Speaker John Perez says ‘It Gets Better’

California Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, released a pair of YouTube videos today as part of the “It Gets Better” series created to counter a spate of LGBT teenage suicides due to bullying and harassment by their peers.

Here’s the short version:

And here’s the long version, where in he discusses his experience coming out over the Thanksgiving holiday when he was in college:

“The rash of suicides we’ve seen in the past year have been nothing short of heartbreaking in every sense of the word. The particulars are the same in every case, where the kid felt so lonely and isolated and had no hope for the future to the point where they felt the only answer was taking their own life,” Pérez said in a news release. “The It Gets Better series is a way for each of us who struggled with the same issues to reach out to the kids and let them know how wonderful and special and not alone they are. I chose to do this video now because with the holiday season approaching it’s more critical than any other time of the year to send the kids a message of hope.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    To quote Oscar Wilde, you would need a heart of stone not to laugh out loud. Since when do our children define themselves by sexual inclination? A so-called “trans-gender” teen needs to be reminded “how wonderful and special and not alone they are” when they’re confused about themselves? See a therapist. Why isn’t one’s sexuality a private matter?

  • Laura Sanborn

    RR, since you asked the questions, I suggest that you watch the videos. And try to understand this issue from a perspective other than your own.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Thank you Josh. Unfortunately, it hassn’t gotten better, as RR just showed. I’m straight and have been my whole life, but I support the equal rights of LGBTs at age 68. Four days before the SF Gay Pride Parade, I decided to express this support, by dancing to the tune of a band on the sidewalk in front of my Condo in WC dressed in a shirt, slacks and shoes. I took the shirt off to show I was wearing a pink bikini top. A woman called the police, who knew I wasn’t violating a law. The woman paid an attorney to file a TRO, and a Superior Court Judge made it a Court Order.

  • John W

    Interesting choice of authors to pick out a quote on this subject. Considering his biography, methinks Oscar Wilde would be in complete sympathy with the views of Mr. Perez and most appreciative of Ralph Hoffman’s means of expressing support.