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Watch: President Obama's 'It Gets Better' Message


President Obama tells bullied gay youth that "it gets better." 

President Obama, as long as the actions of your administration continue to tell LGBT people that they are less than equal citizens, that they do not deserve to marry the person that they love, that they do not deserve to serve openly in the U.S. military, that they can still be fired from jobs because of who they are, how can you promise these kids that "it gets better?"

Thank you for recording this message. Please follow up your words with actions. Set the example you say is so important.


Remarks of President Barack Obama
Video for the “It Gets Better” Project

Like all of you, I was shocked and saddened by the deaths of several young people who were bullied and taunted for being gay, and who ultimately took their own lives. As a parent of two daughters, it breaks my heart. It’s something that just shouldn’t happen in this country.

We’ve got to dispel the myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage—that it’s some inevitable part of growing up. It’s not. We have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe forall of our kids. And to every young person out there you need to know that if you’re in trouble, there are caring adults who can help.

I don’t know what it’s like to be picked on for being gay. But I do know what it’s like to grow up feeling that sometimes you don’t belong. It’s tough. And for a lot of kids, the sense of being alone or apart—I know can just wear on you. And when you’re teased or bullied, it can seem like somehow you brought it on yourself—for being different, or for not fitting in with everybody else.

But what I want to say is this. You are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do anything to deserve being bullied. And there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities. There are people out there who love you and care about you just the way you are. And so, if you ever feel like because of bullying, because of what people are saying, that you’re getting down on yourself, you’ve got to make sure to reach out to people you trust. Whether it’s your parents, teachers, folks that you know care about you just the way you are. You’ve got to reach out to them, don’t feel like you’re in this by yourself.

The other thing you need to know is, things will get better. And more than that, with time you’re going to see that your differences are a source of pride and a source of strength. You’ll look back on the struggles you’ve faced with compassion and wisdom. And that’s not just going to serve you, but it will help you get involved and make this country a better place.

It will mean that you’ll be more likely to help fight discrimination—not just against LGBT Americans, but discrimination in all its forms. It means you’ll be more likely to understand personally and deeply why it’s so important that as adults we set an example in our own lives and that we treat everybody with respect. That we are able to see the world through other people’s eyes and stand in their shoes—that we never lose sight of what binds us together.

As a nation we’re founded on the belief that all of us are equal and each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness; to make the most of our talents; to speak our minds; to not fit in; most of all, to be true to ourselves. That’s the freedom that enriches all of us. That’s what America is all about.

And every day, it gets better.

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  1. He is a joke.
    This man ran to do this because Hilary beat him to it.
    I swear, Obama would tell you he shits ice cream if he was advises to do so. I have never seen a more robotic career politician full of
    Empty Promises and sickening transparency.

    Posted by: Herbo | Oct 22, 2010 1:28:50 AM

  2. Let us just be a bit more patient.
    His plate is full.

    Posted by: no need to shout | Oct 22, 2010 1:43:45 AM

  3. DAN CHOI 2012.

    Posted by: Adrian Wisler | Oct 22, 2010 2:02:01 AM

  4. what a hypocrite. really. i'm offended he even has the audacity to record something like this. "it gets better...but for the record, i don't think you are entitled to the same rights as everyone else."

    Posted by: robert | Oct 22, 2010 2:05:18 AM

  5. Wait...are you guys serious...really? What the fuck are you people on? First and formost, this video is not for you, I can safely assume that most of you are not LGBT Youth considering suicide, many of you may have been and if you were, congrats on pulling through. Other than that, since you're not the target audience anymore, grow the fuck up.

    The President made this for kids in dire straights and the fact that he did do this, is simply remarkable. And you know what? If he hadn't had said anything at all, you'd all be bitching just the same. God, sometime the worst part about being gay is getting lumped in with all the bitter-jaded queens in the world.

    Thank You Mr. President, I don't necessarily agree with how you're trying to do things, but I do appreciate the fact that you are doing something.

    Posted by: Asher | Oct 22, 2010 2:20:08 AM

  6. I may not be happy with how he's handled DADT, but to have a US President address young LGBT American's is pretty unbelievable. Imagine ANY OTHER President ever doing this? I still believe Obama should be pressured to do more, but this is a lot more than anyone else has done. So let's celebrate that.

    Posted by: Sam | Oct 22, 2010 2:26:35 AM

  7. There is also a page devoted to it gets better,
    Progress may not be happening fast enough but this is still progress.

    Posted by: clarity | Oct 22, 2010 2:27:08 AM

  8. your choice is between those who, at least, give you lip service, or those who would amend the constitution to make you second class citizens. you choose.

    Posted by: please vote | Oct 22, 2010 2:51:16 AM

  9. They'll be enough back slapping from lesbians, gays and allies to turn down the heat for a while--even amongst the bloggers. But don't ever forget that the central reason that this and the one from hillary was made was because of the pressure and anger from discontented gays and lesbians with this administration and congress's handling of actual gay rights. This wasn't made in response so much to kids who were bullied to death, but the attention it's getting, and the increasing criticism of the obama administration's inept handling of gay rights. This wasn't made and released in response to all of the apologists, happy campers, "stay the coursers", and "look at the alternative" chicken littles amongst us, or in the media.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 22, 2010 2:53:28 AM

  10. and with that said, well played, mr. president. I believe that's check.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 22, 2010 3:07:50 AM

  11. I suppose an apt comparison can be made between Obama vis a vis gay rights and Kennedy vis a vis black civil rights. Heart appeared to be generally in the right place but bold, proactive action was short.. Yet history records him as a 'friend' of the Negro. and I guess compared to the other crackas he was.

    Posted by: FS | Oct 22, 2010 3:14:44 AM

  12. Wow. Well it does save him the time it would take to drive to my house and kick me in the nuts. As a ten-year veteran of the Marine Corps, this just... I can barely formulate a sentence without getting too angry to think.

    Obama: "And there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities."

    (Limited possibilities, unless you are willing to lie and deny the truth.)

    Obama: "As a nation we’re founded on the belief that all of us are equal and each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness; to make the most of our talents; to speak our minds; to not fit in; most of all, to be true to ourselves. That’s the freedom that enriches all of us. That’s what America is all about."

    (That's what America is all about in theory, but not so much in practice. Quit running your suck about the freedom each one of us deserves unless you're finally going to speak up about making it a reality.)

    Posted by: JMD | Oct 22, 2010 3:23:25 AM

  13. Fuck him. He's a liar.

    Posted by: txstevo | Oct 22, 2010 3:29:23 AM

  14. Hillary has better writers. This had too many words. Why couldn't he open his heart and speak freely (or demand his writers to write it that way). It is good he spoke, but I didn't get any emotions from it. Where did his passion go after the elections?

    Posted by: Matt26 | Oct 22, 2010 3:51:38 AM

  15. Barack Obama is a career politician. The only reason this video got made is because he's worried about about the fact that his homoophobia in relation to DADT and marriage inequality is causing a massive erosion of his support among the LGBT population.

    I'll not vote for him at the next election if he has not repealed DADT.

    I don't trust liars.

    Posted by: Martin Murray | Oct 22, 2010 3:57:52 AM

  16. Fuck all y'all haters.

    Posted by: Barack O | Oct 22, 2010 4:04:29 AM

  17. "You got to be kidding, right? There's a video of Obama with the "It gets better" video? HOW? It gets better when Obama does NOTHING to help the GLBT community other than "blah, blah, blah"?

    I don't even want to see that video. Words are cheap. ACTIONS speak louder than words.

    Obama should be ashamed of himself. I truly believe his mother would be ashamed to see what he has become: America's 1st BLACK President supports DISCRIMINATION!"

    Posted by: FunMe | Oct 22, 2010 4:25:34 AM


    Posted by: Remember this meme | Oct 22, 2010 4:27:13 AM

  19. President Obama, like The former President George Bush, is the last man I think has any credibility when it comes to encouraging despondent teens that things will get better.

    He has done nothing to adovcate for the LGBT community, so why would a teen, who is self-aware, taking in the hateful environment of this country, of a president who is a fierce advocate of DADT and DOMA, who thinks that marriage is between a man and a woman, think that things are going to get better? At least why should he believe it when the message comes from President Obama?

    Even if the Obama administration felt that it was their duty to defend the law, they need not be so damned tenacious about it. the DOJ could at least go before the 9th Circuit court and say that they believe DADT is unconstitutional.

    Obama is counting on the desperation of gays to vote him back into office, despite his hypocrisy and broken promises. He said as much when he became irritable and went off point at a recent rally and addressed his hecklers that they could expect much worse from the republicans.

    This is just me, but I would rather vote republican, or not vote at all before I vote for a hypocrite who is playing me, before I bend over and take it from a president who was supposed to be my firece advocate.

    I would see a republican in office first, and make his life holy hell with protests and civil disobedience before I gave Obama the satisfaction of playing me.

    At least with republicans, I know what to expect. With Obama, I feel like a pathetic loser, waiting for a one night stand to call me.

    The thing is, I don't wait by the telephone.

    Posted by: Ricco | Oct 22, 2010 4:49:22 AM

  20. I think on this issue whats LAME here is people trying to attach political commentary to and area where politics is not at issue. Your either on the right side or wrong side. Even if I do not think the President is perfect, it has nothing to do with his effort to raise hope and bring awareness.

    Posted by: Daayyummmmboi | Oct 22, 2010 5:02:46 AM

  21. He should have had Rick Warren give the invocation at the beginning of this.

    Posted by: RC | Oct 22, 2010 5:44:50 AM

  22. @ Chris and BRIDGEVIEW
    I'm with you.
    I never expected to see, in my lifetime, a sitting President of the United States (hell, ANY president of the u.s.) speak with such candor and clear language -- without euphemism or oblique references -- to GAY TEENS.
    There is definitely room for great improvement on the part of the administration when it comes to DADT, Marriage equality, etc. and taking action... yet President Obama CHOSE to do this, to take the time to make this video -- it was a good and decent thing to do, and I for one am grateful he did.

    Posted by: JauntyJohn | Oct 22, 2010 6:33:33 AM

  23. George W Bush would never have gone on record like this. I know a lot of people are insulted by this video- but change happens over time with a lot of small steps. This is one of those steps. I think it was nice.

    Posted by: Raz230 | Oct 22, 2010 7:41:10 AM

  24. Thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate this very much. You have my support, always.

    Posted by: Brent Z | Oct 22, 2010 8:01:12 AM

  25. Sent to the White House at this morning:

    Thank you Mr. President for the "It Gets Better Video"

    As someone who was bullied for being gay in Jr. High and High School in America I would like to offer the following feedback on the message.

    The President said:

    "We’ve got to dispel the myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage—that it’s some inevitable part of growing up. It’s not."

    Please note: These suicides are not caused by a "myth" about bullying.

    It's the terror of daily verbal abuse that needs to be ended. The word fa**ot needs to be retired by giving kids real world consequences for using it.

    It's also the physical abuse that needs to be ended. The pounding of the head into the locker. The "we'll see you after school" beating. Once again real world consequences required.

    This statement makes it seem as though every kid goes through this when the specific kind of abuse that is suicide related is affecting boys who don't conform to the gender code.

    Note, it's gay boys who are killing themselves in America today.

    If we can't be honest about the facts and resort to glossy generalities then kids will continue to feel the adults are fools and we won't make the difference we want for the people who are suffering.

    I would have like to hear the president talk about the first time he heard a boy in school called "fa**ot" and then talk about how it made him feel and how he responded. Much more interesting message and would have gotten more media attention.

    Oh yes, it still can be done.

    Posted by: mark | Oct 22, 2010 8:35:36 AM

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