October 19th, 2010
07:58 PM ET
12 years ago

Hillary Clinton tells bullied gay teens: 'Hang in there and ask for help'

Washington (CNN) - Hillary Clinton has joined the YouTube internet campaign "It Gets Better" aimed at gay teenagers at risk of suicide.

Wearing a red dress and looking straight at the camera, the secretary of state says she was "terribly saddened" by the suicides of young people who were bullied because they were gay or thought to be gay.

"I have a message for you" she says. "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's so much waiting for you, both personally and professionally. There are so many opportunities to develop your talents and make your contributions."

Clinton has been in the forefront of the Obama administration's efforts to expand rights for gay and lesbian government employees. She instituted equal benefits for same-sex partners of State Department employees, a move that encouraged President Barack Obama to authorize such benefits for gay men and lesbiasn throughout the federal government. The State Department also has made it easier for transgender people to change their passports and, for the first time, the agency's "equal opportunity statement" includes gender identity and sexual preference.

"Here at the State Department," she says in her YouTube video, "I'm 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," she says, "but today they can because it has gotten better. And it will get better for you."

The viral "It Gets Better" campaign now includes thousands of videos posted by people who have spoken out about the recent rash of suicides and, in some cases, about their own struggles with being gay, facing prejudice and hopelessness. The campaign was started in late September by syndicated columnist Dan Savage.

In her video Secretary Clinton tells teens, "So take heart, have hope and please remember that your life is valuable and that you are not alone. Many people are standing with you and sending their thoughts, their prayers and their strength. Count me among them. Take care of yourself."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. John

    Hillary is a class act. This is a great thing for her to do!

    October 19, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. valwayne

    Not that I disagree with her message, but I thought Sec Clinton was Secretary of State? I'm surprised she has time to weigh in on these issues what with U.S. troops still fighting in two foreign countries, Russia selling nuclear reactors to Venezuela for the nuclear weapons program, Hugo Chavez working with Iran to get expertise for his weapons program, and Iran on the verge of actually having their own nuclear arsenal. The of course there is N Korea and the list goes on and on. It sounds to me like Sec Clinton may be spending less time on foreign policy and more time on Domestic policy preparing for a run at the Democratic nomination. That would be a good thing! Hillary 2012!!!

    October 19, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. Clwyd

    While the ugly right keeps calling guys slurs! Which in the end is partially to blame for all the suicides and bullying from others! I hate the right and its hypocrisy. Oh, did anybody see O'Donnell asking Coons where in the Constitution does it call for separation of "Church and State?" this in front of law students who just groaned at her ignorance! How did these loonies get into the republican party? Oh, that is easy, they are mad! Mad in the head!

    October 19, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. George of the jungle

    A classy Lady .

    October 19, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. mary225

    Hillary is a class act, with a generous heart, who has raised a beautiful, caring daughter. I am proud of this Administration.

    October 19, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  6. Reality Check

    Hope to see you running fro prez in 2012 Hillary! You know the Dems have been kicking themselves for almost 2 years now

    October 19, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Thank you, Madam Secretary, for your support! We have lost far too many of our gay youth to suicide. It is a terrible, shameful tragedy that so many have been bullied to the point of taking such desperate measures.

    October 19, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. Jacob

    Finally! comforting words from the government! as always, a true trailblazer, and a public servant who cares! Thank you, Hillary!

    October 19, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. JC

    Has anyone looked at bullying (which is wrong) as society speaking out in a violent show of what is unacceptablet? Gay isn't and never will be. If you are gay keep it to yourself and do not expect socety to embrace your ways and give you benefits and include the word marriage. How disgusting. If Hillary were truthful she'd likely have something different to say but we wuldn't want to insult the gay MINORITY especially when we are in politics. The minority is always the winnner isn't it!

    October 19, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  10. Halo Playa

    Everyone, HALO OWNS! All Halo Games OWN!!! by theway, my gmertag is teh(spacebar)pwnshow, add me i PLAY HALO REACH AND HALO 3 because those games own!!!!

    October 19, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    Yes Hillary – they should HANG IN THERE and ask for help. BUT, it's difficult when the Anti-GAY fight is always on the media!!!

    Every PERSON that bullies or chastise a gay teen or a gay adult should keep in mind that they are NOT only hurting the gay person, they are hurting the gay person's mother, father, sister, brother, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, cousins and friends!!! And if a gay person DIES as a result of not being able to TAKE THE ABUSE – you still HURT all of the above!!

    Next Time, THINK TWICE – count to 10 – or take a DEEP BREATH before you say something OUT of NORMAL to a gay person!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!!

    October 19, 2010 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  12. Marcus

    As much as the bible-thumpers (and other fundamentalists) say and do (based in their beliefs), homosexuality is NOT a mental disease. But some people not only think that it is a disease but also that it is a permit for bullying and harrassment of those who are 'infected' with it.
    Ms. Clinton deserves all praises for having been steady and strong against such lame and pathetic prejudice (as all are actually).

    October 19, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. rafael

    I still have a hard time listening to her measured, robotic speaking style, but I gain more respect for her all the time.

    October 19, 2010 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  14. barry

    Hillary is a great leader. She doesn't have excuses she doesn't portray she is a victim. Hillary like Bill has the ability to work with both sides of the isle. She should run against Obama and she would win. She is a Great American and we need her leadership.

    October 20, 2010 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  15. Aaron

    So, which Repub will be first to belittle Ms. Clinton's efforts at saving the lives of gay teens?

    October 20, 2010 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  16. henry

    If you want to help them? Tell them about the gospel

    October 20, 2010 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. Gabe Polson

    This woman becomes more eloquent and amazing everyday. Bravo Mrs. Clinton. You are a shining beacon of Hope.

    October 20, 2010 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  18. tgInHouston

    Hillary, you do have courage and represent honor! Count on my vote for any office you want, I can vote in! 16 Years of strong Demoncratic Leadership is an excellent choice for this country.

    October 20, 2010 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  19. greg in Jax

    Thank you Madaam Secretary Clinic. While things might get better. as long as there are those pushing their personal beliefs on the laws of our land, gays and lesbians will be treated as less than American, as less than human. we want full equality andnothing less.

    October 20, 2010 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  20. Kanoodle

    Hillary Clinton is one classy lady.

    October 20, 2010 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  21. Fed Up

    How about some support for the children that are not gay, and are getting bullied??? I guess they don't count.

    October 20, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |