Jill Biden | Joseph Biden | PFLAG | Virginia

Second Lady Addresses PFLAG Convention

131654733_BH006_PFLAGYesterday in Alexandria, VA, the Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, delivered the opening remarks at PFLAG's annual convention. Dr. Biden's a mother and teacher, and her remarks were richly informed by personal experience.

Speaking at the Westin Alexandria, Dr. Biden said:

... As a teacher and a mom, I know what Jeanne Manford knew: that there is a direct connection between acceptance and positive, healthy outcomes in every important area of life, including education, mental health, and physical health. So I’m particularly happy to join you all today not only as Second Lady, but as a mother and also as an educator.

As was mentioned, I’ve been a teacher for longer than I care to admit... I’ve taught as a reading specialist in public high schools and I’ve tutored at-risk teens at a psychiatric hospital in Delaware. I believe the greatest accomplishment of any teacher is not instructing students how to read or how to understand biology, but giving them the confidence to do the work. Instilling that belief in themselves is the key – not only for learning in the classroom, but for succeeding in life.

We all know that self-confidence can be a challenge for youth and adolescents – even under the best of circumstances. These are the years when all kids are trying to figure out who they are and who they hope to be. For children who are struggling with understanding their sexual orientation or gender identity, the teen years can be particularly challenging. And, of course, kids are not always kind to each other during these times, especially when one of them is different.

As an English teacher, I have my students write about themselves in their journals. Through those journal entries and my conversations with them, I have heard first-hand about this kind of pain and anxiety. And I have seen how this situation makes it almost impossible for students to concentrate on their school work. How can we expect kids who are taunted by their classmates to flourish in an academic environment?

We have all heard painful stories of bullying and harassment.  And we have read too many accounts of heartbreaking incidents where kids are driven to take their own lives rather than endure the taunting of their peers. No child should be subjected to that. And no parent should suffer that horrific loss.

Read Dr. Biden's full remarks here.

(Photo: Borrowed from PFLAG blog.)

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Like.

    Posted by: Bobby | Nov 5, 2011 12:51:42 PM

  2. "Like" yes, but "The Second Lady?" that somehow seems demeaning to me. I know it's "proper" but can't we do better, especially for Dr. Biden?

    Posted by: Kenn I | Nov 5, 2011 1:07:20 PM

  3. This is great. And a perfect response to that monstrous Houston Chronicle columnist telling parents to make their gay kids stay in the closet.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 5, 2011 1:12:49 PM

  4. Wouldn't it have been great if she had made this stirring argument to her husband in time to keep him from voting for the Defense of Marriage Act? Of course, then it wouldn't have been all about getting him re-elected, so why would she bother? She didn't. She wouldn't.

    A little late to suck up now, Jill.

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | Nov 5, 2011 2:02:28 PM

  5. Dr. Biden is a class act.

    Posted by: PLAINTOM | Nov 5, 2011 2:09:08 PM

  6. It's called "compassion" -- look it up, Republicans.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Nov 5, 2011 3:04:53 PM

  7. A lovely message from a classy lady.

    Posted by: Gigi | Nov 5, 2011 3:36:31 PM

  8. I always forget she exists.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Nov 5, 2011 4:34:09 PM

  9. admit I wouldn't mind seeing more of her in the media. she seems wise and wonderful. what's not to love?

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Nov 6, 2011 4:56:42 AM

  10. Elegantly designed, Hermes handbags are among the most exclusive handbags in the world. All Hermes are completely manufactured. After weeks of hard work, the final products are so charming that nobody can take her eyes off. Do you want to have your Hermes? But now, your dream will come true. You can acquisition your dreaming Hermes here. It is the best chance for you. If you have any questions, do not be hesitated to contact us at any time.

    Posted by: wholesale designer handbags | Nov 6, 2011 8:55:20 AM

  11. ^That is my favorite posting ever.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Nov 6, 2011 10:00:58 PM

  12. I like Joe Biden just fine for the most part, but I can't help but chuckle and think Jill would be a more impressively eloquent person in the VP seat. :-)

    Posted by: RaleighRob | Nov 7, 2011 10:40:51 AM

Post a comment


« «God's Defenders At NOM Angry About 'It Getteth Better'« «