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(This post originally appeared on Huff Post Gay Voices, a SDGLN media partner.)
A group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students from the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance have produced an emotional new video in which they speak at length about the issues facing the current community in a unique way: by "addressing" their 40-year-old selves.
"You went to a school that wasn't used to people like you, wasn't used to change...wasn't used to people being different," one student states. Another plaintively notes: "Freshman year, after your stepdad beat the crap out of you, all your mom told you was, 'I know you're a faggot.'"
Still, others are more optimistic, ensuring their future selves that it did, in fact, get better. "I know it's crazy now, but back then, things were different...people just didn't understand. I guess that's when the journey began," one remarks.
The Chicago-based Alliance "envisions a world in which youth develop to their fullest potential, learning in safe and nurturing schools, living in communities that accept and honor differences, where everyone has the freedom to express their sexual orientation and gender identity," according to its website.