Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program



Wienke, Chris


After a series of gay teen suicides were publicly reported as resulting from homophobic peer bullying in 2010, Dan Savage and Terry Miller created a You Tube video in which they spoke out against bullying and encouraged LGBT teens to persevere through their high school years. The video went viral, and since 2010 over 50,000 It Gets Better videos have been created. In this paper, I examine how the It Gets Better Project discourse has opened a space for the participation of heterosexual individuals in a movement directed at LGBT youth. I ask how heterosexual It Gets Better Project video contributors participate in, appropriate, and expand upon the movement discourse in order to include their voices and stories in spite of the absence of the commonality of experience of belonging to a marginalized sexual identity category. I present a discourse analysis of a non-random sample of It Gets Better videos contributed by heterosexual individuals, utilizing a social constructionist perspective in examining how individuals are narrating meaning into their experiences through their It Gets Better videos.