It Gets Better: Barack Obama

Comments

101
I understand everyone's frustrations with Obama's deliberative pace in repealing DADT, but it is going to end during his administration. On that he has not wavered. You might not agree with how he is doing it. But in the long run, I think what we are talking about is a difference of taking a few months longer to end DADT in a way that Obama and his team thinks will be the smartest way legislatively, politically and militarily.

As for the video, I applaud Obama for doing it. I think it can be seen as a tipping point in this country that a president would record such a video.
102
Everyone has been thanking Dan, which I have done and he rightfully deserves, but this time I'm going to say, "Thank you Mr President," for being the only sitting President in the history of our nation, that has ever taken the time to address a LGBT issue in a thoughtful and caring way.

As joemygod stated in his blog, that if we divorce ourselves for a moment, from the other issues we have with President Obama, one can truly see the positive impact this message from the POTUS would have on a LGBT child, somewhere, right now in this nation.

I, for one, am grateful President Obama made the effort to be a part of Dan's IGBP. Again, Thank you Mr President, for your heartfelt message to LGBT kids everywhere.
103
I honestly don't know which side to take.

Seems to me, there are those who say,
"This is shit. Obama has not acknowledged the gay community except with words."

And the other side which says,
"Obama is the first president to acknowledge the gay community with words."

All I make of this is that Obama is acknowledging the gays with words.
This is serious progress.
But it isn't enough.

Is this a moment to praise or protest?
104
Congrats, Dan. It's a powerful message & I'm so glad it's taken off the way it has. You bring pride to long-time readers & all of Seattle. Great work.
105
"Yay, Dan! Go for it, Dan!"...?
106
Having been following Dan's blog, I am disappointed with the news on DADT but I have to say I am impressed that the president has noticed this project. I'm also very happy to see this video give it an international boost too. I never thought (but always hoped) It Gets Better would get mentioned on the news here in Australia. Today it has!
107
On one hand It's hard to recall any POTUS even saying: "LGBT" before Obama. so. . . "yeah."

*BUT* that said, his address seemed to be less about lgbt kids and more about bulling in general towards all kinds of people. . . so I was left thinking he should of just spoken to LGBT kids in this case.

We get there's all kinds of injustice in the world, but broadening the message. . . it kinda said:
"hey lgbt kids, quit you're whining, lot's of people have it hard."

so , yeah. Sigh.

"It Gets Better" is about those LGBT kiddos - just them.

I hope this isn't the moment when the project is declared to have "jumped the shark."
108
OMG!!! Can't believe the criticism some of you are heaping on Obama. Seriously, as already mentioned by others here, he represents the strongest ally to the LGBT community to ever sit in the WH. I doubt that the next two (or three) Presidents will be as pro-LGBT... I think his actions in simply adding his voice to this wonderful campaign speaks volumes about his personal commitment to the "cause". In fact, I found his message inspirational and relevant to any person who might be sufferring or is being victimised for being part of other minority/non-mainstream groups, or really, just having a rough time fitting in for some reason or another.

It is very easy to criticise Obama's political outcomes (and decisions) on LGBT issues to date (e.g. DADT and gay marriage), but ultimately this is more a reflection of the prevailing political landscape/attitude/culture/realities in which he operates, than on his own aspirations. Of course, to many, right now, this is of little comfort, but I don't think these political factors should neccesarily detract from his message in support of the IGB project. What would be the point in introducing LGBT friendly measures which ultimately fail - due to either a hostile Senate or a hostile voting public??? Do you think the next (D) President will place these issues at the top of their "to do" list if Obama plays this too risky? Change will not occur overnight, and I think a subtle message the wider LGBT community can be that it will get better for them too... just not tomorrow (unfortunately).

In any case, I think its a bit too soon for the cynics to be tearing him down and questioning his credibility and motives on this issue when it is such an important one to so many of our young and vunerable...
109
I was impressed when Hillary added her message earlier in the week, but this IS a real coup! As for any bitterness I may feel, I'll choke that back and simply rejoice in knowing that the good folks at NOM, FRC, FOTF and other like-minded organizations are foaming at the mouth! HA!
110
I want to believe Obama but his actions disprove what he says. We need a president who can do more than speak well; we need a president who can lead well.

Sorry, but I know when someone is blowing smoke up my ass and this is one of these times.

But to Dan; Serious Kudos!! You got the President to post a video!! That is fucking AWESOME!!!!
111
I was especially impressed by the part where he strongly endorsed Gay Marriage.

About time!.....
112
Dan, keep speaking out, we know Obama is listening and that is something. Well done.
113
Two things come to mind.
1- When Hillary released her video the general sentiment on the comment thread was, why isn't Obama doing this. So he did managed to exceed our expectations of a few days ago.
2- The way we are winning is that we have flipped the 'think about the children' argument. It used to be the anti-gay bigots accused us of harming children. Now we are accusing them of harming children and it is resonating. Sadly it took a lot of kids killing themselves to get to this point. But the 'think about the (gay) children' appears to be our most powerful argument yet.
114
I will be very surprised if DOMA and DADT are not rescinded by the time Obama gets out of office. I think the gay marriage bans in many states will, like votes for women back in the day, have to be fought and won on a state-by-state basis. But the other two items? Dead. They almost are already.

It's easy to get impatient, easy to forget how much has changed in a very short time for the better in LGBT issues, because so much is left to be done. I remember being in a college class where the prof had been active in the Civil Rights movement of the 60's. And being surprised to hear him say how sad he was that they had failed, because black people still aren't equal in our society. I wouldn't argue with him on that, wouldn't argue that there isn't still a lot of prejudice--toward blacks, women, gays, etc.--in good old boy America. But I was stunned that he couldn't see how much better things had gotten, how much things had changed because of his efforts and those of people like him.

I think he was just too close to the issue, and focused on all the items on his agenda which hadn't been achieved yet, instead of on the multitude that had. Gay Americans still have a long way to go to equality, and the fight should go on and fiercely. But think, today, a sitting president of the U.S. just made a video like this. When else would that have happened, when else in our entire history? It would have been unthinkable, just a few years ago. So yeah, change is happening.
115
@55 from #53. how many more people are going to watch the video than go to the website...20 million? also, there's a difference between something being on the white house website and it coming from the president's mouth. tellingly, "lbgt" appears positively in one forum, and negatively in the other. the president just can not bring himself to associate himself with homos. his disdain is palpable, especially in this video.
116
I've been trying to post this as a comment for Youtube, but it hasn't been working:

"Dude. Stop defending DADT in court! Until then, your administration is currently the biggest bully--getting people fired, ruining lives.

How despicable that you've posted this video only two days after your own government won an appeal to stay DADT: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/us/21r…

Dan Savage created this project out of real concern and love for these children. And you're just using his sincerity to make it look like you care about gay issues when you clearly don't."
117
wow!!! reposted.
118
@57 from #53. you're mischaracterizing what i said. obama isn't saying, "gay kids kill yourselves." he's saying, "hey everybody stop pay so much attention to 'just lbgt' (to quote him) and focus on the straights as well." that is exactly what he is saying. and just because things were worse under cheney doesn't excuse obama. god forbid someone *didn't* screw the gays over.
119
@59 from #53. my whole point is that he is *not* voicing support for gay kids. the one time he mentions the concept of homosexuality in his whole speech is to tell people to stop paying attention to just gay kids and to focus on straights! seems he directed his administration to do the same thing for the adults.
121
I like the left is like "We just want Democrats to show some backbone and TRY" so the Senate TRIES to repeal DADT and basically comes up one vote short (Remember Lincoln and Pryor initially voted yes, but switched when it became clear it wouldn't pass.) with another vote coming up after the election.

Does the left focus its rage on Scott Brown or Oylmpia Snowe or Susan Collins or any other Republican who said they'd support repealing DADT but bailed when the time came to actually vote to repeal it?

Nope, they attack the people that *voted for* the fucking repeal and the President that wanted to sign it.

Get over your protest march posturing and try getting the backs of the people that are trying to help you. If you're wondering why "the left" is irrelevant, this is why.
122
I know you queens gotta be all or nothing, but it's this simple:
Good for him on this.
Bad for him for most of the other LGBT-related issues.

Part 2 may change if and when he does, but really that's it.
123
Dan, you've made your feeling on this matter perfectly clear, but since the President of the United States has taken the initiative to contribut to your project, I humbly suggest that "Thank you, sir" is a more appropriate response than "Fuck you, Obama". Just sayin'.
124
In response to all the "fuck you, Obama"'s out there, I would suggest that doing anything right now to fire up the Republican base for the midterm elections even more than it is would be cutting off your nose to spite your face. And a deliberate approach (letting the military study the issue, even if it's crystal clear what the outcome should be) is more likely to lead to a durable end to DADT, rather than a fleeting change.
125
i don't know what to think - i loved obama with all my heart - then with DADT and Warren at the inauguration and so many other small things I was truly over him.

Now reading some of these comments I see maybe I am a single issue voter: how he could through gays under the bus is heartbreaking.

Regardless, while I'm glad he's done the video (I won't watch it though) it's definitely too little too late.
126
Nice, Dan.

And I mean this wonderful project.

I mean this video by the President of the United States.

And I mean your decision in THIS posting to let it stand on its' own (in spite of your criticisms of the President, some of which I agree and some of which I disagree).

This is a classy touch, dude.

127
Thanks for being classy and not tainting a contribution to your project with Obama bashing, Dan. I know that you aren't happy with him but It's very refreshing to see a little tact from my gay journalists these days.
128
I think it's really incredible that President Obama has actually taken the steps to make this video. This whole project started very grassroots a month ago and now it's reached this level - that's pretty incredible.

That said...bullying goes beyond getting called names at school. It actually made me quite angry to see him telling kids that they're equal, things will get better - mere hours after his administration moved to have DADT reinstated. Now, I know that it takes more than him waving a wand to undo the DADT and DOMA - but it's pretty upsetting to see him say one thing and do another. Gay kids don't have a higher suicide rate than their straight counterparts just because they're bullied at school (though that's part of it). They do so because homophobia is so institutionalized in our society. So long as they hear adults say being gay is disgusting and unnatural; so long as politicians campaign on ensuring gay people do *not* have equal rights - self-hating, suicides, that will all continue.

I still think Obama has done some good things in his presidency - but when it comes to equality, President Obama needs to either practice what he preaches or not say anything at all.
129
@123 Unlikely.
130
@103-- I think this might be a moment to just sit back and watch and not get sucked into the 'us versus them' sports fan mentality that dominates politics. Take it however you feel like taking it, it's not like the bickering here is being used to pick kickball teams.
131
I totally agree with the post by Joey the Girl. It is important that Obama sent that message to LGBT youth, but the actions of the government he leads contradict everything he says.

It was disgusting to watch him sit there and go on about equality. It shows a stunning lack of tack.

On the other hand it is great to see how rapidly the It Gets Better project has spread. Getting the message out there and on the agenda is a big step forward. In the words of Oscar Wilde, "The only thing worse than being talked about it not being talked about."
132
This is just ONE of such comments on Hillary's video:
"If Hillary had been elected, Obama would be making this very speech, and Hillary would be appealing DADT with everything she's got, instead of the other way around."

I hated you all for saying that. You turned what was probably something (Clinton's video) truly heartfelt and genuine into a competition. And now look. No, Hillary just plain ol' beat Obama to it. Now it IS a competition; he's scrambling to catch up because she made him seem like a heartless piece of shit - he's off appealing the repeal and she's making you all warm and fuzzy. Hillary 1, Obama 0.

Obama missed a real chance to assure us that he's only seeking appeal to the repeal bc he wants to do it the right way. Imagine, if he had just done this on his own without Hillary goosing him into it.
133
that said, i still think it is awesome that both Obama and Clinton posted videos. good on both of them, for whatever reasons they did it. i think they both actually believe in what they are saying, regardless of whatever politics might temper their actions.
134
I have to give Obama a lot of credit on this. No, I don't think he's perfect, and I wish he'd done some things differently, but I can't forget that he is still the best presidential ally in history, even if he is moving slowly. So yeah, Obama, I may not always agree with you, but you did good here, and I appreciate it.

Dan, your project is amazing!
135
"Recent suicides by gay teenagers and teens bullied because they seemed gay have drawn national attention. Celebrities and politicians from Ellen DeGeneres to Hillary Clinton have recorded messages of encouragement to gay teens. And it's been widely noted, including on this program, that gay teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.

But is all this attention to suicide and bullying actually helpful for teenagers struggling with their sexuality?

Well, Ritch Savin Williams says no. He's a professor of developmental psychology at Cornell University and he studies the lives of gay teens."

For more, see: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story…
136
Quoth Sully:

It's beautifully crafted and gently put. I think it's the first time in history that a US president has spoken directly to gay Americans in support from the White House. Which makes it a milestone.
137
I think it's okay to not know fully how to the feel about Obama and his efforts. Not knowing absolutely doesn't occlude being angry at obvious offenses. It's okay to feel touched by this; and you should, because right now words are the actions. Words are how someone participates in this unique movement. But because you feel touched by his participation here, you don't have to conclude differently about Obama, rather don't conclude at all.
138
holy crap. i just noticed that he's wearing a purple tie. can you IMAGINE Bush or Bush Sr. or McCain or Palin or Gingrich or Huckabee putting on a purple tie (we know what purple meant this week) and doing a video where he tells LGBTQ kids that they are awesome and that the country values them? this is really great.

and i hope this article is right, bc Obama is giving me whiplash. is he for it or against it?
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arch…
139
The teleprompter really hammered home that feeling that he was just saying "words words words."

Can we think about watching this video as a gay kid in a homophobic small southern town? Because that's what this project is for-- not for Slog readers.

"There are people out there who love you and care about you just the way you are" and other such statements are such cliche bullshit. While older voters may think this is all so wonderful, do you think that the kids who believe that their homophobic parents will hate them precisely if they find out who "they really are" are somehow going to be affected in any positive way by this and the lofty shit after it?

He sounds like he's reading a brochure from a doctor's office. It's all so contrived and completely impersonal. It's everything the powerful videos were not. The kids who are in danger right now have heard all this before. It can make them them feel even more disaffected.

The point of the IGBP is to speak directly and PERSONALLY to these kids-- to make them see that you're a happy, loved, and REAL person with a real life with real friends and flaws and stories. And that you made it out and found some wonderful very real things that are out there waiting to be found. To tell them that even if they're in the worst case scenario and nobody DOES love them for who they are right now that someday somebody will and that there's another way out besides suicide.

And they can SEE all of that in the good videos-- they're not just read it.
140
Has any president, in the history of ever, so publicly acknowledged the struggle(s) of and inherent personhood of the members of the LGBTQ community? I hear a lot of criticism out there, and maybe its well deserved, maybe this is all just words and dammed words. But still... wow. 15 years ago this would never have happened. WOW.
142
I support Obama but certainly not for his actions related to GLBT issues. I don't know where people get the idea that Obama is a supporter of GLBT rights. He is on record for saying that he doesn't support gay marriage but rather civil unions. Something less than. He is playing games with DADT so that when the repeal falls apart he can say he tried but was shot down by Congress or the Judiciary. If the 9th circuit overturns the ruling and Congress moves right then forget the end of DADT. It's no coincendence that the DOD study will come out after the elections. This way they can recommend that DADT be left in place until our soldiers are done fighting terrorism which will be never. Obama won't have the backbone to do anything about it and if it goes to the SCOTUS it will be upheld.

Lastly while he has made some movements on benefits at the federal level they certainly aren't sweeping changes. Where in the Healthcare Reform Act does it provide coverage protections for same sex couples? It would if same sex couples could legally marry.

I don't expect sweeping changes considering he is still a politician and needs to maintain a somewhat moderate stance but don't sweet talk me and then do something different or drag your feet and say it's the other guys fault. I am not looking for him to change the world but I would like to see one major policy shift during his administration that furthers the rights of GLBT individuals. Not just the dribs and drabs but one concrete full on support of a GLBT issue. End DADT, that is doable. DOMA probably isn't doable in the short term.
143
I'm curious to hear Dan's reaction to this, given Obama's recent actions on DADT and Dan's comments thereon. But--

Go to the YouTube page this video appears on and click on the description to expand it and show the tags. Dan's name is on there. How fucking cool is that?!? I'm trying to imagine MY name being in the tags of an official White House YouTube video.

Dan should make a screen capture of the page and print and frame it. Something to show the grandkids someday.
145
Holy crap, this is so fantastic. I have been consistently amazed by this entire project, Dan, but this has got to be an historic high point.

I've never heard a President talk to kids like this in my forty odd year lifetime.
146
O.M.G. this is fantastic.

You know it would have to be the one night I don't have a computer that this is posted. Thank you Mr. President for speaking up and posting a video for Dan's project. Now if we could only get something done about DADT, DOMA, ENDA.

I know, I know, baby steps.
147
Ugh, there is no punishment too severe for people who write "AN historic"
148
@147 - I just avoid talking about historic things altogether. If I must talk about history-making events, I use other adjectives or none at all.
149
@147 if the H is silent, why not?
150
Damn, the man has balls, er, ovaries to throw himself into something so directly connected to Dan/Slog, given how critical we, and Dan specifically, have been about his "support" for LGBTQetc. issues. Then again, he IS good at TALKING about supporting LGBTQ communities and people, so I guess it isn't THAT surprising.

Also, is he a robot? The content and delivery of "As a parent of two daughters, it breaks my heart," seemed a bit dissonant...

"...each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness..." Unless that includes serving in the armed forces as an out gay person, eh? Seriously, two minutes to write the executive order, one or two seconds to sign it; alternately (or in addition) no time to not challenge the court ruling that it's unconstitutional. *sigh*

To be fair, I agree with Bub (#18): Obama IS still the strongest LGBTQ supporter that has been in the White House (well, Clinton comes close, too; I KNOW he signed DADT and DOMA - go look at the legislative histories of the bills and see how much worse it was before/could have been). And it IS important for people to see their Black president say that being gay is okay, that gay people are people. It's just not enough. We're going to keep right on advocating until it IS enough, or vote for a candidate who believably promises us more in 2012.

@54: "But I have a brain, with thoughts in them, and I realize that progress on many issues are made slowly, through the political process, and the President of the United States is not a king. You may not be aware that we live in a republic with whole layers of local, state, and national government, with numerous bodies all acting independently of each other." Well, sort of, for the Democrats. The Republicans, on the other hand, have no problem enacting sweeping changes almost overnight. The issue here is that we're taking a few steps forward and fifty steps back, since Reagan, and that's not effective. There are plenty of things we COULD do almost overnight, given the Dem control of Congress and the White House: pass legislation banning rider amendments to bills (this would streamline legislation by forcing representatives to vote on a per-issue basis, as well as eliminate Pork, something the Republicans always claim to want to do, making it far easier to get the rest of this stuff done), put taxes back to their late-sixties levels (President), with protectionist tariffs (Congress; we'd have to abandon the WTO to do so, which would be pretty easy, since we never actually got Congressional approval to subjugate our national trade policy to an extra-governmental organization, nor can we, constitutionally-speaking), close corporate tax loopholes (Congress), withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq, completely and instantly (President; this would cut expenditures by a TON and go a long way toward closing the budget deficit), remove the cap on Social Security taxes such that they're fully-progressive in line with the rest of the tax code (Congress; also closes the budget gap, and completely pays for Social Security), suspend DADT (President), repeal DADT (Congress; there's a TON of popular support, and there were sufficient votes for this one issue, had it not been tacked on to the defense spending bill). That's off the top of my head. Unfortunately, the Democrats are too concerned with co-operation with and being "fair" to a political conglomerate that has no such compunctions about them. It's just not an effective political or governing strategy, especially when they're pushing for things that are just plain wrong: identity-based discrimination, Christian law, corporate personhood, holy war, environmental degradation, repealing labor protections, censorship, etc.
151
Personally, I feel like the president co-opted IGB by applying it to all bullying and all teens. There have been calls for IGB to reach out to other victims of bullying, but that isn't the goal of IGB. IGB was started (and correct me if I am wrong Dan) as a message of hope specifically to gay teens, kids who are more likely to get NO support in their families/communities, kids who are told by our highest ranking politicians that they are not equal, kids told by their churches to kill themselves and go to Hell.

The President barely mentioned LGBT kids or issues, instead spending 3+ minutes making a generalized "bullying is bad" video. That's great, and important, and useful, but it is NOT the IGBP. Maybe someone should start an IGBP-like project for other teens having a tough time, but THIS project shouldn't be co-opted.

The last thing gay teens is another "you think you have it bad, things are tough for me too..." message. I had a friend once say she knew what it was like to be Black in America because she lived in London for a year and they weren't nice to Americans. I was appalled. IGBP is in danger of moving in that direction. To say that being picked last for dodgeball or wearing glasses is the same as being queer in middle America further trivializes the burden these kids face.
152
149: really? You pronounce it "istory"?
153
@149 Okay, only people with Cockney accents may say "an historic"....

But, let's not be too hard on Peter F, because anyone with an ambrosia of the gods avatar is always okay in my book (not to mention, correct.)
154
153: .... but they're still not allowed to write it that way.
155
Well that video made me tear up.

Also, @44 made me laugh.
156
Canuck, are you actually Canadian? "An historic" probably is correct usage, in Canada.

I apologize for offending anyone. I always ruin everything good. :^(
157
@152 :) considering I'm deaf, this is really an academic exercise for me (although I do speak). But my understanding is that yes, some people specifically say an-istoric (I want to say it's a back east thing) even if they also say history in other contexts (that is, with the H).
158
I've never heard of this game, thankfully, but it too is a good sign!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101022/ap_e…

159
@156 From Cambridge, MA until 1987, now I. Am. Canadian. (Which you probably don't get if you don't drink Molson beer...) And yes, I think "an historic" is probably British/Canadian usage. BTW, you ruined nothing, dear (that's Canadian, too.. :)

Off to work now, will miss the rest of this fine thread...
160
i find his contribution pretty empty. he's not leading if he can't make the connection between suicides and a society/government that legally defines certain people as 2nd class citizens.
161
There are a lot of galling responses here, but I think #8 was the most ridiculous. Do you honestly think that a mixed-race man with a "funny name" doesn't know what it's like to be discriminated against? Do you honestly think it's easier to be black in America than it is to be gay? It was an overstatement to equate the gay rights movement with the black civil rights movement, but it's a whole other level of self-deception to trivialize the discrimination faced by African-Americans.

Obama was never a progressive, but the notion that somehow Cheney or Bush or McCain or Palin - all of whom actively participated in bigoted anti-gay campaigns - are better than Obama is ridiculous. And Hillary was the one who triangulated us to DOMA. Perhaps no one in the Democratic Party is willing to move fast enough for you, but hey, you never supported Obama and you've been saying the Democrats are to the right of the Republicans, so I don't blame the Dems for not doing anything for you.
162
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/10/…

Obama anti-bullying message called 'symbolic'
163
Boooo
164
I agree that Obama was expanding the issues from the bullying of gay identified kids to the bullying of all kids, and I agree with it. Several of the kids who died were not self identified as gay, but they were labeled as gay by the bullies. I'm sure that there are gay kids who are primarily bullied about other things. Most of the bullies probably don't even care what their accusations mean - they are just throwing out the most hurtful labels in their vocabulary. As old insults lose their ability to wound, new ones will be found. The goal has to be to twofold 1) stop the impulse to try to wound, stop the act, which is a whole lot more involved than trying to block the epithet du jour. 2) More importantly, get the adults on board, particularly the school administrators. These things are happening because the school officials are not stepping in. You don't even have to understand the language to be able to tell when someone is being bullied - you can hear it in the voice and see it in the body language.

I also agree with Obama on taking the legislative approach to repealing DADT and DOMA. Look at Roe v Wade - all these decades later and the battle continues to be fought over and over again. Let's take the time to get it done right, put a stake in its heart so we don't keep having to look over our shoulders.
165
Obama can't defend DADT one day and make an IGBP video the next.

Words are cheap. His actions show how he really feels.
166
Dan, it makes me really sad that your mom isn't hear to see the moment when you got a president to say stuff like this (and sad that Obama's mom was not around to see him become president). Thank you for all this. I really appreciate what you've done to make the world better for our children.
167
"An historic" is correct usage everywhere. It's also completely stupid.

Kind of like "I ain't," but opposite.... "I ain't" is a perfectly correct contraction for "I am not." The question "ain't I?" makes total sense when "aren't I?" totally does not. Yet "ain't" isn't acceptable in formal English.

It's all about sounding upper class, not about logic.

(Not that this has anything to do with Obama, sorry. Or actually, I suppose it does. Anyway...)

I'm inclined to take his message, and his tie, at face value. He did the right thing here, even if he doesn't always. Definitely reminds me of me.
168
@ 165, see @ 29.
169
"We have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe for all of our kids."

This is directly contradictory to something along the lines of "We have an obligation to educate all our kids", because "all of our kids" includes a significant number of people who will spend much of their adult lives in prison, due to the fact that they're capital E Evil.

They're the ones who will spend much of their time in high school finding any excuse to stuff other kids into lockers, stick their heads into toilets, give them wedgies, strangle, shove and beat them until they want to die. Largely in a game of "who will be the first one to do something stupid and assault me in front of my friends in a way that will land *them* in jail instead of me".

The reason that it gets better in college is because these sociopaths are no longer trapped in the same prison as kids who aren't sociopaths.

Want to make schools safe for everyone? Remove the psychos. Deny them any "right" to an education.
170
Alice Dreger @166, I was just thinking that this morning as I was reading all the accolades to Dan.
171
That's really extraordinary. Dan, I hope you're really proud of the movement you've started and that even the PODUS wants to climb aboard.
172
@165: "Obama can't defend DADT one day and make an IGBP video the next.

Words are cheap. His actions show how he really feels.
"

He's not defending DADT! Where do you people get off?? It's ridiculous.

His words and actions illustrate a clear intent to repeal DADT, to expand benefits to GLBT family members across the federal government, etc.

People keep complaining that Obama's ACTIONS are somehow opposite to his WORDS. Where!? SHOW ME WHERE. (and again, don't embarrass yourself by citing Holder's appeal) No one can give me any good examples, except to bitch about him not moving mountains with his index finger in a single instant.

He is doing basically EXACTLY what any reasonable person would expect given his legislative history and his numerous campaign statements. He is pushing slowly but methodically forward on GLTBQ issues, and it is unambiguously laudable. Period.

So let's try this again: for everyone who's bitching, let's try making an argument and providing evidence for that argument, shall we?

Because this idea that if Obama and the Dem's pushed through an immediate repeal of DADT, of the DOMA, instituted national same-sex marraige, expanded hate-crimes and anti-discrimination protection, that suddenly it would be raining skittles from rainbows over America for every other major issue that confronts our country is just ridiculously myopic.

For a city filled with stoner poli sci baristas, you'd think at least a few of you would have some experience with how that fucking works in the real world and a little bit of induced patience...
173
fuck, apologies for the inappropriate apostrophes.
174
It seems like certain responders have lost sight of what this project is all about. I have a ten year old nephew who is just beginning to be bullied in school. He is being called "faggot" and "fat". From the outside, it would appear to me that he really doesn't know what he is or who he is at this point. So, while he perhaps can not relate to Dan and Terry (who possibly can think of getting married and having children at ten years old?) He may not respond to Tim Gunn because he has not yet discovered the joys of Project Runway. Older pop stars, religious leaders....no way. But, he respects the President of the United States. He can hear his message, understand it and perhaps internalize it in a way that he may not be able to with some of the other messages. This is a big deal FOR THE CHILDREN it is intended to reach.
175
172--a popular Obama apologist meme is that we just don't know how things in the real world works. Nevermind the silly requirement that the people act as if the dysfunctional systems and deference to its procedures have primacy over moral governance. What about what former Republican solicitor general of the US--who might be in-the-know? It's totally at Obama's discretion to pursue this appeal. Sure, let's repeal it but the Executive is not compelled to pursue the appeal.

Yes, there are other bad things going on--like assassination of US citizens, dying Iraqi, Afghani and Pakistani civilians, US government fealty to the upper class...and on and on. It's not a case of the public wanting instant gratification--it's a case of Barack Obama being a total DLC-style corporate democrat.
176
175-also, for the token gesture this is...i still think it's great.
177
@ 8, 18, 29 I agree.
178
"AN historic" is always wrong because the H in "historic" is not silent. Unless you're writing dialogue, which is an horse of a different colour.
179
I wonder sometimes how many of you remember The Bad Old Days. You may think it's bad to be queer now, but I was reared by a lesbian couple in the early 1960s, and I remember. They had to be COMPLETELY in the closet, or they could be imprisoned, lose their jobs, lose custody of me to my bio-father, be forced into mental institutions where they could be electroshocked and drugged against their will (the latter happened to one of their friends, when her ex-husband found she was living with another woman - he had her committed to Western State).

For the gay or lesbian living in the 1960s, walking down the street was akin to a soldier going into enemy territory. If anyone could detect any signs of gayness in you, you were basically fair game. If you were beaten and had the temerity to make a police report, you could expect further abuse at the hands of the police - after all, it's what you deserved for being a "deviate."

Think about that. That's in the lifetime of many of us here. That's part of our experience.

Now, look at this. You have the President of the United States telling gay and lesbian kids that they are okay the way they are. If you don't see the difference, if you're just hung up on the fact that he hasn't yet solved every single problem every individual gay faces, you're not seeing the big picture here. You're not seeing how hideously difficult it is to make large-scale societal changes - yet how far we have come in 40 years! Unimaginably far. There is no way my mother and her girlfriend imagined this in 1964. No way. I would bet you money they cried real tears of joy today.

Yes, it's not enough. But, god, it's a start, isn't it?

And remember, he isn't just President of Greenwich Village and Capitol Hill and the Castro. He's President of Lubbock, and Peoria, and Fayetteville. I imagine there's some frothing at the mouth going on in the hardcore god-botherer communities today - and isn't that always a positive thing?
180
I heart #174 (turninvisible). Perspective, people!
181
If you want to donate to THREE WINGS, the group that is creating a youth-led queer cultural arts and action space on Capitol Hill, contact info@threewings.org. This new organization that was developed and produced by a coalition known as QUEER YOUTH SPACE. www.threewings.org.

182
I really appreciate what he said. He's reaching out and even if it's not going to change the world overnight, it might mean something to someone out there. It might give some confused kid hope for a better day. It might help an adult who is being bullied at work or church or by family members. I haven't heard any Republican statements that were as compassionate or reasonable. It's a powerful thing when the leader of the free world speaks out against bullying. His position of power gives his eloquent statement more impact and meaning. As long as people are being bullied at school or even at work, it can't be said enough times by enough people. The more people that hear it the better. I would vote for him again.
183
@172-- "a popular Obama apologist meme is that we just don't know how things in the real world works."

A popular batshit meme is to accuse everyone of being an apologist for the absence of unicorns.

There is nothing at all to apologize for here. I haven't apologized for a damn thing, and I don't intend to. I take everything I can get, and I make absolutely no apologies for it. I don't apologize for healthcare reform. I don't apologize for unwinding the Iraq War. I don't apologize for a close-ended commitment in Afghanistan. I don't apologize for having the first real and respectable A.G. since Janet Reno. I don't apologize for having the first real president since Jimmy Carter. And I SURE AS HELL don't apologize for a president who is pushing steadily ahead of the majority of this country on gay rights for the first time in TWO CENTURIES of American history.

Spare me the self-righteous bullshit and indignation.
184
^^^ that was @175
185
*light bulb*

Captain Wiggette, you make me laugh. Keep on trolling. :D
186
What #183 said.
187
And #179, awesome. Wish I could have put it that well.
188
@185: I'm still waiting for you (or anyone else) to give me an example.
189
@179 Thank you for sharing that, I appreciate it. I always enjoy your comments.
190
@189 - thank you! I see this as a very momentous day. Not perfect, no. But a tipping point nonetheless.
191
@169 You do know that many bullies are being abused physically and verbally at home, right? It's the parents of bullies that should be locked up. There really aren't that many sociopaths. The problem is this cycle of abuse that seems to be hitting the gay children very hard, because they are easy targets in these schools where the administrations don't care about their students.
192
@37. Yes.

How nice that Obama is better than his predecessors. How nice that he doesn't want queer kids to die. Earlier this week Obama decided to fuck over their future by ACTIVELY fighting for discrimination.

Jim crow laws were better than outright slavery too. Thanks for all the support, Dems.
193
This hypocritical speech reminds of an old joke. What's the difference between a politician and a whore? There are some things a whore won't do. Talk is cheap mister. You have the power to end DADT etc. but no make a nice speech instead.

Mr. President, here's you steaming cup of "shut the fuck up".
194
It is garbage to say this was somehow "brave" of Obama.
Yes, it was good, even classy, but in noway is making a statement against teen suicide (even gay teen suicide) "brave". The only people who will have any problem with it are the 10 to 20% nuttiest of the rightwing nutjobs. They represent no money or votes for either him or his party. If anything, if he manages to get a Palin or a Beck to fume over this it just helps him because it makes his opponents look worse to not only dems, but to centrists as well.
Also, pointing out he is the most pro gay president in history is kind of silly. As has been pointed out very eloquently by #179 our culture in regards to gay issues is lightyears ahead of where it was even a few decades ago. If you compare the president's attitudes to the view of the average citizen I really doubt he holds that title, but more importantly it is a pathetic title to hold since not a single POTUS in history really stands out even on that metric.
195
@192: "Earlier this week Obama decided to fuck over their future by ACTIVELY fighting for discrimination."

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?

Please cite one example of Obama actively fighting for discrimination against gays.

It's like none of you got through middle school. Here, let me help you:

1) make an argument
2) provide some evidence for that argument of at LEAST rudimentary rigor. SOMETHING.

This is the third time I've asked for an example of Obama fighting against gay rights.

I'm still waiting.
197
That's my President rite there! He's Black, not on crack [and other questionable substances] and thinks abuse of the LGBT[Q] community is WHACK!

VOTE! Vote so we can see the change needed to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"'s archaic grasp over our community. Vote for the change YOU AND I KNOW he and his Admin can bring about for the rest of his term.

VOTE because YES, YOU [AND I] CAN!
198
Congratulations!!!!!!!!!
199
Sorry if someone has mentioned this (didn't read back far enough), but if you go to the swanky, new purple and yellow www.itgetsbetterproject.com, you can donate to it. Maybe Dan doesn't want to ask for funds here, but...it may be the only time some of us have "Dan Savage" pop up in our inbox (in the "thanks!" email)....just sayin'....
200
He came this close to confessing his own homosexuality. You can see it in his eyes. That's why he did this propagandistic video. And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the foundation of his Marxism and Alinskyite tactics.

Marxist because leftists need weakened families to necessitate stronger government control and thus consolidate Marxist and Fascist policies Alinskyite because by doing this video, he is attacking strong christian patriots, like Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, and other hard traditionalists working to unseat him. It's clever, shrewd, and diabolical. But thank God the American people see through this garbage, and sanity will be re-installed in America once the hard traditionalists take back Congress.
201
@200: Chill shit, dawg.