He may not have the rhetorical chops of President Obama, or the make-up artist of Adam Lambert, or the wit of the cast of Modern Family, but Vice President Joe Biden took to YouTube this week to become the latest in a line of politicians, celebrities and activists telling LGBT Youth that ‘It Gets Better.’ The result is a short four-minute video that is both tender and sweet, with a nod that though our politics might be slow in catching up, LGBT youth are going to be the future of this country. And they’re going to make us fabulous again.
“One day not long from now, you’re going to look back on this time, this time in your life, and you’ll be incredibly proud that you were able to get through,” Vice President Biden says. “And the rest of us will be incredibly grateful. Because you’re the people … who are going to grow up to be the adults who help society become more caring, more decent, more mature.”
OK, so it took Biden about two-and-a-half minutes to get to that point, after a bit of chitter chatter about Eleanor Roosevelt and his own parents, but the message is particularly critical. It’s not the bullies who make the world a better place; it’s those who are bullied who often have a deep sense of empathy and compassion for those considered to be “the other.”
It’s that empathy that VP Biden says will make LGBT youth so important to the future of the globe.
“You’ll have the experience. You can empathize. You can use that to change attitudes and to change perceptions. And to literally change the world,” VP Biden says.
That’s quite the message of hope. Much like when President Obama released his ‘It Gets Better’ video, it’s worth taking a moment in the political battlefield to pause and acknowledge that having two of the world’s most important leaders come together to denounce LGBT bullying is a valuable thing. It doesn’t mean that the White House now has permission to take a few days off in the fight for LGBT equality. But consider if the tables of 2008 were turned, and we were now dealing with a Vice President Palin. Given the tenor of a certain Palin child on Facebook this week, you can bet that we wouldn’t be seeing this same message coming out of the White House.