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Watch: Agriculture Sec'y Tom Vilsack Speaks to Bullied Rural Gays


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks out for LGBT teens in rural areas in his "It Gets Better" video.

Says Vilsack: "I know that it can be particularly hard as an LGBT youth in a small community or in a rural town. You might never have known an openly gay adult. But know that in rural America there are thousands of gay adults and teens leading normal, happy lives.


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  1. As a gay man who grew up in a tiny rural town, this really resonates. It gives me hope that the kids who are going through what I was back then might have a little easier time of it.

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Nov 29, 2010 9:44:23 AM

  2. Being from Stuttgart AR, and having grown up on a farm, I truly appreciate this man for speaking out for the rural gay youth. I came out at 15 back in 1994 and can certainly say things have gotten better. Maybe things have not gotten better politically, but personally life is great.

    People are truly taking a stand against bullying and anti-gay rhetoric. The weekend before the gay rights march in Memphis, TN, my hometown paper, the Stuttgart Daily Leader, did a front page story concerning how life is for a gay person growing up in a small town like Stuttgart. They interviewed me and let me share a bit of my story in hopes that it would help some lonely gay person in Stuttgart that might be struggling the way I did when I was young.

    I hope this video from Tom Vilsack reaches all the gay teens that are hidden away in the heartland of the USA and reassures them that things get better.

    Posted by: Michael J. Hildebrand | Nov 29, 2010 9:52:52 AM

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