May 03, 2013

>GLSEN Student Leader Conrad Honicker Talks About Meeting Obama, First Lady

>GLSEN student leader Conrad Honicker and his parents had an opportunity to speak with President Obama and the First Lady directly before Monday's LGBT Pride event at the White House.

Conrad blogged about his experience and was nice enough to vlog about it in the GLSEN office today.

Excerpts from his blog:

After lunch we casually walked to the White House with a group called [Senior Action] in a Gay Environment (SAGE), and met up with the rest of the reception outside the gates by the East Room. There we mingled in the heat with rich gay people and prominent gay rights activist. Notably, I was introduced to Gene Robinson - one my dearest heros. He was fabulous!

When in the White House we mingled some more before being ushered into the "Green Room" (which is green), and lined up to meet the President. At this point I was forcing myself to breathe; "I'm on a mission!" I kept thinking to myself. On entry into the room, I heard Obama's poignant and comforting voice greet me. His handshake was firm. Instantly, "Hello Mr. President! Thank you for being a visible ally for teens like me." No real response, and then:

"Those are THE coolest shoes that have ever been in the White House!"

No time to think about compliments from the President. He wasn't listening so I moved to Michelle who I feel I might have fallen into her embrace (which makes sense because this was called a "clutch"). I told her how important it was for her and her husband to stand up and be allies, and she commented that it was far more important that I keep doing the work I was doing, and I said, "Yes, but it makes the difference it you were visible!"

Snap. Picture taken. My clarion call to action was over in less than 45 seconds. My parents and I delivered our message and huddled outside the room giggling like children.

...

Finally, Michelle and Barack were off - no more mingling for them. I smiled and waves and mouthed, "Thank you!" to Michelle, and without missing a beat, she opened her arms for a hug, and beckoned me to her; I swiftly fell into her arms, and whispered one last time, "Thank you for being an ally - it means the world to me!"

Conrad's vlog:

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