A reader deep within the bowels of the Environmental Protection Administration — and nasty bowels they are too — says he is following the orders of outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson by forwarding this message from her to “all agency employees.” We pass on this important message verbatim, minus only the EPA@Work banner displaying Jackson’s smiling countenance:
I am proud to share with you an important effort our colleagues at EPA are supporting. It is called the It Gets Better Project.
Created in September 2010 by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller, the campaign’s mission is to show young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people “the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years.” Video by video and story by story, the It Gets Better Project reminds LGBT teenagers who may be struggling that they are not alone — and that it will get better.
As President Obama said in his own It Gets Better video, “As a nation we’re founded on the belief that all of us are equal and each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness; to make the most of our talents; to speak our minds; to not fit in; most of all, to be true to ourselves. That’s the freedom that enriches all of us. “
I am honored to work alongside so many outstanding colleagues who have experienced tough challenges in their life due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, yet still have the courage to be open about who they are and the people they love. Many of them were able to keep focused on their life goals by telling themselves it will get better each day.
Some of these colleagues have offered to share their experiences of what it was like coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. Each story is different, but each story teaches us the profound difference that support and respect can make in a young person’s life.
I invite you to take a moment to view EPA’s It Gets Better video via the link below. I also invite you to share this link. Email it to your friends. Post it on Facebook. Tweet about it. This is a message we want to spread far and wide.
Special thanks to Ryan Robison, the multimedia team and the others who contributed to making this video. And thanks to all EPA employees for doing your part to ensure our agency is an open, welcoming and respectful place to work.
Lisa P. Jackson
It Gets Better, Indeed. It’s Getting Better All the Time.