Monday, May 14, 2012

Barack Obama is NOT The First Gay President

Check out this week's cover of Newsweek.

Last week, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to state unequivocal belief of same sex marriage.  This is an absolutely historic thing for Barack Obama to do however, it simply places him on the right side of history.  I don't believe in giving people accolades for doing what is morally right.  There has been the suggestion that because he did this during an election year that he has risked the possibility of a second term in office.  Despite the loud screaming from republican troll Mitt Romney and the like, the truth is that majority of Americans are in favor of same sex marriage, and this number continues to increase. Being in favor of something when it is politically expedient to do so, should not be cast as a great risk.

I normally don't comment on U.S. politics, though I stay up to date on all the issues, but the above image really irritated me.  What Barack Obama did does not make him the gay president, anymore than Bill Clinton was the first Black president.  You don't take on the identity of a marginalized person simply be attempting to be an ally.  Now, to be clear, I'm not pulling a no homo here, I am talking about the appropriation of a marginalized identity in order to give the appearance of being liberal, inclusive and tolerant. A straight man, cannot by definition be the gay president.  He can advocate for GLBT rights and in fact should do so, but I reject this appropriation.

I have never seen Obama as a true leftist, despite the way that the American right tries to paint him as the second coming of Karl Marx.  He only appears to be left, because the right is so far out of touch with reality.  The left right continuum in the U.S. is well and truly fucked, and I believe as an outsider, it's really easy to see. 

What are your thoughts on the Newsweek Cover?