Monday, Apr. 04, 2011

Dan Savage and Terry Miller

Ages: Savage, 46; Miller, 40
Occupations: Founders of the It Gets Better Project
Previous TIME 100 appearances: 0

Saddened by the suicide of Indiana teenager Billy Lucas, columnist Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller posted a video on YouTube in late 2010 to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids who face bullying and discrimination because of their perceived sexuality. Savage and Miller's message: While it may be difficult to imagine a brighter future from the depths of adolescence — which can be a torment even for kids without conflicts over their sexuality — things do, eventually, get better. Since then, the couple has founded the It Gets Better Project, in which some 10,000 people around the world, from President Barack Obama to Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn, have posted messages of support or inspiring stories of how they overcame their own youthful traumas. As if a project that can help prevent at-risk kids from ending their lives needs any further validation, there's a meme-affirming spoof: a video of an over-the-hill gay-bashing jock who reminds would-be bullies, "It gets worse."