Being gay in the harsh environment of high school or college can be difficult and depressing.
It's been that way for years, as a gay classmate of Mitt Romney found out.
While the problem is still persistent, efforts to fight it have become both more widespread and more effective. It's a development some lay to the news coverage given to Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who committed suicide after his roommate taped him on his webcam.
In this week's feature story, "Protecting Gay Kids," we look at how schools are finally beginning to crack down on the bullying efforts.
Dan Savage, who started the It Gets Better campaign, says Clementi's death played a key role.
"That September woke a lot of older, grown-up LGBT members to the fact that while it had gotten so much better for us out in the world, there had been the inverse effect of upping the temperature for kids in school," says Dan Savage, the alternative-weekly sex columnist who started "It Gets Better." "I really do think it shifted the culture."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.