Recently, the President of the United States released a video as part of the It Gets Better series that spoke to the trials of bullying and the importance of reaching out for help. The problem is, young gay kids -- the target of It Gets Better -- are learning about their worthlessness from the actions of the President's office.
Obama's video was an addition to a larger popular project where people from across the world create short videos with messages of hope for young gay kids who might be thinking of taking their own life. The idea is to communicate the inherent worth of each kid's life, even if they feel different, even if they are tortured at school and especially if they are gay. The reason we need this kind of international movement of support for gay kids is because society tells them and their friends, in all sorts of ways, that being gay means you are worth less.
One important way kids might learn that being a fa**ot is way worse than being the kid who can't kick a soccer ball, is that their President is telling them being gay is reason enough to get kicked out of the army. When a court makes the shocking finding that being gay is no reason to bar someone from service in the military, their own President, their government, stands up and publicly objects to the admission of gay soldiers.
That certainly is fodder enough to get the gay kid in fourth grade beaten up when he tries to join in the recess snowball fight. After all, gay soldiers hurt troop morale and threaten our national security.
The defense of DADT by the federal government is just one example of President Obama's insistence on defending each and every court finding that threatens the exclusion of LGBT Americans from legal equality in this country. Now, I understand the argument that forcing equality through the courts is unsustainable and that legislative moves towards equal rights are most desirable. I understand these arguments even as I know they, historically, have proven to be ineffective, not to mention slow and insulting.
But it doesn't matter if Obama's approach is politically correct.
Every time his administration stands up and defends an offensive and bigoted law, he sends a message across the country and the world that being gay is a weakness, a problem and a reason to be treated with less respect than everybody else. He tells families and their children that disdain and abuse towards gay people is just fine.
He's the one telling gay kids they're just not good enough.
Is it any wonder so many are contemplating taking their own life when they live in a country that clearly does not value their existence?