Updated 7:45 AM CDT, Fri, Mar 18, 2011
Below you will find the letter that inspired filmmaker Michael Anthony to launch a campaign to prevent bullying and help give gay and lesbian teens a voice. This is the letter from Billy.
Dear Michael Anthony,
This is a letter to thank you for you're it gets better video on youtube. I found it because it was posted on the facebook page for wheeling high school and then also the wheeling park district. It is good to know that someone in the same position as me grew up in the same area and is now happy. You seem very very happy. I'm sure you know this but you are very lucky to have the mother and family you have. If she and they are anything like in the video, that means She and they love you very much.
I do not have someone that loves me this much. For me high school is not a happy time. I can honestly say that I do not have one real friend. I have friends but they do not know me at all. They do not know the real me. The same for my family and at my job and at my church. I feel like I need to be a certain type of person in order for them to accept me.
But I am not that person. And the more I try to be that person, the more I slowly disappear. And the worst part is that no one seems to notice. Its as if everyone would rather have me quiet and in the corner and supposedly normal instead of love me for who I am.
I always thought I had a lot to offer. I always thought that I saw the world in a different way and that it was a better way. But by the way everyone around me acts (and wants me to act), it seems that I might just be wrong. I might not be special. At least special in the good meaning of the word. I might just be a problem that's meant to be fixed. Not a person that is meant to be loved yet. And now after years of feeling this way deep inside, I truly feel that they may be right.
Your video made me smile, laugh and then cry at the end. I sometimes literally feel like it's hopeless and pointless. But I have also rushes of hope and excitement and confidence. Your video gave me that for a moment. It reminded me that there is a life out there yet to be lived. Thank you for your help and advice and positive attitude.
I wish I had a friend like you in my life right now. I wish I had a family like yours in my life too. But I now realize that I will eventually need to create my own family and make new friends and that will take time. Please think of me and be happy in the fact that your video gave someone something.
It gave me more than hope. It gave me proof.
First Published: Mar 18, 2011 6:30 AM CDT