Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has delivered his message to LGBT youth who have bullied and harassed: “I know what it’s like to be different … You need to know, it gets better.”
“Even as the first black governor of Massachusetts — I know what it’s like to be different and to have folks sometimes around you who don’t understand,” Patrick said in the video.
“But I want you to know there are also people around you who do understand, who care about you, who encourage you. That has been my experience in every single one of those settings, and it will be your experience too. You need to know, it gets better.”
Patrick is the father of an out lesbian daughter, Katherine, and a longtime supporter of marriage equality and the LGBT community.
Earlier this year, Patrick issued an executive order banning discrimination against transgender state employees, and in 2010 signed anti-bullying legislation calling for several improvements in schools’ reactions to bullying.
The “It Gets Better Project” was launched by Seattle-based activist and author Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller, in response to the increasing number of teen suicides of kids who were bullied for their perceived sexual orientation.
The project has received more than 10,000 video contributions, including submissions from the President, Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and hundreds of entertainers and politicians.
Just weeks ago, all 10 U.S.House representatives from Massachusetts participated in the project, as did U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass). Republican Sen. Scott Brown’s office said he declined an invitation to appear. To date, not a single Republican lawmaker has participated in, or contributed an “It Gets Better” video.