it gets better

Barack Obama To Gay Kids: ‘You Are Not Alone. You Didn’t Do Anything Wrong’

Reading from his usual teleprompter, President Barack Obama has released his own YouTube video, speaking of an “obligation” to keep schools safe, and reminding young people and parents that bullying others, or being bullied, is not some standard rite of passage that we should tolerate. Props to the prez for reaching out, but…

This doesn’t excuse ya, buddy. You don’t get to tell children that it gets better when you’ve got a hand in ensuring they will be treated as less than equals when they are adults, whether in marriage or filing their taxes or serving their country.

It’s a great message, but it loses some value when it’s delivered by a man who does not think LGBT kids are the equivalent as straight ones.

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  • Chris

    smells like campaign season

  • Kev C

    Obama committed political suicide this week and this is his goodbye note.

  • P.

    I think it’s nicely done. Could have spoken more to homophobia as the disease, but it’s good. Because before y’all start getting all Choi on his ass, can anyone imagine W. or even McCain doing this?

  • B

    No. 3 · P, “can anyone imagine W. or even McCain doing this?”

    Can’t image W caring about anything, but it would be fun to ask McCain to make a similar video. He can talk about his vacation
    in the Hanoi Hilton as a good example of what its like to be
    picked on (although in his case, a wise-ass might suspect that they were not trying to get him to talk, but to shut up).

    If he refuses, that will say a lot about what party to vote for in November.

  • reason

    Thank you President Obama for taking the time to address such an important issue for GBLT youth. The sad fact is that the youth that head to this site to view it will likely be exposed to fresh helpings of people bullying the president. It will get better so long as you don’t end up in the oval office.

  • McMike

    “It gets better… unless what I’ve done in the past couple of days leads to DADT never being repealed and then, I hate to say, it’s the same old crap.”

    Does Obama even understand what he’s done? The only people who dislike Obama even more than the Republicans are the Democrats.

  • Mixner Knows

    GetEQUAL is producing a protest at the White House, but they need your help. DONATE tonight. They will have 7 people in front of the White House with colorful signs. Don’t let Obama win. Let’s get our activists near the White House so they can get some publicity.

    We need to raise $100,000 before Sunday. Instead of getting drunk this weekend, put your money into equal rights. Let Robin spend your money – she knows better than you do. DONATE at get . equal . com and secure your future. You owe them.

  • Devon

    “This doesn’t excuse ya, buddy. You don’t get to tell children that it gets better when you’ve got a hand in ensuring they will be treated as less than equals when they are adults, whether in marriage or filing their taxes or serving their country.”

    Exactly. I can’t see it doing wonders for some gay kid’s self esteem to hear the president, a supposed ally, telling them “your relationships are inferior to mine because gawd says so. But hey don’t worry, one day you can get civilly unioned…I’m sure you’ll make someone a fine life partner.”

  • Sarah

    Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President. We know you can say the right things. That’s how you got elected. But forgive some of us for expecting you to actually do the right things.

    Hate to say it, but unless you start to do more than just give a good speech, I hope we don’t even have the option of voting for you in the 2012 general election, because I hope someone will step up, run against you in the primaries, and win.

  • Brutus

    I like how everyone here worships Hillary’s video and then dumps all over Obama’s.

    Take a minute and think about what you are doing.

  • the crustybastard

    @Mixner Knows:

    What is with you trolling assholes and your relentless hardon for GetEQUAL?
    It’s not funny, and it’s not outrageous. It’s just boring.

    Let it go, dipshit.

  • the crustybastard

    You are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong. But you’re still discharged.


  • Casey

    President Obama – ‘Blah, blah, blah, fierce advocate, you’re still fired and you still can’t get married, even though I’m worse than useless you must still vote for me’.

    Fuck off Obama.

    This video is the equivalent of a wife-beater telling his victim that she looks pretty, in the full knowledge that he is going to punch her in the face later in the evening.

  • Yellow Bone

    @Brutus: Hillary Clinton is not in a position to help gay people.

    Obama is. Obama can speak nice words, but can’t seem to tell the DOJ to stop it’s anti-gay campaign.

    He might as well have said “It gets better until I systematically help to oppress you”, it’s pretty much the same thing.

  • Pip

    @P.: Lol, you guys, Adolf Hitler would totally not reach out to gay youth the way Obama does. That’s why he’s a good president!!!

  • CJ

    I must be the only one that sees his hypocrisy in this video. It gets better – but Obama’s not helping it get any better.

    Obama has the power to make things happen, to save lives and get equality to become a reality. He’s no longer carrying the message of “hope.” Right now we need president to believe seriously enough about LGBT issues that he communicates to every law maker that we can’t let discrimination continue. But, he sits idle… and has his justice department defend terrible laws.

    It does get better. It gets much, much better. But, Obama is part of the problem. A fierce problem.

  • CJ

    In all honesty, I will likely vote for Obama in 2012. It won’t be an easy decision. I won’t like doing it. But, I’m sure that he’ll be the best choice. When it comes right down to it, we NEED to support him. It’s the reality. And, I’m sure that he knows it. Sadly, his advocacy for LGBT issues is marginal, at best. We really do need to get out and vote next month. Things can get a whole lot worse.

  • Kev C

    @CJ: Yup, you’re the only one who sees any cognitive dissonance in the video message.

    And I still don’t the whole “It Gets Better” message. It’s just some feel-good jingoism. Most gay kids are smarter and more sensitive than the average HS student. So I doubt they’re going to buy into a cheap campaign slogan like it’s honest or profound. I think these kids DO see the hypocrisy, do see the injustice in society, and don’t see much of a future for themselves. I think they’re the canary in the coal mine.

  • Vo Dong Cung

    Waiting until 9 boys suicide, then speaks about the issue. It’s too late in the role of the country leader, and also worthless.

  • SpiffyShindigs

    More than 99% of Republicans would do.

    Here’s the thing guys. Democrats don’t get to be as socially liberal as we’d like them to be. You know why? Because if they were, they’d lose. Why would they lose? Because Republicans have NO qualms about being socially regressive. If Democrats ran unopposed, we would see so much more progress. The Republican party drags the Democrats backwards socially.

    The Democrats are NOT the problem. If we give them enough support, they can become more socially progressive.

    Come on guys. If you’re pissed at Obama, fine. But don’t pretend that there are two political parties in America, and one will win. It will not get better with Republicans in office. You know it, and I know it.

    Now grow up, and support someone who is trying to support you.

  • Benjamin

    Thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate this very much.

  • jason

    They don’t care about us. All they want is our vote. We’re their eternal suckers. We deserve it partly because we are blind in our devotions. We fail to discern. We accept words before actions.

  • Daez

    When will gays and lesbians realize how much political power they actually have? NONE! Seriously, they throw us crumbs because they know doing something serious for us will alienate more voters than it embraces. Its not the gays that keep the Democrats in power, its the other minorities (women, Hispanic, black) that mostly frown on gay rights. The party throws us bones from time to time, but don’t expect anything major until the political climate changes.

  • MickJr

    The pope’s video is currently being edited.

  • Casey

    No 20: Spiffyshindings says: “The Democrats are NOT the problem. If we give them enough support, they can become more socially progressive.”

    Bullshit. They’ve had 2 years with control of both houses and a president who made pre-election promises to the LGBT community (repeal of DADT and DOMA, enactment of ENDA) on which NOTHING has beenn achieved.

    The Democrats are certainly part of the problem.

    The Democrats do not value their LGBT base support. It is time to send them a message that treating us like crap has political consequences for them.

    I hope they lose a LOT of seats in the midterms and that this is attributed in part to their alienation of LGBT support.

    It will send them a wakeup call for future elections that they cannot rely on our support any more and that if they make promises then they will be held accountable for them.

    We may be small in number but we are large enough in number to inflict serious damage on their party for its homophobia and cowardice.

    (At this moment the arguement which says ‘The Republicans would be worse’ has no sway with me. The Democrats have been so useless that quite frankly to be rid of them won’t affect things in any real way).

  • sweetdog

    @Pip: You’re joking, right? Have you been out of the country for the past 21 months?

  • ChicagoJimmy

    Many folks here point out that this is a lot more than Republicans in general, John McCain, or George W. Bush would have done.

    Well whoopi doo! That’s a pretty low standard by my count.

    I’ll be voting Green this November and if there isn’t a Green candidate, then I’m not voting.

  • DR

    @Yellow Bone:

    Let’s also mention that she moved faster than the WH to remove barriers preventing same-sex partners from being treated equally as their hetero counterparts.


    He doesn’t support us, Reid doesn’t support us or he wouldn’t have pulled the last minute crap he pulled on DADT, and Pelosi doesn’t support us. The only time they care about our issues is election time.

  • Rainfish

    Yes, things will “get better” when we actually have people (especially a president) in a leadership position with a genuine soul, coupled with a heart and a brain, to guide this Byzantine disaster of nation. Political cowardice and partisan paranoia has trumped real leadership in America.

    The last president we had with true sense of honor was Truman. Johnson could have been a great leader (as big as Roosevelt) if it had not been for his mistakes in Vietnam. Today, all we have are shallow duplicitous personifications of political ads in suits steering the country into the gutter of history and towards the inevitable fate of civilizations past their glory.
    Get ready to learn to speak Chinese or Hindi if you want a job. In twenty years our major cities may quite possibly look like what old Calcutta, India did in the 1960s replete with beggars, and the only jobs available to US citizens will be pulling rigshaws for foreign tourists. Oh, but we will probably still have some minority to kicks around and blame for our own premeditated decline.

    I fear we have become just as deluded as the main character in Voltaire’s book, Candide, who kept insisting that “It is still the best of all possible worlds” even as one disaster after another befell him.

    But, sometimes just saying something is so just isn’t enough, especially when it ignores what needs to be changed. Obama had a chance to do that, but he favors the status quo, and the GLBT community is a threat to that status quo which only has room to accommodate conformists who willingly bow down to current societal norms and corporate power hierarchies.

    To people like Obama, who just want to fit in, we are an annoying reminder of his own minority status and a threat to his membership in the exclusive club he once thought he might be denied admission to. We are a bridge too far. A place he is not willing to go. And this is especially so if that advocacy for us should remind others in the White, heterosexual power structure that Obama is not actually one of them; not one of the “good old boys” either. I believe his capitulating to the military on DADT is a prime example of that.

    But this not a racial phenomena, there are members of the white LGBT community who have also been known to sell out even their own kind in order to be granted access to power. HRC immediately comes to mind.

    So, Mr. President, don’t simply tell children at risk that “it only gets better”; rather, give them a reason to believe that claim by actually making it better. How could you do any less and still honor the high office you hold? I know that hackneyed phrase, “actions speak louder than words”, has been bandied about a lot lately questioning your real commitment to civil rights, but sometimes actually doing something affirmative, instead of just talking about, may quite possible have the side benefit of restoring people’s faith in you.

    Without a realization of results, your much vaulted “Audacity of Hope” message is just meaningless rhetoric. You owe more than that to the children of America, and especially to the only segment of children in America to have the ugly specter of government sanctioned discrimination lying in wait for them, like a bully after school, as they grow into adulthood.

    President Johnson once said that his pushing the 1964 Civil Rights Act through Congress would doom the Democratic Party forever in the South, but he said that it was the right thing to do. Can you make that kind of commitment to Civil Rights as well? GLBT children and adults in America need you to say, “yes I can” and then actually honor your commitment. We all chanted “yes we can” to get you elected, now it is your turn.

  • Michael

    @ChicagoJimmy: Seriously? Are you from Chicago, as your username suggests? If so, you should be aware that one of the top 3 closest Senate races is occurring in your state, and the Democrat, Alex Giannoulias, has been an outspoken advocate of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, supporting ENDA, and repeal of DOMA.

    You’re actually in a state and in a position to help elect a Democrat in a very close race that could mean the difference between the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell or a new, radical Republican agenda. And your response is to say “I’m not voting.” Political apathy is a disease of democract and our movement is going to die from it as long as there are people like you around.

  • Heath

    HYPOCRITE, plain and simple.

  • Empower our youth

    The whole point of this project was for actual gay people to inspire gay youth.

    Now that Hillary Clinton took it upon herself to do a straight-person version, every straight politician pandering to gay voters will clog up YouTube with their own.

    Thanks a lot Mrs. Clinton.

  • ewe

    I would like President Obama to tell black children that they did nothing wrong for being black either.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Empower our youth:

    There’s some truth to this.

    Kinda like when gays move in and spruce up the neighborhood (let’s leave aside, for a minute, those that were in the neighborhoods before the gays spuruce it up) and then it becomes the hot spot for straights.

  • ChicagoJimmy

    @Michael: Yes, I am serious. Yes, I live in Chicago, though most folks call me Jim. Yes, I am well aware of the political situation in the state where I live.

    I choose not to give my vote to a candidate that says one thing than does another. I refuse to give my vote to the lesser of two evils. Evil is still evil.

    To withold my vote, to choose not to support either of the two candidates you mention is a completely valid choice. I will no longer support a party that takes my vote for granted than does just enough to seem better than the other side. It seems I just voted for a guy for President two years ago that said all the same stuff as Alexi. Where did that get me?

    Michael, contrary to your belief that my supposed apathy prevents progress, I believe that your enabling of candidates that say one thing than do another is the real danger.

    Also, I’m 36 and in good health, so I plan on being around for a while, thanks.

  • Michael

    @ChicagoJimmy: You’re not allowed to complain about politicians and Congress if you don’t vote. It’s hypocritical, jaded, and illogical.

    Stay home on Nov. 2. If Giannoulias loses by 1 vote and Mark Kirk is the 40th vote for the filibuster against DADT repeal, we’ll know whose fault it is.

  • ChicagoJimmy

    @Michael: Yes, I’m certainly allowed to complain about politicians and Congress. They still take my money.

    Again, I won’t be staying home. I will be voting for Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones for Senator. Only those positions for which there is no alternative to Democrats or Republicans will I withold my vote.

    The Corporate masters of both parties will be glad they got your vote, no matter if you choose Alexi or Mark.

  • the crustybastard

    “You are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong. But I still think you have no right to marry.”

    I hate this guy like poison.

  • Tim in Houston

    1. Queer people who think that voting Republican or not voting in order to let the Republicans win is a good alternative for GLBT progress (either in 2010 or 2012) are living in a fantasy world.
    2. People in political life who give speeches and make public remarks often read from Teleprompters. Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Independents. Get over it.

  • Sam

    @Michael: He didn’t say he wasn’t voting. He said he was voting Green. Save your histrionics for someone else.

    @Daez: Since WHEN do “women” “mostly frown on gay rights?” Women are more pro-LGBT than men are…

  • Tony

    He seems to have a hard time saying the word gay. He practically whispers it….and why does he have to point out that he’s not gay… the intent, but the message is weak and hypocritical.

  • Syl

    Effing two-faced coward. He could have overturned DADT and Doma with executive orders on Day 1! He could have told Reid to not tack the Dream Act on to the vote on DADT. He could have told Eric Holder not to appeal the Prop 8 and DADT rulings. It’s not like the right could hate him any more, and at least it’d be doing some good, unlike the stimulus, bailout, and half-assed attempt at health-care reform.

    @Tony: He’s probably a homophobe, if not a self-loathing closet case. I lean more to the former. He just reeks of contempt during the video.

  • Herbert Wassinger

    @Rainfish: Very well said.

    @Eve: and Jews, and the disabled, and his wife and other women. :-)

    Obama is just plain bad news. He will never get my vote again.


  • reason

    @Syl: You should not be commenting becuase you don’t know anything about government. Anyone that believes that DADT and DOMA could be repealed with an executive order should be striped of their right to vote or participate. Individuals that know absolutely nothing about government on the right and left are what is driving this country under.

  • Black Pegasus

    LOL @ you bitter fags..

    After reading these comments, I am now thoroughly convinced that most gay people are their own worse enemies. If you foaming at the mouth angry bitches can’t recognize your allies from your enemies, then your deserve all the angst and misery this world can bring you!

    Now go ahead and down rate my comment you miserable bitches! At the very least, I’ll know that you’ve read my remarks! LOL

  • The Artist

    What a nice job! It’s too bad the majority of people in this audience will NOT appreciate the sincerity and clarity he’s using in this PSA. Keep up the good work Mr. President! PEACELUVNBWILD!

  • Theo

    Hey, none of the republican actually join this effort to fight the bullying. So pause and stop being so bitter. At least he is doing something.

  • DR

    @Theo: Yeah, more words when we need actions. *rolls eyes*

  • alex

    bla bla bla ……… It is necessary to create antihomophobic laws for schools!!!

  • ewe

    Being gay and straight is not about right or wrong. Sexual orientation is a non issue. People are what they are and feel what they feel. I would like to tell President Obama not to fret and that i accept him as a biracial person and that there is nothing wrong with being black and white. I hope that he feels better now that i have given him permission to feel good about himself and i hope Obama feels even more better that i accept him for being biracial because after all there is nothing wrong with being biracial Mr. Obama.

  • Theo

    @DR: I understand the frustration. However, I think we need some patient here. We cannot change everything over night. One step at a time. Let’s not forget that we still have a huge bunch of those insane republicans who are working against our efforts to equality everyday. They are nothing but our obstacle to move forward and it is clear their job to do so. Remember, never before have we had such a high level of support and participation from our leader. Hilary, Nancy, and the President joint the effort. Things will get better.

  • Syl

    @Black Pegasus: Obama is not my ally. He has demonstrated such countless times. Of course, you don’t give a shit, you’ll vote for him because he has the same skin color. If I were to vote or not for a politician just because of their race I would rightly be called racist.

  • michael

    Hard to take from someone who has sent out his spokespersons telling the world that he was required to appeal the court ruling regarding DADT and then another court ruling appears the same week he chose not to appeal. This court ruling makes it legal for religious groups to proselytize in federal parks and now will go unchallenged.

    Not only is it interesting that the man has lied to us about his “requirement” to appeal DADT, DOMA etc. he was caught in the lie by not defending a separation of church and state issue. I think we can plainly see who he is really working for, who he is really concerned about, Jesus in the parks and the gays off the military bases.

    Explain this Obamanation all of you Obamapologists!

  • :O


    If you can talk the talk but cant walk the walk, then shut the fuck up.

  • ewe

    Obama is an enemy of gay people. He assists no one and nothing unless he says being Gay is a Non Issue. Until then, he is nothin but talk.

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