Full Sail students recently added their voices to the It Gets Better Project with a video featuring staff and students. The video submission was made by the members of LIFT (also known as the Gay/Straight Alliance).
The online It Gets Better Project is comprised of more than 30,000 videos made by celebrities and members of the LGBT community. The videos are meant to reassure young people struggling with bullying and feelings of isolation that life will get better. The website includes submissions from politicians, actors, singers, and employees from companies like Pixar and the Gap.
In the Full Sail video, students and staff talk about their experiences in “coming out,” some of which were painful, and how their lives have improved since.
“Some kids have reported being bullied in high school and back at home. So it is something that is very real for these kids,” said Tatiana Quiroga, who teaches Behavioral Science and is the faculty advisor for LIFT. “That’s one of the reasons why our kids wanted to come together to make a video representing Full Sail and representing their experiences too.”
Members of LIFT also created a short film on AIDS awareness for the Red Hot+ video contest called “Know Your Status.” The contest is sponsored by the Red Hot Organization, a non-profit group dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture. Film student Ricardo Ramos directed the film.
In its current form, the LIFT club has been around only a year, although there were previous versions. Quiroga said the students wanted to update the club’s name from the Gay/Straight Alliance to something that sounded more positive, which is how they settled on LIFT.
Quiroga said the club is always looking for new members and that they welcome straight members as well. Students who are interested in joining the club can email Tatiana Quiroga or ask to be added to the group’s Facebook page.
“We just have a great group that has stayed passionate and stayed interested,” said Quiroga. “They work really well together, and they’ve become a very close-knit group.”
Quiroga said the climate of Full Sail’s campus tends to be accepting and welcoming. However, it helps for students to have a safe haven like LIFT, she said. “We want to provide a safe and fun environment where people can be comfortable being who they are.”