at once, but maybe we can make a difference one mind at a time.

      • Trevor Burkholder

        everyone only cares about themselves and they dont give a shit about other people. And the people who do care are the ones that are labeled “different” and that is where the bulling starts

    • Danielle

      My comment here is you were obviously never teased,tortured (via physical and mental torment) never told “God hates you” and generally thrown aside like some gay and lesbian teens and adults.
      My message to every high school student (gay or straight) is that life exists outside of school, and its so so so much better.

    • Marmys

      Suicidal individuals truly believe that taking their own lives is the best choice for everybody around them, such is the level of despair typically associated with suicidality. To call them selfish indicates that you have never been suicidal. Congratulate yourself on your good fortune and move along please, your words are not helpful here and give weight to yet another uninformed viewpoint that supports the lack of acceptance contributing to peoples despair in the first place!

    • kathy d

      I’m hoping your a teenager yourself. If not you are truly an idiot. Yes there are horriblethings going on in world why don’t you go volunteer and do something about it and maybe talk to someone who educated on suicide before you make such comments. When someone feels so terrible that they feel suicide is the only answer they obviously are not in right stage of mind. When its a young person and depressed its even worse. The mind is not even fully developed until in mid twenties.

    • Mary

      I think LD is probably had a friend or family member commit suicide, and is still suffering from it. Let’s have some compassion all around.

    • kaf

      Mental illness is as serious as physical illness. You wouldn’t call someone dying from cancer a quitter, would you? Of course not. Suicide is the tragic result of a person being so terribly ill due to depression that they die from it. They are so trapped in their pain that they don’t have the clarity to realize that suicide is not a solution. Please, have a heart for people suffering from a pain that doesn’t show up on something like an MRI or a blood test. They suffer from something invisible, which is almost worse b/c there’s no way to prove how bad their pain is.

  • H

    Great project, but I had to stop Kesha’s about 10 seconds in. The rest are lovely.

  • greg

    why is it that tim gunn seems like the nicest man on earth? i can’t name many other celebrities – if any – who seem so sincere in their love for others. go tim!

    • Stef

      i know. i had no idea that he had actually tried to commit suicide as a teenager. i for one am really glad that he didn’t follow through, because i couldn’t imagine a world without tim gunn! but more than that, it’s extremely sad and more than senseless that people go through this kind of turmoil not just for being gay, but for being different. heartbreaking.

      • stalwart

        As someone with clinical depression who frequently experiences suicidal feelings, I find it shocking that so many otherwise healthy people could be pushed by someone else to the point where they want to take their own lives. To all homophobic bullies out there – honestly, with the things you say and do to gay teenagers, the emotional pain you put them through, you might as well be breaking their legs with a cricket bat. It’s a disgrace.

    • Karl

      Without gay people, how would people know which belt to match which blouse? I can’t imagine this world without Tim Gunn!

      • Karl

        Wow. Ok i sounded sarcastic. I didn’t mean it. I really do love Tim Gunn… and ok, not all gay people have awesome fashion sense (just MOST). I for one, don’t.

  • AC

    Kesha, it’s not a choice. Please, stop talking.

    Everyone else? Aces. I also really loved Dave’s and glad it was recognized here.

    • tracy bluth

      I’ve decided not to watch Kesha’s now. It is NOT a choice.

      • AC

        A+ comment!

      • allie

        Yes. Yes it is. A person can chose to seek spiritual counseling. Thanks celebrities for totally making this worse. The bullying is wrong, but ANY bullying is wrong. When is the next bandwagon due to roll into town?

      • nodnarb

        LOL! Ex-gay counseling is a farce. Just ask John Paulk.

      • Mole

        @allie, to paraphrase last night’s Glee (and common sense), why on Earth would anyone choose to live a life of ridicule and judgement?

      • Craig

        Allie. I’m sorry, but you are delusional. I would rather use a different word, but in the spirit of not bullying, I will leave it at that.

      • Josh

        Allie. It’s also my choice to ignore your ignorant comment. Spiritual counseling, while well intentioned, is often abused by people looking to make money by using religion to solve problems. Just because you say you do something in His name, doesn’t mean He has anything to do with it. In fact, I think if He knew what his children were doing in His name, he’d be saddened.

      • Colby

        Allie, spiritual counseling cannot “cure” sexual orientation, however, I will pray that the Lord provides you the education you need to cure your ignorance and to accept everyone.

      • Marmys

        to Allie, seeking spiritual counselling IS a choice, having a homosexual orientation is not. Please spend some time reviewing the true values of Christ (not the doctrines of Organised Religion) and learn the distinction.

    • Karl

      Allie, I am highly disturbed by your comment.

    • allie08

      I too am a Christian (named Allie – no connection) and am fighting like crazy within my church for an accepting attitude towards gay youth and adults. This isn’t the place for a major religious argument but I will say this to those that think all religious people are anti-gay – I am a heterosexual woman in a traditional protestant church and you would be amazed at how many of us support you and your rights. God bless and Tim Gunn ROCKS.

      • Danielle

        We need more of you! Please continue your good work to spread what is, after all, Jesus’s true message “love everyone unconditionally”.

  • nodnarb

    I thought the whole point of this campaign was for adult gays who have faced bullying and struggled with esteem to tell young gays that it eventually “gets better.” It’s just like “Talk to the hand” … straight people steal everything!

    • b

      Yeah, it seems a little disingenuous for people who have never been through it to claim that it will get better… why should they believe you?

      • TheJester

        Because the issues with bullying isn’t strictly about gay youth. Yes, that is the issue the media is focusing on right now (as well they should), but kids are being bullied for a number of reasons that is driving them to the point of suicide. In the past year, one school district in Minnesota has had eight suicides due to bullying, five or six of which has been linked to gay issues.

      • nodnarb

        The “It Gets Better” campaign IS strictly about gay youth.

      • lostidol

        Because suicide affects EVERYONE…including those left behind, gay or straight.

      • David Good

        I understand your sentiment, but this program is also for “questioning” youth. I questioned my sexuality at a time in my life, and though I do not believe now that sexuality is a choice, some of us have had to figure out our emotions. So if it is truly for “questioning youth,” as Tim and others said, then you can question and realize you are straight. Just a thought, not an argument.

      • m

        I think it’s important for gay youth to know that there are straight people out there who do support them. Reaching out to people who are in trouble should be everybody’s “thing”; it shouldn’t matter if you are gay, straight, questioning…

      • Kelly

        Pease keep in mind that the people who created this project have one thing in mind, what THEY themselves went through. I hope that anyone who has gone through bullying for some other reason than this would find a way to get the word out to those going through it. No one is saying that only bullying against gays is wrong and nothing else matters, it’s just what matters to them.

      • Karl

        Well, It Gets Better was created with gay adults in mind. “Better” as in these celebs have gone through bullying (for being weird or gay or otherwise) and they’re now so much better off than their bullies.

        Does Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz look like they wld be the kind to be bullied?

    • harry


    • Sara

      Maybe it’s also soothing for them to know that not all straight people hate them just because they are gay.

      • Katja

        This was my interpretation of the involvement of straight celebrities. I think it potentially sends a very valuable message. It would be even better, though, for religious leaders to do this kind of thing and indicate acceptance of gay people. It’s got to be rough for some kids, at least those raised in religious environments, to hear that many people think they will burn in hell for their homosexuality…but there ARE faiths that don’t believe gay people are such sinners that they are utterly doomed. I mean, there are openly gay Episcopal bishops, and I am hoping that someday the Catholic Church will get there as well.

      • aleksa


    • Em

      Because maybe one of these straight people will be influential to a gay person and save someone’s life.

      If your house was on fire, would you only want the gay firefighters to put it out??

      We all are in this together. THAT’S THE POINT.

  • dee

    Thank you, Tim Gunn! You’re so wonderful.

  • harry


  • Alyssa

    Um…this is hard for me to say. But I was bullied in Middle School, Junior High, and Highschool because I was always a little bigger than most girls and I had some head problems I didnt know about until later. But all the taunting and bullying and mental illness I have gone through made me think about suicide. Depression, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Epilepsy are all the things I have. And I am so scared right now to go back into the workforce and I dont have any idea what i want to do for a career at 21. So I often feel like a loser and like I am the only failure. I have had passive thoughts, but my life is Getting Better. Slowly but Surely. Its just hard to see the light and good sometimes. But its there.

    • KM

      Good for you, Alyssa. (Beautiful name, by the way!) That’s a lot to deal with, but I’m truly so happy that your life is getting better. Keep up the hope and the positive thinking, and I am sure you will have a long and wonderful life! As for the career stuff – believe me, most people your age don’t know what to do with their lives. It’s okay to still be pondering that. Eventually, you’ll figure out what’s important to you in a job and how you can match that up with your interests. Just try some things out and see how it goes. :)

    • Natalie

      Alyssa, that was very brave of you to say. Honey, you don’t have “head problems”, you have mental illness, and that is not your fault. Continue to believe in yourself and surround yourself with others who believe in you. Continue to seek treatment and support. I have seen many people with mental illness who once felt like they had no future,succeed and meet their goals.

      • Alyssa

        thank you both, that was kind of you. It proves that people can be kind and civil without even knowing somebody. But thanks again that truly touched my heart.

  • HarmoneNotHermione

    Really loved Tim’s and Dave Holmes videos. Had no idea Dave Holmes was gay but appreciated his honesty about his experiences growing up and becoming secure with himself as time went on. Loved his advice and thought he was really genuine and funny at the end.

  • Christy

    Love Dave Holmes, always have…

  • Dgently

    Tim Gunn is a very classy guy.

    • 2 Brains and a TV

      I completely agree with you. I have no idea who Dave Holmes is. But I now LOVE HIM. What a great person.

  • KWise

    Who the heck is that Dave Holmes fellow, because I LOVE HIM. Is he a celeb, or an “average citizen?” I guess it doesn’t matter – his clip was amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing. (love the comment that you’ll run into your biggest bully in a gay bar in 10 years – SO TRUE!!!)

    • Natalie

      Dave Holmes was a veejay on MTV for a while several years ago…he was actually discovered in an MTV veejay contest. Since then I think he has hosted various shows on TV, including DVD on TV on FX and Best Week ever on VH1. He really does come off as a down to earth, very genuine person.

    • Reena

      KWise he came in 2nd place when MTV did the become a VJ thing he lost to that Jesse guy but he is actually doing WAY more now…he hosts DVD on TV on FX and has other tv shows about movies music etc I really like him and am so glad to see his video recognized…one thing I posted this same thing on another post…as glad as I am to see all these celebrties making the videos please please please DO NOT WATCH THE PEREZ HILTON VIDEO! he is a bully himself to children and other celebrities who are not part of his crowd so to any teen/youth out there who is struggling with there sexual oreintation look at Tim Gunn, Dave Holmes, Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris and others DO NOT LOOK AT PEREZ as a role model he is just as bad if not worse then the people who bully you.

  • arf

    kesha seemed kinda high. people are idiots these days. people tried to buly me but i stood up for myself. thats all it takes for some people.

    • blaaaake!

      so what do you suggest for those who cannot stand up for themselves? Say, a bully twice your size… should they stand up too and be pummeled. You are correct, people are idiots these days – your comment proves it.

    • Mole

      We’re happy that you were able to stand up for yourself, that kind of self confidence is very special in an LGBTQ, nerdy, or any other kind of non-mainstream youth. Unfortunately, for too many people the abuse seems to come from everywhere, all sides of the world, the whole town, school, your family, etc, and that’s when things get the most dire. Simply hearing there is light at the end of the tunnel can be life-saving for these kids, and may in fact be the one impetus they need to finally stand up for themselves, as you did. You ought to make a video for the project as well, I bet you’d be a great influence or encouragement to someone.

      • Karl

        I think that’s the worst. Where the kids get “bullied” by their family. Their brother or sister who doesn’t understand, and their parents who don’t care. The teachers who are bigoted themselves (EDUCATORS listen up! U r all so important!) and the classmates who are the straws that break the camel’s back…

        That’s a compound of factors. It’s a really very nasty situation many kids find themselves in.

    • Kiki

      I agree that standing up for yourself is important not only because it is often effective but because it gives one self confidence.

      That said, a boy in my daughter’s class stood up for himself and the next day 6 members of the football team beat the crap out of him. HE was the one who got in trouble for ‘instigating’. The football team members were given a pass.

      • tracy bluth

        That’s so sad, but unfortunately that’s what happens. My friend Michael was on the football team in high school. Someone on the team found out he was gay and beat him up- and MICHAEL got suspended, not the other kid.

    • Karl

      Wow that’s a lot of violence… and sadly that’s the reason why kids nowadays can’t stand up for themselves.

      I am glad that where i went to school the teachers were discerning enough to punish the right person. They didn’t care if the quarterback brought home the state championship – they’ll get the facts on the table and give him detention if he instigated it.

  • ellen

    I’m proud to say I’ve never bullied someone for being gay, and I was raised in a pretty homophobic home.

    It’s not that hard, people, cut it out.

  • susela

    Tim Gunn is a national treasure!

    • Katja

      Agreed, and it seems that Dave Holmes is, too. His video was amazing. Confident, reassuring, articulate, and just truly wise. Both Tim and Dave seem like great people.

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