This post was originally published on September 27, 2012.
Since our "It Gets Better" video was released...
We have received an overwhelming amount of support from all over the world! Within a week, there are more than 84,000 views from over 140 countries across the globe. We have received responses on our YouTube Channel, through the City of Austin's website, to APD Recruiting, and directly to LGPOA-Austin by email! I wanted to take the time to share some of these "Thank You's" with all of you so you can see just how impactful sharing your story has been. The responses range from retired Austin Police Department officers to current APD employees; Young, LGBT individuals to old, straight couples; citizens of Austin to individuals on the other side of the world. There are numerous comments that state this is the best It Gets Better video ever made for which we owe a tremendous amount of thanks to Shawn Northcutt for doing such an amazing job with our stories. The It Gets Better website (http://itgetsbetter.org) still has our video as the main focus of its website.
If you have not already done so, please share this video with your friends and family, post it on your Facebook page and ask your friends to post it, send it out via Twitter, email everyone you know - you never know whose life you will change!
From a Young Person:
Thank you so much for the inspiration from someone who still has suicidal thought gives me hope that not everyone in Texas is homophobic and religious. Also, thank you for giving hope instead of just saying it gets better and not elaborating on it I hate the one's like that cause it just makes me think they're either lying or it doesn't get better. your video has me thinking this is way more believable.
I am a former Police Commissioner for the Edmonton Police Service in Edmonton Alberta Canada. I believe I was the first openly gay Commissioner in the Canada. The Edmonton Police Commission is the civilian oversight Board of Directors for the Edmonton Police Service. I have had the opportunity to see your video on http://lgpoa-austin.org. May I take this opportunity to first and foremost congratulate each and every individual that had the courage to step up and be a part of this amazing video. Kudos to the production team that truly made it a creative, entertaining and powerful message that is very much worth sharing.
Additionally and most importantly I congratulate Chief Acevedo for his leadership on this matter. If you would kind share this note with him, I would appreciate that as well. Each of you that appeared in this video are leaders as well. Our community needs more folks like you. Sharing this video creates many opportunities to do just that. I know the courage it takes to be this OUT. I am PROUD of each of you and am grateful you continue to serve and protect as well as being role models ! The Edmonton Police service continues to make me very proud.
Here is a front page story on one of our very VERY OUT police officers and his partner.
Hearty congratulations and big Canadian Hugs
Thank you for all you do !
Greetings Peace Officers:
After watching Austin Police Department's - It Gets Better, I felt compelled to thank those involved. Thank you so much for having the courage to stand up and speak out - your message is clear and very valuable. While I was watching I went through my own journey with self discovery and coming out. It never fails to help me know that other people went through that same journey, in their own ways and at their own speeds. Knowing that many members of APD are on my side and have the courage everyday to be proud of who they are, not only makes me proud of who I am, but makes me even more proud of where I live.
I moved to Austin four years ago from Nashville, Tennessee. I have done my best to sink myself into Austin's very rich and diverse culture, since I have moved here. The spirit of the people that dwell here has helped me to grow and get better every single day. Watching this film brought tears and cold chills as my police department's finest shared their very vital and valuable stories. It does get better, and you can't imagine how far reaching this film will become. As it has spread by word of mouth and social media to me, it touched my life. Thank you, each and everyone, for bringing to light the presence of the LGBT community in every field and profession. It makes me feel even safer to live in this great city, knowing that you all are out there and that APD as well as the city are proud to have you. It is getting so much better, but it never could have with out efforts such as these.
Your journey just added to mine - thank you for not being afraid to try to make a difference - you already have. Love. Love. Love.
From Alex Oneto:
Thank you all for your participation in the "It Gets Better" campaign. I have several friends at UTAustin and when i saw the APD video and your Police Chief it made me so proud. I just wanted to say Thank You to all of you brave men and women for your service and for your courageous position on coming out publicly and so honestly. You will dramatically change the lives of everyone who sees this video simply by being "Yourselves". God Bless You and Keep you All Safe
Rev Father Alex Oneto, osf
Even though my country (Canada) is more liberal on some topics...Homosexuality being one of them, the message this Police Department conveyed was raw, human, touching. To hear from the Chief, and his team was commendable and should be acknowledged. I wanted to say "Thank you".
Simply - Thank you.
I have been searching for the correct salutation to begin this email and while not technically correct, Thank You seems to be the only appropriate beginning. Since the "It Gets Better" Project began I have seen multiple videos. I can even say that over time I have become a bit immune to the emotional impact these videos can have. And yet when I saw your video on the BuzzFeed app I was blown away. First, it is an amazing example of what these videos can truly impart. Second, there was MY police stepping up and saying "I'm okay, you're okay and it gets better!" Lastly, there were police officers (and others) saying we love who we are, what we do, and that we will always be there for you. What a truly powerful message to those who may feel disenfranchised! We are the police and we are here for YOU!
So Thank You. I have always been proud of being a native Texan but have never been so proud to be a native Austinite.
My wife Karen and I want to congratulate all of you, for your courage and respect for yourselves and wish to protect gay teens. Karen and I have been married for 34 years. We are 63 and 65 years old. My wife is the older one. We fully support same sex marriage, because we fully support the U.S. Constitution. The Preamble says; We the People...........not We, the heterosexuals. You are citizens too. Take our advice, when a nut ball says you are an abomination, tell them to stick it up their ass. We don't take shit from anyone. We are feisty senior citizens.
I just wanted to thank you and congratulate you on an excellent "It Gets Better Video." I know it wasn't done as a recruitment video but as a Criminal Justice student at Michigan State University it definitely made me take a serious interest in applying to your department.
Just thought I'd share that with you, thanks again for the wonderful video!
Your LGBT "It gets better" video was such an inspiration to me! What a brave and wonderful thing your force, your Leadership, your officers, and support personnel have done to come out and to support one another. Bless your Hearts! Makes me want to move to Austin right now and see ya'll. (A former Oklahoman)
I just wanted to tell you how moved I was by your video. I think all who participated have taken bravery to a new level. You will probably never know how many lives you save with your message. You are amazing and generous people, and I thank you for stepping up to make this a better world.
Chief and members of Austin PD,
I just got finished watching your IGB video and wanted to send you a quick note to say great job! I was on the job for 7 years in South Carolina in a small department (40 officers) in a small college town and I could not have imagined being out then. Knowing what I know now and the fact there everyone has their own journey I wish I would have had the courage that you all displayed in your production. I wonder if I would have had even more of an impact in my community. Keep up the excellent work, thank you for your service to one of the greatest music cities in the country, the state of Texas and to our country! You are ALL heros in my book and especially to the LGBT community.
My name is Ronnie and I'm a native of Kenner Louisiana, I know I'm not from Texas so it might not mean much but I would just like to thank the officers of Austin Texas whom participated in the "it gets better" video. It was very inspiring to me being a 19 y/o gay male. And that if ment so much that they took the time out of their day to make that video.
So again, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
This probably sounds slightly crazy, but I just wanted to send a note that I very much enjoyed the It Gets Better video from the Austin Police Department and Police Chief. It really means a lot and is very much appreciated. Thank you for being pioneers.
I am from Boston and it seems like that is far away but after watching that video we are really next door neighbors. I commend you for the video, it is one of the best. Helping people is also who you are.
Personal Story: To all the beautiful men and women who shared their testimony in the "It Gets Better" video, thank you. That's a very special piece of work and you all are heroes. I'm a gay man in Washington, DC, and I come from a medium-sized Ohio town where my Dad was a lifelong cop, so I do know something about cops. Those of you in the video are obviously very special. Thank you!
Your video is a testament to the best part of America. Thanks to all the participants. Btw I'm a 50-year-old straight guy with two straight kids but I found myself wiping my eyes nonetheless...
Regarding the Austin Police Department getting publicly involved in the It Gets Better Project, I want to say that I have never been so proud to be a Texan and an Austinite!! The tears are still flowing! Thank you for the amazing courage it took to put yourselves out there to help so many. People of my generation still suffer the scars of the past. You are making it so much better for younger people. You are true heroes!
I want to commend all who appeared in or contributed to the "It Gets Better" video. This is a critical, potentially life-saving message and it sets a new standard for "protect and serve". Godbless you all!
(PS: My family and I are straight so my concern is simply for human decency and social coherence.)
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I'm a displaced Texan, constantly having to defend the goodness of the state that gets lost in political rhetoric. You are a shining example of true Texas love and community. Happily married - adoptive mom in Massachusetts; wishing for the day I can go home with the same rights and protections we are afforded here. Thank you for taking this fundamental step toward true equality.
I just watched the police department video, "This is Who I Am." I wanted to thank the city of Austin and the police officers and captain who participated in it. It was moving and real, potentially life-saving, and a wonderful demonstration of "protecting and serving."
Thank you again.