NASA is world renowned for breaking barriers, and also for some pretty amazing videos (perhaps most famously, last summer’s astounding “Seven Minutes of Terror” about the Curiosity Mars landing). But for sheer audacity and emotion, probably nothing in its oeuvre matches the video posted to YouTube on 30 March. “It Gets Better” might be called “9:53 minutes of encouragement.” In it, an array of NASA employees, plus actor George Takei, AKA Hikaru Sulu of the starship Enterprise crew, assure “high school and college-aged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals who are victims of bullying and/or have been affected by bullying” that their lives can and will improve and that at NASA sexual orientation makes no difference to people’s ability to pursue their careers.
Created by the Out and Allied Employee Resource Group at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), the famous “Houston” of all those unforgettable space flights, “It Gets Better” carries the agency’s imprimatur. It features JSC director and former astronaut Ellen Ochoa assuring viewers that NASA values “the skills and talents of every individual, regardless of differences including sexual orientation and gender identity” and that despite the “difficulties” and “hardships” members of the target audience may be undergoing now, “I promise life will get better.”
Roger, Houston. Copy that. The video is below.