"It really does get better."
That's the message of this new video, created by the RCMP in British Columbia as part of the 'It Gets Better' campaign.
The video features 20 LGBT employees, including Mounties from the Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond and UBC detachments, as well as officers from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and the gang-fighting Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.
With the iconic Mountie uniform and a Canadian flag behind them, the employees share their individual tales of understanding their sexuality, coming out, facing bullying and discrimination, and ultimately finding their way in life.
The video was put together by the Surrey RCMP Youth Unit, who conducted the interviews this summer.
Its aim is "building a bridge of understanding for youth undergoing similar experiences," according to the video description, and sharing "the eventual joy of knowing that life, indeed, does get better."
This isn't the first time a police department has created an 'It Gets Better' video. The San Francisco Police Department released this one in February, while Austin's PD put out their own in September. But the 30,000-member RCMP is the largest force to add their voice to the campaign so far.
The video also includes links to four websites to help young LGBT people who are facing bullying and discrimination:
Over the last year, the RCMP itself has faced a series of allegations of sexual harrassment. A class action lawsuit was brought against the force by more than 200 female Mounties who allege they were victims of inappropriate behaviour by male co-workers.
In April, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson admitted to a House of Commons committee that "the RCMP is stuck in the past, and the behaviour of its employees towards women needs much work."
Since then, the project has spawned more than 50,000 user-created videos, which have been viewed more than 50 million times, including submissions from Barack Obama, Adam Lambert, Ellen DeGeneres, the staff of Pixar, and lots more.
What's 'It Gets Better' all about? This statement is from their website. It sums it up pretty well:
"Growing up isn't easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold...
While many of these teens couldn't see a positive future for themselves, we can. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach - if they can just get through their teen years."