OPM's John Berry: 'It gets better'
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.
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| November 29, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
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