updated 10:55 pm EDT, Thu April 14, 2011
Company acknowledges, celebrates gay employees
Apple has become one of the latest and largest companies to join the It Gets Better campaign to discourage suicide by -- and bullying against -- gay, lesbian and trans-gendered youth. The video, posted on YouTube by "AppleEmployees" showcases a number of Apple employees who speak openly and often very emotionally about their own youthful struggles and how much better their lives have become since then.
A number of internet and tech companies have taken a leading public role in the campaign, which began in September of last year following an inspiration from columnist Dan Savage in reaction to the suicide of Billy Lucas. The site now features over 10,000 videos from individuals and organizations large and small, with contributions from all over the world.
The campaign has also branched out to deal with bullying and cyber-bullying beyond its original gay and lesbian audience. The project operates as a 501(c)3 charity and benefits The Trevor Project and The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Project. A book based on the project and co-authored by Savage, featuring more than 100 essays from celebrities and young people, has recently been released.
Among the larger internet-related companies that have participated are Facebook, Twitter, Google, Adobe, Cisco Systems, Electronic Arts, Yahoo, Pixar, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. A number of arts organizations have also participated, along with colleges and gay organizations, the casts of various television and Broadway shows, politicians, the Democratic National Committee and even the White House staff, but direct video participation by mainstream companies outside the tech sphere is still fairly rare, though some contribute financially or in other ways to the organization.