Twenty gay and lesbian Mounties in British Columbia have released a YouTube video titled, “It Gets Better.” The video explains how they got through childhood bullying and are living happy, complete lives as members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The BC Mounties are the latest in a number of groups to create the 10-minute video for the international “It Gets Better” project, reports The Globe and Mail.
The movement has been popularized by celebrities and politicians in the past two years in the hopes of helping gay youth fight the bullying and despondency they can feel at being different.
The gay and lesbian Mounties give sometimes tearful testimonies about the process of discovering their sexuality and hiding it, before they eventually declared it publicly. RCMP Corporal Robert Ploughman stated:
“When I told my mother I was leaving the priesthood because I was gay, she cried for three years straight.”
The Mounties also described the lack of role models they had and also how they survived bullying at school before they grew up to become homicide investigators, 911 dispatchers, and anti-gang task force members.
The Montreal Gazette notes that another officer recalled his family saying his sexuality was “just a phase.” But all of the participants agreed that it got better. They speak in the video about the acceptance they now have at home and at work.
The “It Gets Better” campaign was started by US sex columnist Dan Savage as a response to anti-gay bullying. It began in 2010 and has garnered support from more than just the gay and lesbian Mounties. Police departments in San Francisco and Austin also released videos earlier this year.
But the Canadian Mounties are by far the largest police force to release a video of support for the campaign with 30,000 employees across the country.
The gay and lesbian Mounties “It Gets Better” video is also another step in the public struggle with the RCMP problem of workplace harassment. Several female officers have come forward to say they were victims of inappropriate behavior by their male superiors.