SAN DIEGO -- Debbie Allen, a life-long San Diegan native, has jumped into the anti-bullying fray by starting a petition to get her hometown's local professional baseball team to join the "It Gets Better Project."
One of the many hats Allen wears is as director of the local Humanist organization, the San Diego Coalition of Reason (SDCoR). Humanists believe in and advocate for equal rights for all people, among various other causes. As such, Allen has been following the "It Gets Better Project" with great interest since its inception.
Yesterday, on June 1st, 2011, the first day of the month President Obama declared as national LGBT pride month, the World Champion San Francisco Giants became the first professional sports team to release an "It Gets Better" video.
Their video joins the over 10,000 other videos made for the anti-bullying campaign started by activist and journalist Dan Savage, designed to help LGBT teens feel more hopeful in response to bullying and other difficulties they may face as they and/or others recognize or perceive their sexual orientation.
That same evening, while Allen was reviewing the Giants' video, she also noticed all the "thank you" videos posted on YouTube by fans of the team. She then realized that a 12-year-old boy from Boston has now launched a petition to encourage the Red Sox to film a similar video.
The lifetime Padres fan got an idea.
"When I heard that the San Francisco Giants were the first professional team to make a video, I thought it would be really great if all pro sports teams would get on board. Then I saw a petition [on the change.org website] from the 12 year old kid in Boston. I thought, 'if he can do it I can do it.' So I decided to contact the Padres," she told San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.
Allen followed the procedures, drafted a letter, contacted the Padres, then posted a petition on the activist website change.org, requesting the San Diego Padres to join the "It Gets Better Project."
A copy of Allen's letter to the Padres:
San Diego Padres - Support your fans by making an "It Gets Better" video!
Every day, children and teens are bullied and made fun of. This is especially true for teens in Middle School and High School who are gay or lesbian, or who are perceived to be gay or lesbian. The bullying is sometimes so cruel and unrelenting that children commit suicide.
As leaders of our community, and role models to thousands of children and teens, it would mean a great deal if the San Diego Padres took a stand on this issue, and created an "It Gets Better" video.
Recently, a petition like this one was created to ask the San Francisco Giants to become involved. They became the first team in professional sports to produce an "It Gets Better" video, taking a stand against anti-gay bullying. Several fans have since made thank you youtube videos to the Giants (more views), and several news agencies and newspapers have reported on the video. (Talk about great free publicity!!)
(To see the Giant's video click HERE.)
This is a WIN-WIN-WIN proposition. A WIN for our children! A WIN for the Padres organization! And, a WIN for a future free of bigotry and hatred!
Please, make a video for the "It Gets Better Project"!
Padres Fan and Native San Diegan
Over 6,500 people signed the petition encouraging the Giants to make a video. Now Allen wants the Padres to give back to the community and get behind this anti-bullying campaign.
She is asking others to join her, be a part of history and urge the San Diego Padres to make an "It Gets Better Project" video by signing this petition.
Do it today!
About the "It Gets Better Project"
Over 10,000 videos have been produced and shared online by every day people, public figures and celebrities, alike, for this very important cause.
According to the "It Gets Better Project" website:
"Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted — even tortured — simply for being themselves.
Justin Aaberg. Billy Lucas. Cody Barker. Asher Brown. Seth Walsh. Raymond Chase. Tyler Clementi. They were tragic examples of youth who could not believe that it does actually get better.
While many of these teens couldn’t see a positive future for themselves, we can. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better."