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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 11/29/2010

OPM's John Berry: 'It gets better'

By Ed O'Keefe

The Obama administration's most senior openly gay official has added his voice to the ranks of other politicians, celebrities and other activists participating in the "It Gets Better" campaign that provides encouragement for gay and lesbian teenagers.

"As an openly gay man myself, I know that life does get better for LGBT youth. It dramatically does," John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, says in his video message. "Young people should know that no matter how difficult the challenges are that they are facing right now, it does get better. Every individual is precious and our nation's future rests on our ability to engage and inspire this new generation. You can be whatever you want. You can love whomever you want, but only if you first love yourself. Trust me. It's worth it. It gets better."

The Obama administration is taking several steps to prevent anti-gay bullying in the nation's schools. An Education Department task force is advising educators that federal law protects students from discrimination. President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have also appeared in "It Gets Better" videos.

Berry is one of several openly gay officials, but by far the most senior. Gay rights activists estimated in October that Obama has made more than 150 appointments so far -- ranging from Berry to policy officials and senior staffers -- surpassing Bill Clinton's 140 appointments of gay people during his eight years.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 29, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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I could care less about openly gay officials in the president's administration. In fact, I'm pretty tired of the whole emphasis on the GLBT agenda. There has to be more important things going in D.C. than this going on.

Posted by: lewisylewis | November 29, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I think John Berry is the classiest official in government. I felt that way when I met him years ago when he worked for Cong. Steny Hoyer. He should be an outstanding role model for anyone, LGBT straight, whatever. I applaud these efforts to stop bullying but it isn't limited to LGBT kids. I hope the messages are expanded to include all kids that are considered "different" somehow from the bullies. Let's target the bullies too so that their behavior is not acceptable anywhere by anyone.

Posted by: joannlbuck | November 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

lewisylewis is a bully.

Posted by: Anglo_Rider | November 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse


Open Homosexuals are nothing more than apostles for Satan. They want to stuff their crude lifestyle in your face, and shove this idea down your throat, that Word of God, which is dispositive in this area, that homosexuality is an abomination, is of no more value than a piece of excrement which they have already flushed down their toilet.

It Gets Better? At best, that is a grotesquely short-sighted point of view, at worst, a fraud, deception, and a lie, especially when you consider the fate of the City of Sodom.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | November 30, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Bummer, GoldenShowers! What gets better is that we develop thicker skin to laugh at bigots like you!

Posted by: Anglo_Rider | November 30, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

My heart was touched by the comments given by OPM Director Berry. While I do not condone nor commend "alternative lifestyles", as a christian, I find it hard to be compassionate towards those who prey on others by being bullies. Both of my younger children have experienced this and as a parent, your heart just aches cause it seems there's nothing you can do. The message that "it gets better" seems cliche-ish, but its all too true. Thanks for your encouraging words. I will remember to share that thought with my kids and others, when it seems they're at the end of their rope. Thank you.

Posted by: AdrienneBlair | November 30, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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