it gets better

[This was my script from the Google It Gets Better project. I ended up not being available for the filming, so it was not included in the finished product.]

Hi, I'm Travis. I am a lawyer at Google. I am here to tell you that, it gets better.

I went to middle school in a small, midwestern blue collar town. My experience was like many of the ones that have ended tragically. My classmates bullied me. Not just a few times, but repeatedly, over a period of several years. I was physically beat up, and verbally harassed with words that cut so deep that it took years to restore my self esteem. I sympathize with people who resolve being bullied through violence, or suicide. Not because I agree with their actions, but because I understand what has driven them to the point where that sort of response seems like the only solution available.

I wish someone had stepped in and put a stop to the treatment that I was subjected to. I wish someone had told me that they understood what I was going through. And I wish that someone had told me that it would get better. Because at the time, I didn't see how it ever could.

As an adult, I dealt with my emotional scars. I learned that all of my friends and family were supportive of me. I learned that anyone who did not support me was not worthy of my attention. I developed healthy and loving relationships. I have worked for large companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Google, who were incredibly supportive of their LGBT employees. I learned that being LGBT at work wasn't just okay, it was a valuable asset. As a lawyer, I have the opportunity to mentor and advocate for many people. I like making a positive influence in their lives, and I know my traits as a caring person and a strong advocate for those who might otherwise be overlooked are a direct result of the bullying I experienced earlier in my life.  

I live and I work in incredibly supportive and diverse environments. I am very happy that I am gay, and I would not want to be anyone other than myself. I love my life. And I want you to know that it does get better.

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