Friday, October 22, 2010

My Weekend Patriotism

The President of the United States of America is looking into a camera and telling gay kids everywhere that “You are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do anything to deserve being bullied. And there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities. There are people out there who love you and care about you just the way you are.” Does it negate the deep disappointment I feel about how his administration has handled DADT, ENDA, gay marriage, etc.? No. Does it make me proud to have a president who cares enough about gay kids to speak to them directly and tell them their lives have worth? Yes. The leader of the free world wants gay kids to know they shouldn’t be bullied and they shouldn’t kill themselves. It seems so simple, but it is so very significant. This is how things get better. Thank you, Mr. President. Happy weekend, all.

UPDATE: A little more on why, despite our disappointments, this is still a Big Fucking Deal. (Joe Biden.)

11 comments:

Norma Desmond said...

I saw this earlier and had an incredibly similar reaction: I was very touched and so pleased that he took the time to record this message, but it also served to remind me of all the promises he made and changes he pledged, NONE of which have even begun to come to fruition. Very conflicting.

CAB said...

My initial reaction was "awesome" and then my cynical side kicked in and I couldn't help but wonder if his video wasn't in part a way to not have Hillary show him up with a dash of the elections are coming. Then I thought, either way does it matter? The POTUS is making some sort of effort to speak to LGBT youth and tell them it gets better.

Sara in Houston said...

eh, he just doesn't want to get shown up by hillary. He's the frackin commander in chief; if he wanted to make the world better for gay kids, he's have ended DADT the day he took office.

tomgirl said...

I agree with Sara. Its fantastic that he did this. I'm truly touched, and it is a big step in the right direction. However, we need to see more movement from this administration concerning DADT and Gay Marriage. I want to hear it flat out that they are ending DADT and that they support marriage equality. I know I'm shooting for the stars. But as long as discriminatory policies are still intact, its a license for people to be homophobic. Its saying "its okay to hate gay people and discriminate, everyone does and its in our laws".

No matter when, and I mean "when", not if, we will achieve full equality, there will always be people who are homophobic. Just like there will always be racists. Its unfortunate, but true. But it will no longer be sanctioned by our laws or our leaders. And those who choose to maintain their ignorance will be viewed as such and be forced to keep their opinions to themselves. And it will no longer be okay to taunt, bully, torture or browbeat children because they are gay or perceived to be gay.

Okay, i'll get off my soap box now.

tomgirl

Lisa said...

I'm with Sara and tomgirl ... he got shown up by Hillary.
His handling of DADT is proof that he's just another politician looking for the safe route. I mean, it's not exactly going out on a long limb to tell kids not to kill themselves.

That being said, despite being late to the party, he is AT the party. If only for the photo op.

Anonymous said...

Yes, conflicting. It does seem as if the prez is playing 'catch up' to his Sec of State. But it's not a matter of too little too late- it's just not enough. Remember when Mr. Obama told a queer audience "just wait- you'll be better off at the end of my first term than you are now...". I'm done waiting, sir.

Anonymous said...

You must realize his first term is only half over.

Cheryl said...

Yes, we're disappointed with the pace of Obama's changes, but can you imagine George W. Bush doing this? Bush was the bullier-in-chief!

tenofive said...

I, too, share the frustration of the DADT situation. However, I do understand President Obama's desire to change the law through Congress and end the thing once and for all. This is a process oriented president and we should be happy for that because he's not going to be getting us into the types of messes that his predecessor got us into. For those who are giving up on him, please remember that he has two more years left in his term and he's kept more of his campaign promises than he's broken so far. (See politifact.org for the stats.)
Real change is hard, messy, and and takes time.

I can't imagine any other president making this "Things will get better" video more effectively and credibly than this bi-racial man who experienced not fitting in as a child. Props to you, President Obama.

Anonymous said...

Everything that comes out of the president's office has alterior motives.One thing is said to the public while something completely different is going on behind those closed doors.We will find out the real reason for this speech much later.And I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that many LGBT youth suffer.Sorry...but any good politician's purpose is to promote his "power's that be's" agenda which normally hasn't got much to do with us common folk.But hey, if some young person heard that speech and it changed their mind on suicide, then what a great thing.

betsey said...

Thanks for sharing, from one Hillary fan to another. I think it's fantastic.