Like a cool drink of water on a scorching political day, roughly 41 frenzied hours before Donald Trump’s controversial inauguration, President Barack Obama offered up some welcome bromides to those sick to their stomach about the next phase of American history in his final news conference.

Chris Johnson, whose work appears in The Pride LA, asked President Obama one of the final questions of his Presidency.
Chris Johnson, whose work appears in The Pride LA, asked President Obama one of the final questions of his Presidency.
- Advertisement -

Obama touched on several issues, starting with his reason for giving clemency to transgender Army solider Chelsea Manning, and he took questions from among the diverse White House press corps, including Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson. Obama ended his final news conference as President of the United States echoing the message of hope he offered as a candidate in 2008.

It was a message meant to heal the divisions caused by the outcome of the presidential election. But instead of sermonizing and pontificating about how non-Trump voters should overcome their disappointment and broken hearts, Obama shared the experience of his daughters Malia and Sasha, who have grown up in the public eye.

“They were disappointed,” Obama said, but they paid attention to their parents who tried to teach them resilience “and we’ve tried to teach them hope and that the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world.”

The Obamas have also taught their children that if they get knocked down, “you get up, brush yourself off and you get back to work,” the president said. “But, both of them have grown up in an environment where I think they could not help, but be patriotic to love this country deeply, to see that it’s flawed, but see that they have responsibilities to fix it. And that they need to be active citizens. And they have to be in a position to talk to their friends and their teachers and their future co-workers in ways that try to shed some light as opposed to just generate a lot of sound and fury. And I expect that’s what they’re going to do. They do not — they don’t mope.”

Obama’s daughters were key to his grasping how their generation has already embraced LGBT rights. Obama said he commuted Pfc. Chelsea Manning’s “tough” prison sentence of 35 years after her conviction by a military court in 2013 for giving thousands of pages of classified and unclassified information about US wartime activities to WikiLeaks in 2010. Manning claimed she was a whistleblower and has apologized for her actions. She has also repeatedly begged for proper treatment as a transgender prisoner, going on hunger strikes to demand “dignity and respect,” https://theintercept.com/2016/09/09/chelsea-manning-begins-hunger-strike-demanding-dignity-and-respect-in-prison/ and has tried to commit suicide during her almost seven years in custody, often in isolation, in an all-male section at Ft. Leavenworth prison in Kansas. She is expected to be released in May.

“The sentence she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received,” Obama said, referring to other more senior military officials who also leaked classified information. “I feel very comfortable that justice has been served and that a message has still been sent” that leakers will face consequences.

When called upon toward the end of the news conference, The Blade’s Chris Johnson, whose works also appears in this newspaper, asked the president about his legacy on LGBT rights. Here’s President Obama’s complete response:

“I could not be prouder of the transformation that’s taken place in our society just in the last decade. And, I’ve said before, I think we made some useful contributions to it, but the primary heroes in this stage of our — our growth as a Democracy and a society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters and couples who courageously said, this is who I am and I’m proud of it.

And, that opened people’s minds and opened their hearts. And, eventually, laws caught up. But, I don’t think any of that would have happened without the activism, in some cases loud and noisy, but in some cases just quiet and very personal. And — and I think that what we did as an administration was to help to — the society to move in a better direction, but to do so in a way that didn’t create an enormous backlash and was — was systematic and respectful of the fact, you know, in some cases these issues were controversial.

I think the way we handled, for example, don’t ask, don’t tell, being methodical about it, working with the joint chiefs, making sure we showed this would not have an impact on the effectiveness of the greatest military on Earth. And then to have Defense Secretary Bob Gates and Chairman Mike Mullen and joint chiefs who were open to evidence and ultimately worked with me to do the right thing.

I am proud of that, but again, none of that would have happened without this incredible transformation that was happening in society out there. You know, when I gave Ellen the Presidential Medal of Freedom, I meant what I said. I think somebody that kind and likable, projecting into, you know, living rooms around the country. You know, that changed attitudes. And that wasn’t easy to do for her. And that’s just one small example of what was happening in countless communities all across the country.

So — so I’m proud that in certain places we maybe provided a good block down field to help the movement advance. I don’t think it is something that will be reversible because American society has changed, the attitudes of young people, in particular, have changed. That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be some fights that are important, legal issues, issues surrounding transgender persons. There’s still going to be some battles that need to take place.

But, if you talk to young people, Malia, Sasha’s generation, even if their Republicans, even if their Conservative, many of them will tell you, I don’t understand how you would discriminate against somebody because of sexual orientation. That’s just sort of burned into them in — in pretty powerful ways.

Write, activist and educator Frank Bua penned a “Gay Dad’s Love Letter” to Obama recently, that reverberates even more as Trump’s inauguration approaches and LGBT folks wonder if the progress made will be pushed backward. For some, like Bua, the progress is very, very personal.

“Next time I fill out my children’s governmental forms, I will not be forced to complete a box labeled “mother” like I did last time. Now, families like my own are allowed to re-enter the country as the unit that we are. These gestures may have gone unnoticed by the general public, but not by those of us who for decades have felt the simple desire to be treated like everybody else,” Bua wrote, after citing several examples of Obama’s LGBT rights record.

“For Easter in 2011, my partner and I took our twins to the White House Easter Egg Roll. As a formerly closeted man who fearfully came of age during the Reagan years, I had a near out-of-body experience watching my two-year old children frolic carefree on the lawn of the White House and in the shadows of history. I felt a sense of belonging I had never before imagined, and I left the South Lawn with renewed optimism in the direction of our country,” he wrote.

“Under your stewardship, the United States – long a nation where people viewed the Bible as more of an operations manual than the Constitution – has become an LGBT city upon a hill. If we indeed have to be taught to hate, you have demonstrated – through your family and actions – that by modeling acceptance and tolerance, love can be learned,” Bua wrote, speaking for many others. “For your vision, for your resolve in the face of unfathomable obstacles and detractors, and for inspiring everyone to aspire to greatness, I and my family thank you.”

In his closing remarks, Obama returned to that theme of optimism. “I believe in this country. I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad. I believe tragic things happen. I think there’s evil in the world, but I think at the end of the day, if we work hard and if we’re true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time. That’s what this presidency has tried to be about. And I see that in the young people I’ve worked with. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” he said.

“Sometimes I get mad and frustrated like everybody else does, but at my core, I think we’re going to be OK. We just have to fight for it, we have to work for it and not take it for granted and I know that you will help us do that. Thank you very much, Press Corps, good luck.”

(See the complete transcript of the news conference and the video here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/politics/obama-final-press-conference.html )

Comments

151 COMMENTS

  1. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.

    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.

    I wish to read even more things about it!

  2. I really love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this web site
    yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own website and want to
    know where you got this from or just what the theme is named.
    Appreciate it!

  3. Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is
    simply cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with
    forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  4. First off I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thank you!
    collier trefle copie van cleef http://www.topvcabijoux.cn/

  5. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to
    put this content together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount
    of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  6. I think that is among the so much significant information for me.
    And i am satisfied reading your article. However want to statement
    on few normal issues, The site style is perfect, the articles is in reality great : D.
    Excellent activity, cheers

  7. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme
    in our community. Your website provided us with valuable
    information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our
    whole community will be grateful to you.

  8. Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit once again since I saved as a favorite it.

    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to
    guide other people.

  9. Howdy this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I
    wanted to get advice from someone with experience.

    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  10. Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and would really like
    to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy
    your work. If you are even remotely interested,
    feel free to send me an e mail.

  11. Hello there! This article could not be written much
    better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this information to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  12. Attractive part of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually loved account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing in your feeds and even I success you get right of entry to persistently fast.

  13. I have read several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to make such a fantastic informative website.

  14. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He used to be entirely right. This submit truly made my day. You can not imagine just how so much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  15. I’ll right away grab your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  16. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  17. I felt wonderful to read this info and I believe you’re totally correct. Tell me if perhaps you’re looking into ios 11 jailbreak, that’s my major competency. I really hope to see you in the near future, take care!

  18. For instance research demonstrates that at United States of america, there was a fantastic change in biblical counselling after the 1960s Civil Rights movement and understanding and condition of the minority considerably changed in the nation After the pupil doesn’t have a personal opinion, then they ought to simply earn a choice to select a subject, and select pro or con. Very very good essay writers possess the capacity to give aid to their students if it’s required.
    Students using a copywriting service ought to know about a couple things before choosing a service. Internet isn’t only alternative technique to traditional procedures of music distribution, but in addition a fantastic prospect for artists and music-recording businesses to expose these goods to broad public. Many writing companies won’t turn away customers if they’re just under what they’re asking.
    Since writing an outline may occasionally be tedious job because this is the location where you actually start contemplating your essay critically. Writing a thesis statement demands great intelligence from the face of the essay author as it needs to specify the fundamental notion of the publication. Essay writing generally comes as a challenge for men and women that aren’t utilised to writing essays and it’s a very enormous job usually for the students who don’t have any type of experience in writing essays.
    Personalised assignment writing service business will probably have their own sites Online services are somewhat more dependable and affordable too.
    Every story should have dialog. It is the chief portion of the prewriting procedure of an essay.
    You might also need to suggest more research or comment on things that it wasn’t possible that you discuss in the paper. The writing profession includes many perks. This primer about the best way to compose an article sheds light on the procedure and empowers the author get organized.
    http://mada-alakhbar.com/2018/01/30/essay-editing-help-help/

  19. Thank you for this terrific article! I actually appreciated reading it.I’ll make sure to save this website and will often come back from now on. I would love to encourage you to definitely keep on with the wonderful work, possibly think about commercial real estate for sale also, have a superb afternoon!

  20. Hi there! This is my first comment on your website so I just wanted to give a fast shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend other sites which deal with movers & packers in mumbai? I am also truly curious about this thing! Thanks!

  21. Al Hadi AC Refrigration and Repairing is committed to giving your ACs a new lease of life. We have a team of experienced professionals which has serviced more than a 1000 units, much to the satisfaction of our clients. The effort at Al Hadi has always been to service a call in the shortest span of time and to close it with a happy client. The referrals we get is a testimony to our work. Try our services today!

  22. Dr.Punnet and her Teams are really a great cheater in Delhi for IVF, initially they say we will provide world best technology but after getting all money they all can’t do any thing and again repeat cycle or again take money for evry cycle same money, they all are playing with the emotions of allots of couples, God will never forgive you Dr. Puneet. this is very bad clinic, this is only earning money nothing else, avoid this doctor, try in AIIMS, GANGA RAM ANY OTHER Government hospitals are better, all private IVF centre are cheaters, maainly Dr. Puneet is great cheater in Delhi.

  23. Soon after study some of the weblog posts in your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet site list and will be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my website also and let me know what you think.

  24. Appreciating the time and energy you invested in your site and in-depth details you provide. It really is amazing to come across a website from time to time which is not the similar old rehashed content. Amazing read! We’ve saved your blog and I’m including your RSS feeds to my hair and vitamins webpage.

  25. Are you tired of your ac repair in Dubai? Are you looking for Certified Professionals to carry out your ac repair with improved facilities and in an expert way?. Hot and humid conditions are not easy to tolerate, especially when you are not used to them. But, thanks to the air conditioners – living in such extreme settings can also become a pleasant experience, and more so if you are in Dubai.

  26. You are totally correct! I enjoyed reading through this article and I will return for more right away. My site is on the subject of excel for beginners, you might check it out if you’re still interested in that.

  27. Hello can you inform me which blogging platform you are working with? I am going to begin my personal site on av streaming soon although I’m having a tough time making a choice.

  28. My family and I unquestionably enjoy your blog and find most of your blogposts to be exactly what I am in need of. Do you offer people to create material for you? I wouldn’t mind creating a story regarding modern home plans or perhaps on some of the things you are writing about on this page. Nice page!

  29. facebook find love –
    With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright
    violation? My blog has a lot of unique content
    I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the
    internet without my permission. Do you know any ways
    to help stop content from being ripped off? I’d
    definitely appreciate it.

  30. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your
    content. Please let me know. Cheers

  31. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this info for
    my mission.

  32. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this
    board and I to find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I’m hoping to offer one thing back and aid others such as
    you helped me.

  33. Hi! Quick question that’s totally off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird
    when browsing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem.
    If you have any recommendations, please share.
    With thanks!

  34. My family and I totally enjoy your blog and find many of the posts to be exactly what I’m searching for. Do you offer guest writers to write articles for you? I would not mind writing a piece of text relating to NYC summon or perhaps on some of the subjects you are writing about on this page. Awesome internet site!

  35. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already
    😉 Cheers!

  36. ANPC is a free nation for and by the living men and women of the earth. This Private Nation is a grassroots association based out of Indonesia having its own International Charter, Peace Treaty, Constitution, Rules of conduct and has adopted the Declaration of Human Rights. These Treaties have been Registered by International Notice to the Hague and World Court as well as other agencies worldwide. The entire goal and mission of ANPC is WORLD PEACE and freedom for all the nationals of the world, focusing on a peaceful gathering together of all tribes and nations. Our living men and women are to live as Peaceful Inhabitants on the land, striving always to create a better world today and for future generations.

  37. Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to
    no data backup. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  38. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just
    your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all.
    However just imagine if you added some great images or videos to
    give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent
    but with images and videos, this website could definitely be one of the
    very best in its niche. Terrific blog!

  39. Having read this I thought it was rather informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this
    article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too
    much time both reading and commenting. But so what,
    it was still worth it!

  40. Undeniably consider that that you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be
    on the internet the easiest thing to remember of. I say to you, I definitely get irked even as other
    folks consider issues that they just don’t recognise about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and outlined out the entire thing without
    having side-effects , folks can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more.
    Thank you

  41. Hello there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this problem.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. With thanks!

  42. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading extremely
    slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue
    on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  43. I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have
    hit the nail on the head. The problem is something
    that not enough folks are speaking intelligently
    about. I’m very happy that I came across this
    in my search for something regarding this.

  44. Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

  45. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically
    tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for
    a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe
    you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look
    forward to your new updates.

  46. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog post or
    vice-versa? My blog covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I think
    we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

  47. You actually make it seem so easy with your
    presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for
    your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  48. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something.

    I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog.
    A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  49. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your
    blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  50. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later.

    Many thanks

  51. I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or
    weblog posts on this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this
    website. Studying this info So i am happy to show that
    I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I
    needed. I such a lot no doubt will make certain to
    don?t disregard this web site and provides it a glance on a continuing basis.

  52. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted
    to mention that I have truly loved surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing in your rss
    feed and I’m hoping you write again very soon!

  53. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are you using?
    Can I am getting your associate hyperlink in your host?

    I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  54. I have been surfing online greater than three hours lately, but I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours.
    It’s pretty value sufficient for me. Personally, if all web
    owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the net will likely be
    much more useful than ever before.

  55. First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that
    I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your
    thoughts prior to writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my
    mind in getting my ideas out there. I truly do enjoy writing however
    it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to
    be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or
    tips? Kudos!

  56. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my
    own weblog and was curious what all is needed to get set
    up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any tips or
    advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks

  57. Greetings I am so happy I found your blog, I really found
    you by mistake, while I was researching on Yahoo
    for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous
    post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all
    at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome b.

  58. I have been browsing on-line greater than three hours lately, yet I never discovered any
    fascinating article like yours. It’s lovely worth
    sufficient for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers
    made good content as you probably did, the
    web might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  59. Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent.

    I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you
    are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep
    it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a tremendous site.

  60. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did
    you hire out a developer to create your theme? Excellent work!

  61. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m certainly pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  62. Superb site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums
    that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get opinions
    from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

    Many thanks!

  63. I’m now not positive where you’re getting your info, but good topic.

    I must spend some time learning more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for magnificent information I used to
    be in search of this information for my mission.

  64. Greetings, I believe your blog may be having internet browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a
    quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful website!

  65. obviously like your web site but you need to take
    a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling
    problems and I in finding it very bothersome to inform the truth
    however I will definitely come again again.

  66. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more
    enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often.
    Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

  67. This is the right website for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic.
    You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa).

    You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that has
    been written about for decades. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  68. That is very fascinating, You are an overly professional blogger.
    I have joined your feed and sit up for in search of extra of your fantastic post.

    Additionally, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

  69. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in internet explorer, may test this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of other people will leave out your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  70. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your
    blog? My website is in the very same niche as yours and my users would
    definitely benefit from a lot of the information you present
    here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks a lot!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here