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Watch: OPM Director John Berry's 'It Gets Better' Video


John Berry, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, adds his name to the list of White House officials that have sent messages to bullied gay teens, in a video for the "It Gets Better" project.

Says Berry, in part (my transcript):

"My dad, a Marine sergeant who went to Mass every day, asked me when I came out to him, not to bring my partner over to the house. Ten years later, when my partner was dying from AIDS, my dad held him in his arms and told him, 'I love you like my own son.' Things do get better. And as to my career fears, I am the highest ranking openly gay man in United States history. I have stood on the North Pole, and the South Pole. I have managed 40% of the United States law enforcement including the Secret Service, the Park Service, and I've even been director of the National Zoo. You can be whatever you want. You can love whomever you want. But only if you first love yourself. Trust me, it's worth it."


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  1. I never heard of this guy, BUT I LIKE HIM!!!! Great Video!

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 23, 2010 8:40:31 PM

  2. John Berry is a tremendous guy and he's doing great things with our government

    Posted by: VAVA | Nov 23, 2010 10:17:17 PM

  3. Things get better--no thanks to this guy or the guy he works for, who seems quite content to leave gay and lesbian Americans either sitting in enforced silence at the back of the bus or, more commonly, looking up at the rear tires coming at them as he throws us underneath the bus one more time.

    Pretty words mean nothing. And people who think politicians who mouth them are sincere are just fooling themselves.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 23, 2010 11:27:43 PM

  4. This is now officially the It Gets Co-opted Project.

    Posted by: LS | Nov 24, 2010 1:23:27 AM


    Posted by: David | Nov 24, 2010 1:34:58 AM

  6. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Let's look at just what Berry is doing in his capacity as Obama's Top Fag: he's being sued by Lambda Legal for REFUSING to OBEY a CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE'S ORDER that the government allow lesbian court employee Karen Golinski to add her wife to her medical insurance at NO cost to the government AND without violating DOMA. Now THAT's a hero!

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Nov 24, 2010 1:46:58 AM

  7. I don't want to see any more Obama employees telling people how it gets better, until Obama starts actually ALLOWING it to get better. It needs to get better NOW, not in some indefinite future. If the Democrats don't nominate someone other than Obama for 2012, that party is pointless.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 24, 2010 5:43:09 AM

  8. It gets better if you aren't bullied or discriminated against. John can't relate to most people in the LGBT community and has no experiences in common, nor can he address how they feel.

    So he should probably shut up.

    Posted by: Natira | Nov 24, 2010 7:33:13 AM

  9. You people and your bitching really get aggravating. You're just like internet bullies - sitting back and hiding behind your computers as you type your little hateful slurs and messages. Grow the fuck up and stop whining like a bunch of children.

    Posted by: ForReal | Nov 24, 2010 7:33:16 AM

  10. I agree with Forreal - stop whining! This man is a true role model to us all, and his video says more about him than anything else anybody wants to criticize him for. He is doing more for the gay community than any of you complainers ever will.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 24, 2010 9:29:47 AM

  11. @Forreal: So let me make sure I've got this right. When I "[sit] back and [hide] behind [my] computer" to express an opinion (and one that contains no "hateful slurs [or] messages," I should "grow the fuck up and stop whining."

    But when you sit back and hide behind YOUR computer to sling actually hateful slurs and messages, it's OK.

    Yeah, don't think so. Attend to your own hatred before you presume to lecture anyone else about theirs.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 24, 2010 10:11:32 AM

  12. @Michael, I disagree. His message is about love his dad learnt to show not just to his gay son but his partner, too. It's called true love and it is the most beautiful thing. And I am sure this guy does everything he can to gays. But it isn't easy. It takes time.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 24, 2010 12:13:08 PM

  13. 25-years ago when I began my federal career, coincidentally as an investigator with OPM, it was virtually impossible to get hired much less pass the security clearance as an out gay man. There were probably a small number of out gay and lesbian employees in San Francisco or New York in low level positions, but few in professional and none in management or high profile positions. Just 35-years ago, homosexuals were still prohibited by law from working for the federal government.

    Looking back at that time, It is incredible to me to see an out gay man as the director of that same agency reporting to the President of the United States. And to see him appearing in a video telling a very personal story about his sexuality is something I couldn't even imagine. For that alone, this video is rather amazing.

    You have to fully understand the entrenched homophobic culture of the federal government to appreciate just how far we have truly come in a relatively short historical period of time. People like John Berry are working against that reality from the inside. For the first time this year in June, the President ordered recognition of GLBT Pride Month and the commemorative flyers posted in my office in San Francisco—a professional setting were more than one out gay person works—were ripped and defaced the day they went-up. Nothing was said by management. If that had happened to Black History or Latino History month posters, there would have been an immediate uproar. The gay employees just taped them back together and put them back-up.

    Those that complain of our slow progress and heap scorn on those making inroads that were impossible just a couple of years ago under the previous administration really don't understand the significance of merely having a gay man as director of a federal agency—much less seeing him make a video like this. For my part, I will simply thank Mr. Berry for his service. It has great meaning and significance to me.

    Posted by: Timzilla | Nov 24, 2010 2:10:10 PM

  14. John Berry is a kapo who deserves no one's respect.

    I will thank him for his service when he does anything other than provide cover for his boss's absolute cowardice on gay rights issues.

    The people praising him here apparently know nothing about his actual service.

    Posted by: Vector Shente | Nov 24, 2010 3:50:21 PM

  15. Enough, already! First time you bully anyone for any reason you get a warning. Second time you get expelled and your parents are required to send you to private school (if any of them will have you)at their expense. If they cannot afford it? Too bad. No education for you.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Nov 24, 2010 7:51:45 PM

  16. The problem with you people is that you've become so hardened, cynical, and angry that you can't recognize something good when it happens. You can't accept pro-gay politicians because you're so used to fighting. You need to find faults in everything. That's a sad way to live.

    Posted by: IndyTown | Nov 25, 2010 12:27:48 AM

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