From her time in Danity Kane to her post-girl group days, Aubrey O’Day knows what it’s like to be publicly criticized. The singer, who has always spoken out in support of her gay fans, has joined a slew of other celebrities who have come forth to send a message of hope to victims of bullying, following the suicide of Tyler Clementi and other gay teens .
“It’s just so disheartening and unfortunate,” O’Day said in her “It Gets Better” video recording. “I think that it’s our job as celebrities to come forward and really address the situation and fight for the idea that it does get better. As a celebrity, we’re lucky enough to be able to have our voices heard amongst large groups of people, and because of that, I really wanted my voice to matter in this specific situation.”
Aubrey admitted that she too was harassed and picked on when she was growing up. “I really believe that it does get better, but it is so incredibly hard to feel that when you’re in those moments. I don’t know how many tortured stories I could tell you of my childhood that would really make you feel better because you can’t compare pain. You can’t compare anger and specific situations, because everybody feels pain differently.”
The pop star explained that rules of being cool are nonexistent, as we’re all just trying to figure out who we are on a daily basis. “I don’t think that you should ever strive to fit in with [others' standards of cool]. In fact, I think you should try harder to pave your own way and make what you are cool,” she said. “Define what you are as a lane of what people should be like and lead by example.”
The singer said that the media focuses too much on celebrities and their legal woes as opposed to those who have taken their lives due to constant harassment, including Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after his roommate allegedly posted a video online of his intimate acts with another man.
“I’m so disheartened that those are the names we are discussing and in a sense rewarding by continuously taking about,” she said. “I put together some names of people that we should be rewarding, because these people are the reason why things will really change, because their personal struggle and their pain and their anger and fear and loneliness is what will really change things and inspire people to be better. It’s unfortunate that they got to a point where they were so lost that they couldn’t keep going.”
An emotional O’Day held back tears as she began to read off a list of gay teens who recently committed suicide due to bullying. The list included Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Clementi, Raymond Chase and Caleb Nolt.
The pop star encouraged troubled LGBT youth to seek help. “I found the name of an organization that allows you to talk to them and call them at anytime. It’s called the Trevor Project. The number is (866) 488-7386.”
The reality star also challenged the media to make a difference and highlight the struggle of those that have suffered. “I’d say for one day do something different. Post the stories and struggle and the pain and the people that are really making a difference,” she explained. “Let issues like this be known and make those the focus of what you talk about at least for a day. One day can make a difference.”
Join MTV, Brittany Snow and the Jed Foundation (with support from DoSomething.org, the Trevor Project, Reach Out, Active Minds and the Ad Council) in spreading the word that Love Is Louder. Upload your videos of support to Your.MTV.com and tweet your message with the hashtag #LoveIsLouder.