It Gets Better: Original song from Palo Alto teen | Not in Our Town

It Gets Better: Original song from Palo Alto teen

The Not In Our Town crew had the pleasure of interviewing young performing artist Julian Hornik a few years ago during Palo Alto Unified School District's Not In Our School week. He told us about the bullying and cyberbullying that he experienced after classmates discovered YouTube videos of Julian performing his original songs. Now 15, Julian sends a message to other teens: "It Gets Better." Julian states:

I wrote this song in hopes that gay teens who are thinking of harming themselves might think twice. There will come a time when the idea of tormenting someone because he or she is gay will seem as absurd as segregation does today. In the mean time, the world is getting younger and smarter and more accepting. And it will get better.

Julian is also offering this song via iTunes with all proceeds to benefit the Trevor Project. Visit Julian at Here is Julian performing this song:

Today is the final day of No Name-Calling Week. Thank you to GLSEN for hosting, and for the Not In Our Town community for tuning in to these anti-bullying stories and resources.



  I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Julian for coming up w/ a creative response to the harassment and bullying about issues of sexual orientation that are sadly all too common experiences for many LGBTQ youth (and adults) in classrooms and communities across the country, indeed the globe.  Not only is his song a powerful call to sustain hope, but it’s also a profound act of solidarity. Sometimes simply knowing that one is not alone in their suffering may be enough to interrupt more destructive thoughts. His song reminds me of Bayard Rustin, a central figure in the Civil Rights Movement who many people don’t even know, primarily because he was an out gay African American man at a time when many aspects of his identity were the source of denigration. More recently his story has come to light through the wonderful film, Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin. In the film, Bayard speaks of the need to generate creative conflicts and while I don’t see Julian’s song as creating conflict, it’s certainly a creative response. Another similar gesture can be seen in the documentary, Not In Our Town: Northern California: When Hate Happens Here, another film by The Working Group and available in Facing History’s Library, as is Brother Outsider.  In the segment of the film, Reversing Vandalism the S.F. Public Library sends out an RFP to artists for art projects that could use the dozens of vandalized books written by LBGTQ authors or covering that subject matter and the projects that came back from around the globe were nothing less than spectacular.  Keep up the good work Julian! In solidarity

Thanks, Milton, for these incredible resources! Here at NIOT, we have been delighted to share Julian's original song and received such great feedback from the community in response to this talented young man.

And thanks for pointing to our video on the vandalism at the SF library (which can also be found here: There are so many creative and courageous responses to acts of bias and hatred. One of our most popular videos is Gunn High School Sings Away Hate (, which was a local school's response to a visit from the Westboro Baptist Church. Like Julian, they used song as a way to stand with their peers!


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