QnA to premiere video


Contributing Writer

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After a year of filming, Queers and Allies’ compilation of video messages from the Allegheny community for the national It Gets Better Project will premiere in the Tippie Alumni Center Oct. 20. The video will be posted to the original project creator’s website at the end of this month.

Creator Dan Savage began the It Gets Better Project last school year as a video response to the publicized suicides among the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. The video gained popularity quickly and elicited several video responses. Celebrities, teenagers, adults, and families across the nation posted encouraging messages on the video project’s website.

QnA, also moved by the suicides last fall, wanted to find a way to express the campus community’s reaction. Professor of Communication Arts River Branch suggested they get involved with the It Gets Better Project and sponsor a campus-wide project.

Branch worked with Allegheny alumna and former QnA member Marianna Kreidler to initiate the project. Kreidler was recently staffed at Allegheny as a temporary Admissions videographer. She is also the videographer for QnA’s project.

She said the video will include Allegheny community members sharing their individual stories as well as a group shot that was filmed last November.

In light of the recurring homophobic attacks on campus, QnA President Blair Harman, ’14, said that she feels the timing and message of the project will emphasize the inclusive and diverse nature of the Allegheny community.

“This video will provide a message of hope for any student who feels targeted, harassed, or personally attacked because of their sexuality,” she said. “Reaching out to those who may feel that their voices are being smothered is a crucial focus… We want each and every student on this campus to know that they are not alone.”

The project was open to all students, faculty, and staff regardless of sexual orientation.

Ben Turin, ’12, contributed a personal story and participated in the group shot. He said there were more than 100 people on the gator quad using their bodies to spell out “hope”.

Professor of Communication Arts and QnA Co-advisor Courtney Bailey participated in the video as well. She said she also wanted to be part of the larger effort to address homophobia and bullying.

“I know some people have been critical of the It Gets Better campaign because it presumes that things really do get better,” Bailey said. “But I tend to see It Gets Better less as a statement of fact and more of a statement of hope–not how things are, but how we would like them to be.”