For Immediate Release
Contact: Sue Kerr
PITTSBURGH PIRATES TO RELEASE ‘IT GETS BETTER’ VIDEO
Pirates Partnered With Local LGBT Youth Projects To Raise Awareness Of The Impact Of Bullying And Encourage Victims
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates will unveil their contribution to the It Gets Better Project during pre-game on Friday, May 4, 2012. The video features Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle and pitchers Joel Hanrahan and Jeff Karstens discussing the impact of bullying on youth and urging their young fans to seek help if they are experiencing bullying. The video will be released on YouTube and appear on the It Gets Better Project’s website at www.itgetsbetter.org.
“Bullying is a serious issue that simply cannot be tolerated. We feel it is important to get the message out that there is no place in our society for bullying anyone for any reason,” said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. “The organization is pleased to utilize our resources to help call attention to this subject and to encourage those that have been a victim of bullying to come forward and seek help.”
The Pirates will be working with the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh (GLCC) and the local chapter of the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to build relationships with LGBT youth on an ongoing basis. The video launch includes a private meet and greet between members of the Pirates team and youth involved with the GLCC. Members of the community are invited to join the youth for the premiere of the video and enjoy the game at discounted rates. The Lambda Foundation has teamed up with the Pirates’ Community Relations to make the game accessible for the youth’s families and siblings.
“Working with the Pirates on this project and witnessing their increasing investment in our local LGBT youth has been a privilege,” offers Sue Kerr, Pittsburgh native and local lesbian blogger. “I grew up when Pittsburgh earned ‘The City of Champions’ title and this proves that we still hold it. I’ve never been more proud to be from Pittsburgh.”
Local bloggers at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents and advocates with Equality PA worked with the team to develop the concept and connect them with the national partners, including the Trevor Project and GLSEN.
“Not all LGBT teenagers have an escape mechanism or a safe haven to be themselves. The ‘It Gets Better’ movement is a powerful instrument to help our LGBT youth that they, too, can live a life full of endless potential and happiness,” offers Lambda Foundation founding member, August “Buzz” Pusateri. Pusateri is a lifelong fan of the Pirates and has been involved in Pittsburgh’s LGBT community for over 40 years.
More than 50,000 videos have been made for the It Gets Better Project, including contributions from Western PA State Representative Dan Frankel and City of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. The Renaissance City Choices and members of Dreams of Hope performing arts group have also contributed videos. The Pittsburgh Pirates are the ninth Major League Baseball team to submit an “It Gets Better” video and support the pledge to speak up against hate and intolerance, and provide hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other bullied teens. Other MLB teams who have joined the project include the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays. Those videos are accessible atwww.itgetsbetter.org.
The Pirates “It Gets Better” video will debut during pregame on Friday, May 4, 2012 at PNC Park when the Pirates take on the Cincinnati Reds. That evening, the team hosts LGBT youth and their families to attend a private meet and greet with Hurdle as well as the chance to see the debut of the video.
About the It Gets Better Project:
In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
Since then, the It Gets Better Project™ has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times.
The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better. ItGetsBetter.org is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help.
About the Lambda Foundation:
The Lambda Foundation exists to foster educational, social, cultural, health and artistic projects and programs in the Greater Pittsburgh area through grants and scholarships to organizations and individuals in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community. The Lambda
The Lambda Foundation was incorporated in 1983. The first grants were awarded in 1984. Over the past 28 years the Foundation has awarded nearly $1,000,000 back to the community. More information about Lambda Foundation is available at www.lambda-pgh.org.