Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hilary Clinton gives support to our lgbt youth . . . and some of us try to ruin it

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton yesterday delivered this powerful and much needed message to our lgbt youth:

"I have a message for all the young people out there who are being bullied...hang in there, and ask for help. Your life is so important.

The story of America is the story of people coming together to tear down barriers, stand up for rights and insist on equality, not only for themselves but for all people.

Here at the State Department, I am grateful every day for the work of our LGBT employees who are serving the United States as Foreign Service Officers and Civil Servants here and around the world. It wasn't long ago that these men and women would not have been able to serve openly, but today they can because it has gotten better. And it will get better for you.

Please remember that your life is valuable and you are not alone. Many people are standing with you and sending you their thoughts, their prayers and their strengths. Count me among them. Take care of yourself."

Unfortunately some have used this speech to either voice their disagreement with President Obama's movement on DADT and DOMA or criticize Mrs. Clinton for her husband's pushing of DADT when he was president.

It's caused some arguments and frankly it's stupid. I don't care what Obama didn't do or what Bill Clinton did do. This is about our children and it says a lot that Mrs. Clinton took time out to show them some support.

It's like what one of my facebook friends said:

As a community, we suck at solidarity. Heck, we can't even thank someone without getting into an argument.

Maybe that's why it's so difficult for us to get what we need. How can we demand respect from society when we can't even give it to ourselves?

Hat tip to Michelle Schohn.

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Gridlock said...

Mrs. Clinton doesn't support gay marriage, only the unequal and segregated "civil unions"

Till her or some other politician stops mouthing pretty words and does something concrete (and not some lame half measure, or crumb to appease) they reap all the scorn they deserve.

Who cares what they say. It's what they do that matters.

BlackTsunami said...

Your comment is my point exactly. This isn't about marriage equality. Not every issue of lgbt rights and equality is about marriage. Her gesture IS action about this problem.

Anonymous said...

Well put, BlackTsunami!

Taiki said...

Hear hear.

The big takeaway from this for me was, "The power base isn't out to get you."

Anonymous said...

Hillary deserves very, very little credit for jumping on a bandwagon that's been making the rounds for at least a couple of months now.

This is nothing more than her first 2012 campaign ad.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ BlackTsunami: let's try to see the forest for the trees. This video is helpful and is indeed ACTION in ACTION.

James Steffen said...

I'm not thrilled with the Obama Administration's and Hilary Clinton's lukewarm records on LGBT rights, but so what!

The Secretary of State has a LOT on her plate these days, and she took the time to make this statement. She did not have to do this. I like that she tied LGBT rights to the history of women and minorities. I for one appreciate her gesture--it could make a difference in someone's life.

Digger said...

Actually you are wrong about her jumping on a bandwagon that has been around for months. She did this within days of being asked by GLIFAA (Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies) to do it. And she addressed the issue of LGBT teen suicide in her Pride speech on June 22, 2010, well before these suicides started getting press.

Cleo said...

For those of you quesitoning her motives and using the opportunity to attack on other issues... Do you really wish she'd not made it? I think the question has to be at the end of the day, this person, doing this video, now - is there a chance it got the message to a teen or the relative of a teen and could have an impact? Let's not forget what's important here.

Sam said...

let;s not forget all the press about one of Hillary's core supporter groups being white, lower-middle class heartland voters without college degrees - one of the groups I think it is most important hears this message. Everyone can, and likely will, pick apart the woman for whatever reason, but a very, very broad swathe of the American public - and for that matter, people in every nation - admire this woman and listen to her words.
She's the most famous woman in the world, and she is flying the flag for us.

Craig Ranapia said...

Excuse me?

Here's the deal: I will hold Senator Clinton (please note the title) accountable for her record and public statements (or silence) to exactly the same extent as every other public official. No more, but certainly no less.

And if you think what President Obama does isn't relevant to "our children", well I'd like to tell you this.

Hillary Clinton should be "grateful" for the work of the openly gay US ambassador to my country, New Zealand. David Heubner is doing a damn fine job.

But Admbassador Heuber is in country where gay men and lesbians are serving openly and with distinction in our armed forces. Where the dignity and civil rights of GLBT people (and their families) are honoured in law, not trashed for poll points.

And if you think that doesn't matter for GLBT youth I'll tell you from experience you're dead wrong. As Dan Savage said so eloquently, things really got better for him when he met other gay men whose lives exposed the hateful lies he'd been fed for what they are.

I'll thank Secretary Clinton for her contribution. But I'll keep challenging her to use her position and access most of us can't even dream of to make things better for people who need a lot more than a two minute video.

After all, behind every bully stands a dozen enablers and a hundred more who stand silent out of fear.

BlackTsunami said...

craig, I understand your point but there is always a time and a place for everything. and this time should be devoted to the children. Certainly we need to hold everyone's feet to the fire but let's not obscure issues that don't need to have attention taken away from them.

Giselle said...

@Anonymous, 10:35 AM who said "Hillary deserves very, very little credit for jumping on a bandwagon that's been making the rounds for at least a couple of months now."

Sure, "It Gets Better" is only a few months old. But this is far from the first time Hillary addresses this issue. Watch her make these exact same points on the topic of gay teen suicide in January 2008 (you unobservant ingrate):