As part of her “Ask Hillary” series of web videos addressing the email questions of America’s youth, Hillary Clinton answered a question from a young gay man concerned about the high rate of depression and suicide among gay teens.
A video her her answer is included in this post, or you can read the transcript below:
Moderator: Ryan says, “Considering the extraordinarily high incidence of depression and suicide among gay teenagers, what action will you as president take to encourage a more accepting and healthy educational experience for LGBT teens?”
Hillary Clinton: Oh, it’s such a serious problem and I’ve done a lot of work on this in New York because I’m well aware of the depression and anxiety and, frankly, the high rate of suicide, comparatively, among gay teens.
Well, First – Number One – we’ve got to do everything we can to send a clear message that we value you. We value you are a person; we value you as a total person. And, we want you to feel accepted and respected in your community and you’ll certainly have a president who feels that way.
There needs to be more services. Sometimes it’s difficult in school and there’s not a lot of understanding or sensitivity. We’ve got to do more to help prepare school officials, and, frankly, your peers in school.
Just because somebody doesn’t understand doesn’t mean they should be a bully. They need to really be taught and guided to be more accepting and that is something I feel really strongly about. You know, there is even a school in New York that I have supported that is just for gay teens because it is very difficult in many areas for people to find any acceptance whatsoever.
We need more health services; we need more mentoring and assistance so that you don’t feel so alone…
[Video continues with young man in crowd talking]: Senator Clinton has an amazing grasp of the policy issues that are important to the LGBT community. But I think even for me, even more fundamental than that is that she is genuinely committed to combating the politics of hate. Really, that is the engine that drives policies that are harmful to the LGBT community and you can’t make any change without talking on the politics of hate.
[Thank yous, video ends after more testimonials]