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Obama's 'It Gets Better' video: Your take on the viral campaign

By Katie Rogers

In the span of a 3-minute video by President Obama, The White House took the "It Gets Better" project from viral to mainstream.

The White House posted the video Thursday night after the Pentagon announced that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy had been revised, making it tougher for the nation's military branches to discharge troops because they are openly gay. As DADT becomes further entrenched in lengthy, twisty legal proceedings -- and with a midterm election fast approaching -- Obama reached out to LGBT teens by saying he knows what it feels like to be excluded:

Obama isn't the only politically-minded contributor to "It Gets Better," which was created by openly gay writer Dan Savage.

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent in her video, telling kids to "hang in there," earlier this week, one viewer wrote, "Wow, I can't imagine a Secretary of State delivering this message back when I was a kid. How times have changed."

Give us Your Take:Are these videos helping gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered teens feel less isolated? If you are gay, would this type of project have changed your adolescence? What does the "It Gets Better" project mean to you? Send a tweet using #itgetsbetter or leave a comment below.

@washingtonpost I think it's vital for everyone to get involved. I did. http://youtu.be/JkAMm6oNxhM #ItGetsBetterless than a minute ago via TweetDeck



By Katie Rogers  | October 22, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Your Take  
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Next: Gordon Pinsent reads Justin Bieber, and other old men who mock youth

Comments

Symbolism helps clarify complex ideas, the handshake and the fist best symbolizes the Democratic and Republican Parties. The handshake believes in coexistence and the other in power and enslavement. Peace loving Obama and iron fisted mcCain are the opposing embodiment of these two forces, Jesus and Caesar were another.

Posted by: morristhewise | October 22, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, Barack Obama is a hypocrite when it comes to equal rights for gays. He doesn't approve of same-sex marriages and apparently, he doesn't approve of gays in the US Military either.

Posted by: joe_allen_doty | October 22, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Whether one understands the complexities of ending DADT or not is inconsequential when being touched by the president's message. Listening to the president, I felt his empathy, and believe this video will go a long way in helping things to get better. Of course, President Obama is the only politician I have ever voted for that I believe truly represents me; we are kindred spirits. Although I do not always agree with everything he does, I also am not privy to all that he is, and lacking that information, while I may criticize I do so with the knowledge that if I did possess all the information to which the president is privy, I might likely reach the same conclusions as he has.

These are not the words of a liberal, but of a conservative humanist; one who believes the life on this earth to be more important than any ideology, religion, government, or economic system ever imagined or currently in use. When I heard President Obama speak, I heard a fellow human, one who I want by my side in the fight against tyranny and oppression.

Well done, Mr. President, well done.

Posted by: TheghostofLennyBruce | October 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama's message needs to be removed from viewing immediately. While it is touching to hear from so many supporters who truly believe "it gets better", a message from Obama is a slap in the face. By allowing for the appeal of DADT, and then posting this video, Obama is making himself out to be a hypocrite.

As the president, he could be making decisions that would benefit the future of these same youth he's addressing, but instead he chooses to play the political game and then try to tell them not to worry about it. What do you say to the kid who dreams of becoming a soldier, who watched as Lt. Dan Choi, discharged for being gay, happily applied for the Army, only to be told the next day that he once again cannot join because the appeals court put a stay on DADT? "Don't worry, kiddo, it gets better. Just forget that you ever wanted to get married or be in the military, because you aren't good enough, and adults like me will always keep you down."

Thanks for your video, Mr. Obama, but with all due respect, no thanks. You missed the boat when it came to keeping gays and lesbians your friends, and a video like this isn't going to win us back now.

Posted by: JenKeenan | October 22, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

joe_allen_doty wrote:

"In my opinion, Barack Obama is a hypocrite when it comes to equal rights for gays. He doesn't approve of same-sex marriages and apparently, he doesn't approve of gays in the US Military either."

------------------------

Just because you don't approve of same-sex marriages, doesn't mean you're a hypocrite by attempting to allow them. Your scope shifts between the legal and emotional. It takes a strong person to allow something legally justifiable to happen when it conflicts with your personal views.

Posted by: mytwocents | October 22, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Distressingly typical for this President. The full acceptance of those gay people who want to serve in our armed forces would do a lot to defuse the unjustified shame that too many continue to feel and to tell the bigots that they are wrong.
Talk is cheap Mr. President and when one's actions mock one's words it is insulting.

Posted by: miriamac2001 | October 23, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Great. Now Obama and his DOJ bullies are making videos saying that it gets better -- they have it within their power to make it better NOW! Drop BOTH appeals.

The hypocrisy of fighting every judicial win while making this video is appalling. He should be hiding in shame, not trying to act like he's worried about the GLBT community.

Posted by: Jeffrmarks | October 23, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama. Too little, too late, too close to election time. Disingenuous and hypocritical...driving me to redundancy in my heightened state of shock and frustration at your lack of character on this issue. Teenage LGBT youth are taking their own lives rather than live in the far-reaching shadow of star-spangled shame. You have the power to really put things right, but until you do please do not trade on tragedy for votes. By doing so you insult the LGBT community, embarrass yourself and place more American live in jeopardy. Shame on you Mr. President.

Posted by: jrl90210 | October 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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