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“It Gets Better” Video Produced By The Exploratorium Staff

For Immediate Release:
October 06, 2011

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Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

“It Gets Better” Video Produced By The Exploratorium Staff

Group shot from the end of the Exploratorium's "It Gets Better" video

For many staff members at the Exploratorium, growing up as members of the LGBT community was no easy task. But they want today’s teens in the same position to know that things will drastically improve, which is why the Exploratorium has just released a group video, “It Gets Better,” aimed at LGBT youth who face harassment, discrimination, or bullying from their peers.

The video can be viewed at  the link below:

The video itself features interviews with thirteen participants, who come from departments across the museum, including the very young and the mature, from the Teen Explainer program to Community and Government Relations to Online Engagement. Each of these individuals tells their stories of their struggles and imparts messages of hope and empowerment.

The Exploratorium has been a fixture in San Francisco since it opened at the Palace of Fine Arts in 1969. At that time, San Francisco had more gay people per capita than any other, but even by 1985, there were only two openly gay staff members— who died early, among the early victims of the AIDS Epidemic.

“The ‘It Gets Better’ video is a proud milestone in the Exploratorium’s cultural history,” said Kurt Feichtmeir, the museum’s Director of Extended Learning. “It’s in keeping with our mission of making the world understandable. I think we should be really proud to work in a place that strives to be accepting of diversity in all its forms.”

The video was organized by Exploratorium educator Adrienne Barnett, who felt compelled to add the Exploratorium’s voice to the those of others in California, dedicated to showing young LGBTQ people they can get through their teen years.

At their first meeting for the video project, LGBT colleagues admitted they were surprised to see just who attended from among a staff of over 500.

The video is deeply affecting, bringing home the sense of fear, denial, and alienation that plagued some in their early lives, even today – fears of the impact on their careers by being out, or simply being bullied by others. Yet each person here has found acceptance and happiness. “You can find love, someone who loves you,” one staff member says in the video.

The “It Gets Better” project was started by columnist Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller in 2010, in response to teen suicides as a result of bullying because they were gay or suspected of being gay. The goal is to prevent suicide amongst LGBT youth by having adults in the community demonstrate that the teens’ lives will improve.

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About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

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Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367