In light of recent teen suicides linked to anti-gay bullying — specifically the death of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi — MTV has partnered with actress Brittany Snow and the Jed Foundation, with support from DoSomething.org, the Trevor Project, Reach Out, Active Minds and the Ad Council, to help spread messages of love and hope to teens who feel they might have run out of options.
Love Is Louder aims to address this important and sensitive issue, and Snow stopped by the MTV News offices recently to discuss the motivation behind the project.
“Initially, because of the recent suicides that had been going on, I was really troubled with what I was hearing and, of course, like everyone, I was really saddened by the news,” Snow said. “I kind of felt, on Twitter and a bunch of websites, a lot of people were really angry and upset and sad because of the news, but they didn’t really know where to direct their attention or their help,” she said, which motivated her to contact her friend Courtney Knowles, the executive director of the Jed Foundation, to develop something that was “bigger than just giving advice to people.” They wanted to create a movement, and Love Is Louder was born.
“Love Is Louder is a movement that is hopefully going to bring some awareness and make some noise when it comes to teens who are feeling suicidal or even just sad, outcasts, and being bullied, and really feel like they have nowhere to turn to,” Snow explained. “It’s a place where people who have been through it can support them and share their stories, [so they will know] that they’re not alone, and that there’s a place for people to put their experiences and hope.”
The “Hairspray” and “American Dreams” star went on to say that she understands how hard life can be when you are bullied.
“I know from my own personal experience,” Snow revealed. “I was bullied in middle school and high school and went through my fair share of hard times thereafter. Also, one of my really good friends committed suicide when I was in high school. I understand and get when kids and teenagers feel like they’re alone and it’s not going to get better. My advice is that there is a support system out there, there are a lot of people who have been through what you’re going through and are going through it now. You really need to speak up and know people love and support you, regardless.”
For more information about Love Is Louder, visit the project’s Facebook page. You can join the conversation by uploading videos to Your.MTV.com, just like Brittany did, and by using the Twitter hashtag #loveislouder.