- By P.J. Aroon
Secretary Clinton delivered a special message of support to LGBT teens yesterday in the wake of several suicides by American teenagers who were bullied for being gay or being perceived as gay. To all the teens out there who are bullied and feel all alone in the world, Clinton said, "Hang in there and ask for help. Your life is so important." She told them, "Please remember that your life is valuable and that you are not alone."
She offered a message of hope, saying, "It will get better for you." She referred to the advances made by women and members of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities over the course of U.S. history and said the same progress is being made by gays and lesbians. "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," she said.
Clinton has long been a supporter of LGBT rights (10 years ago she was the first First Lady to march in a pride parade), and she declared in June that "Human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights." During her tenure as secretary of state, several LGBT-friendly policies has been enacted at the State Department, including equal benefits for same-sex partners of State Department employees, new regulations that make it easier for transgender Americans to amend their passports, and grants to help human rights advocates in other countries who are in danger due to their LGBT status or their work on LGBT issues.
Below is the video of Clinton’s special message, with the text of the complete message pasted underneath.
Like millions of Americans, I was terribly saddened to learn of the recent suicides of several teenagers across our country after being bullied because they were gay or because people thought they were gay. Children are particularly vulnerable to the hurt caused by discrimination and prejudice and we have lost many young people over the years to suicide. These most recent deaths are a reminder that all Americans have to work harder to overcome bigotry and hatred.
I have a message for all the young people out there who are being bullied, or who feel alone and find it hard to imagine a better future: First of all, hang in there and ask for help. Your life is so important—to your family, your friends, and to your country. And there is so much waiting for you, both personally and professionally— there are so many opportunities for you to develop your talents and make your contributions.
And these opportunities will only increase. Because 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. And in the process, they create a community of support and solidarity that endures. Just think of the progress made by women just during my lifetime by women, or ethnic, racial and religious minorities over the course of our history —and by gays and lesbians, many of whom are now free to live their lives openly and proudly. 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.
So take heart, and have hope, and please remember that your life is valuable, and that you are not alone. Many people are standing with you and sending you their thoughts, their prayers and their strength. Count me among them.
Take care of yourself.