Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Lady of the United States, thanked gay allies for their support in addressing the National Convention of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) on Friday.

During the event's opening ceremony at the Westin Alexandria hotel in Washington D.C., Biden told attendees that support was critical for gay teens.

“As a teacher and a mom, I know what [PFLAG founder] Jeanne Manford knew – that there is a direct connection between acceptance and positive, healthy outcomes in every important area of life, including education, mental health and physical health. So I'm particularly happy to join you all today not only as Second Lady, but as a mother and also as an educator,” Biden said.

“For children who are struggling with understanding their sexual orientation or gender identity, the teen years can be particularly challenging. And, of course, kids are not always kind to each other during these times, especially when one of them is different.”

“We know the devastating price of the failure to confront a hostile school climate where bullying and harassment can be daily occurrences. Together, we all need to stand up and do our part to keep all our kids safe, and give them the love, support and acceptance they need to learn and grow and fulfill their dreams.”

“I want to say to each of you here today: thank you for raising your voice and working together to open minds, shift attitudes and support all of our sons and daughters, students and neighbors,” she added.