On June 4th, LGBT-supportive fans of the New York Yankees were thrilled and disappointed in equal measure as long-time rivals the Boston Red Sox promised to release an “It Gets Better” video. While fans from both sides had petitioned their teams, the Red Sox showed their acceptance and tolerance first. Still, Yankees fans have not given up.
Sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage and his partner started the It Gets Better Project last year as a way to provide hope to bullied youths, especially those in the LGBT community, according to ItGetsBetter.org. Everyday activists created online videos, eventually joined by celebrities like President Barack Obama, Glee’s Chris Colfer, and Ellen DeGeneres. With the increasing visibility of suicides, like the Tyler Clementi tragedy at Rutgers University, and the recent cuts to aid for homeless youth in New York, anything that can be done to help the younger LGBT community is a step in the right direction.
The IGB movement in the baseball world started with the San Francisco Giants in response to a Change.org petition by Sean Chapin. Their video was swiftly followed by promises for future videos by the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox. Now, Change.org members are setting their sights on a baseball team a little closer to New Jersey. Luinne Elias D’Llard and five other allies used the popular progressive website Change.org to create individual petitions calling for the Yankees to publically support tolerance and compassion. To date, D’Llard’s petition has generated almost 6,500 emails to the Yankees.
Though a New York team, this issue is very dear to New Jerseyans. The Yankees are one of the oldest baseball teams and enjoy huge visibility in the sport, both in the US and abroad. With a surge of fan support, it is only natural that sports teams will join the many others who have given messages of hope to LGBT youth.
The petition to the Yankees can be found here: http://www.change.org/petitions/new-york-yankees-make-an-it-gets-better-video.