*President Obama has joined the list of celebrities who have filmed a video in support of gay teenagers as part of the It Gets Better Project, an initiative launched by writer Dan Savage.
In the video, which premiered Thursday (Oct. 21), Obama says that he was “shocked and saddened” by a string of gay teenagers who have committed suicide in recent weeks. “We’ve got to dispel this myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage,” the president adds.
“To every young person out there, you need to know that if you’re in trouble there are caring adults who can help,” he continues. Invoking his own history, Obama says that he knows “what it’s like growing up feeling that sometimes you don’t belong.”
Looking straight into the camera, the president tells his audience, “You are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do anything to deserve being bullied. And there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities. There are people out there who love you and care about you just the way you are. And so, if you ever feel like, because of bullying, because of what people are saying, that you’re getting down on yourself, you’ve got to make sure to reach out to people you trust.”
Earlier in the week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also recorded a video as part of It Gets Better. Watch both below.