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RCMP says It Gets Better

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — Several RCMP members have joined the still-increasing ranks of individuals, organizations and sports teams that have created It Gets Better videos, aimed primarily at young queer people who face discrimination and harassment.

In a nearly 10-minute video, the 20 Mounties recall, in often moving and candid accounts, the challenges they faced growing up, including being the targets of slurs and bullying, confronting their sense of being different, and coming out to families.

Calling herself a "strategic planner," one Mountie says she decided she could be herself only after leaving high school. "Until then, hide it away," was her motto. "I hid it right till the day I graduated."

Another, who told his mother he was leaving the priesthood because he was gay, says she "cried for three years straight." A third says his mom was "super supportive" and was upset with him only for feeling he had to hide himself from her.

The Mounties' participation in the project was initiated by the Surrey RCMP Youth Unit, with interviews taped over the summer.

After a number of young people took their lives as a result of bullying, syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner, Terry Miller, spearheaded the It Gets Better movement, creating a YouTube video in September 2010 to send a message of hope. The project has led to the creation of more than 50,000 videos that have been viewed more than 50 million times, the It Gets Better site states.

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