Following an administration that delivered on marriage equality and other inclusive strides, the LGBTQ community will face an uncertain future Friday when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office.
Speaking at his final press conference at the White House on Wednesday, however, President Barack Obama appeared optimistic about the future of LGBTQ rights moving forward, noting that he didn’t think milestones like same-sex marriage would be “reversible” during Trump’s presidency, or beyond.
“American society has changed ― the attitudes of young people in particular have changed,” he said. Pointing to the ongoing struggle for transgender rights in particular, he added, “There’s still going to be some battles that need to take place [but] if you talk to young people ― even if they’re Republicans, even if they’re conservative ― many of them would tell you, ‘I don’t understand how you would discriminate against somebody because of sexual orientation.’ That’s just sort of burned into them in pretty powerful ways.”
Watch a snippet of Obama’s comments, tweeted by BuzzFeed’s Tom Namako, below.
While Obama said he “couldn’t be prouder” of the work he’s done on the LGBTQ community’s behalf, he wouldn’t accept full responsibility for it. “The primary heroes in this stage of our growth as a democracy and as a society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters and couples who courageously said, ‘This is who I am, and I’m proud of it,” he said.
Check out more of Obama’s comments on the LGBTQ community below.
It was a final, profound moment from Obama, who leaves behind a monumental legacy as far as LGBTQ rights is concerned, and could very well be the last time a sitting U.S. president speaks so directly to the queer community for a while.
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