Obama's mention of 'transgender' a remarkable first

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Obama's Mention of Transgender: A Remarkable First

BY NEWSY

Whatever you thought of President Obama's seventh and next-to-last State of the Union address, there's probably an opinion out there to match your own.

It's been labeled everything from a "hail mary" to missed opportunities in foreign policy.

Heck, you might have even had to click a link that read "A rock star sealing his legacy" to get to this BBC analysis.

For the most part, the history will be made by what comes out of the President's speech in the coming months, and not the speech itself. Except for at least one thing.

"Condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender," President Obama said. "We do these things not only because they're right, but because they make us safer."

That was the first-ever mention of transgender, lesbian and bisexual in a State of the Union address, and, of course, it sparked innumerable reactions on social media.

GLAAD quickly posted an article praising the speech, writing it "makes this speech one that sets an agenda to create even more LGBT history and further LGBT equality."

That the president would make the first-ever mention of "transgender" in a State of the Union and get a standing ovation for the comments on human dignity would've been thought politically impossible when Obama entered The White House or even a few years ago.

But like most previously taboo political topics that make their way into a policy speech, the transgender community has seen its profile rise at an incredible pace in recent years.

From Laverne Cox becoming the first openly transgender actress to receive an Emmy nomination last year for her role in Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black" to Amazon's "Transparent" winning the Golden Globe for best comedy series, the transgender community is in a much harder-to-ignore position than ever before.

Time has even speculated the group's equality and mainstream acceptance has reached a tipping point.

Obama didn't stop there Tuesday night, tweeting late in his address the hashtag #LoveIsLove and encouraging more states to legalize same-sex marriage. But Obama's support of the transgender community was the main takeaway.

As Slate put it, "With his respectful, equality-minded embrace of the trans community on Tuesday, Obama likely gave this once-maligned group a significant boost in visibility. 2014 was an amazing year for trans rights. 2015 may be even better."

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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Obama's mention of 'transgender' a remarkable first
President Obama's suiting up for the big speech. Watch at 9pm ET → http://t.co/NKU3ndKHOu #YesWeTan http://t.co/l7EJZYVk9s
I’ll save you 45 mins. Obama will decry Republicans, beat up on private business and argue for more “free stuff". Your welcome. #SOTU2015”
#Obama perverts "prosecutorial discretion" by inviting a deportable to sit in place of honor at #SOTU w/1st Lady. I should sit with Alito.
Sen. Rubio gives a tip for running a marathon: https://t.co/agNy1hNaaV #SOTU2015
The speech is ready to deliver. Watch President Obama's State of the Union at 9pm ET → http://t.co/NKU3ndKHOu #SOTU http://t.co/pVPXx8XV60
Alan and Judy Gross are ready for the #SOTU. They're joining @FLOTUS at the Capitol: http://t.co/LVjobmK4kU http://t.co/2ZFSTDFpH0
Most exciting thing about the #sotu according to @RepKinzinger https://t.co/t8iHCgUKz7
Throwback to my first #SOTU as Speaker in 1995 -- 20 years ago this month. #gop
President seems to measure success by how many people are dependent on the govt. We should measure success by just the opposite.
The President wants to grow the economy in Washington. We want to grow the economy in cities and towns and villages all across America.
Obama signed this guy's tie #SOTU http://t.co/AslfhbkaOd
Biden is totally #Bidening his way into the State of the Union tonight. https://t.co/J58nF0zGJj #CNNSOTU
Check out the shoes Iowa U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is wearing tonight for her State of the Union rebuttal. #sotu http://t.co/rMCzcg4mxO
#SOTU FACT: It’s amazing that President Obama actually brags about cutting the deficit given his dreadful record. http://t.co/lGBhtgl1h4
Thanks to my staff, Yasmin, Marissa and Will for livetweeting #SOTU! So proud you represent me as you serve NJans. http://t.co/T3V7lhZw9m
Hate to start on a sour note, but Eric Holder is here. He is currently in contempt of Congress... #badform #SOTU #sctweets
When Obama talks about “free” know you the taxpayer will be paying for that $. #SOTU
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