President Obama to Gay Teens: It Gets Better

“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.” – President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama took some time from his busy schedule to send a message of support to young lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth who are dealing with bullying and harassment.  The video is created in support of It Gets Better, a project that pledges “to talk to the kids in our lives to put an end to the hate, violence, and tragedy — and to offer advice on coping, strategies to make it better, and to remind kids that it gets better.”

It Gets Better is a project that came about after a number of gay youth committed suicide following severe harassment by their peers.

While the video was created specifically to address gay youth, Obama also addressed the issue of bullying, something that affects many teens:

“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. “

The video sends a powerful message to gay youth and should hopefully inspire some changes in the way that teens view homophobia and bullying. Celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres, Adam Lambert, Neil Patrick Harris, and Daniel Radcliffe had also already spoken up against gay bullying and harassment. Earlier this week, many wore something purple for Spirit Day, a one-day event organized to show support to gay youth.

To view the full video, see the YouTube video below. You can also read the transcript from the White House website. For more information about It Gets Better, visit the project’s official site.

By Kelvin Claveria