National Coming Out Day is today, and the FDNY decided to participate by producing their first ever "It Gets Better" video in support of the It Gets Better Project. Twelve gay, lesbian and transgender firefighters, paramedics and EMTs participated in the video, discussing challenges they faced both on the job and in their personal lives. "When I decided to come out, I kinda channeled [punk rock], that defiant, 'I am the other,'" said firefighter Luke Allen. "I'm okay with that. I'd rather be the other than the cookie cutter."
"As Firefighters, Paramedics and EMTs in the most diverse city in the world, FDNY members have the tremendous opportunity to inspire young people through their brave work every single day," said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro in a statement. "Through this video, they deliver an important message to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth around the world, 'It absolutely does get better.'"
The video was directed by firefighter Brooke Guinan, the department’s only transgender firefighter. She told the News, "We want to get the kids to hang on for another day...to hold on for another day," she said. "The amount of suicides among LGBT youth is staggering." Learn more about the It Gets Better Project here.