Newsweek Calls President Obama the First Gay President

by Britni Danielle

After President Obama came out as a supporter of gay marriage last week, many began wondering how his public approval for marriage equality would affect his reelection efforts in the fall.

While many asserted that the President’s endorsement was a shrewd political move aimed at firing up the base and appealing to donors, others argued that the President’s stance would alienate voters and make his reelection effort that much more difficult in battleground states.

Despite the political calculations, however, most agree that President Obama’s approval of gay marriage is a historic moment considering he’s the first sitting president to do so.

Because of the President’s announcement, Newsweek dubbed Mr. Obama “The First Gay President.”

Andrew Sullivan writes:

Barack Obama had to come out of a different closet. He had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family. The America he grew up in had no space for a boy like him: black yet enveloped by loving whiteness, estranged from a father he longed for (another common gay experience), hurtling between being a Barry and a Barack, needing an American racial identity as he grew older but chafing also against it and over-embracing it at times.

This is the gay experience: the discovery in adulthood of a community not like your own home and the struggle to belong in both places, without displacement, without alienation. It is easier today than ever. But it is never truly without emotional scar tissue. Obama learned to be black the way gays learn to be gay. And in Obama’s marriage to a professional, determined, charismatic black woman, he created a kind of family he never had before, without ever leaving his real family behind. He did the hard work of integration and managed to create a space in America for people who did not have the space to be themselves before. And then as president, he constitutionally represented us all. 

Years ago, Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton “the first black president,” so I suppose it makes sense that President Obama—whose Administration has done more for the LGBT community than any other president–can be the first gay president. Or as Michael Eric Dyson said today on MSNBC, borrow one until you get your own.

What do you think of ‘Newsweek’ calling President Obama ‘The First Gay President’?

  • Isis


  • Sasha

    That is so insulting and just shows how print media continues to disrespect the President. Wonder how he’s gonna bounce back from this….

  • jamesfrmphilly

    wonder who all them gay republicans will vote for?

  • mluv

    smh.. people always have SOMETHING to say about EVERYTHING HE DOES or SAYS!! I would LOVE to see all those who give Obama grief to be president for 1 effing day!!!

  • befree

    The same Andrew Sullivan who promoted the idea The Bell Curve and the notion that blacks are intellectually inferior. This could not be the same Andrew Sullivan who Ta-Nehisi Coates took to task? Wait, you can be gay and racist? No I don’t believe it.
    I am sorry I have no use for anything Andrew Sullivan has to say.

  • Whatever

    Obama is brilliant! He went after the “gay vote” and he is going to get it by simply saying he supports gay marriage. Does that mean that states are now obligated (or will in the future) to make gay marriage legal? Absolutely not.

    Now he’s the “first gay president”? lmao… Just like Clinton is the “first black president” for playing the sax on Arsenio I guess…. politics as usual.

  • Whatever

    They will be voting Republican.

  • Sydney

    I don’t have a problem with Obama’s views, but I thought this cover was a joke when I first saw it online – a rainbow halo? really?!

  • LovelyAnon

    OMG…*rolling my eyes*

  • Whatever
  • Me27

    that cover and article are a joke. And the writer’s and editors all deserve to be slapped. It’s like they are making a public mockery of both the president and the issue of gay marriage/gay rights.

  • Toppin (Formerly Known As Just Sayin’)

    I hate to be the one to tell you this but YES you can be gay and racist….just like you can be black and homophobic.

    Not sure if you were being funny or not.

  • Grant

    Newsweek has always been in the business controversial covers, just as Time Magazine has been. Andrew Sullivan on the other hand, has always been in the business of bullshit and centrism. He will make a faux case for Obama being the first Gay President, as Bill Clinton was the first “Black” President. I do not listen to any words that he has to say, he finds it impossible to come around and destroy the Bush Administration for Iraq and all of the other disasters that inept man wrought on us, but has no problem making trivial ticky-tack points against the Obama Administration. He has no concept of race in America(as he is a foreigner) and does not care to ever address the extreme racism and xenophobia of the Republican base. He may write cute pieces advocating for working across the aisle and thanking the President for his support, but he is a hack brown-noser who has zero integrity.

  • JessicaMercedes

    @whatever…I love that reply. LOL. I have no doubt that the rebulicans will continue to vote with their party. I’m afraid that homophobic or “Christian” democrats won’t vote stick with their party this time around, because of this issue.

  • JessicaMercedes

    I don’t like this title and I didn’t like the title that was given to Bill Clinton either. Black people always trying to claim somebody. LOL. I also dislike the excerpt from the article. Barack Obama is not the first gay president. He is not gay. And I know some ignorant people are going to see this cover and take it literally. Just like they did when they saw the cover of the Obama’s in “terrorist” gear and Muslim attire, and people just ran with that. SMH.

  • Pingback: Newsweek Calls President Obama “The First Gay President”: “Obama Learned to Be Black the Way Gays Learn to Be Gay” | Young. Hip. Scene.

  • DBG

    He made an issue of something he didnt have to in a reelection year… To what? Shore up his base? It was an unwarranted move. It wont cost him the election but some, while they’ll still vote for him…. Probably wont campaign as hard (if at all) for him. And every vote will count.

    Sucker move.


  • Befree

    @ toppin

    •• blank stare••

  • Fuchsia

    Honesty whether calculated or not always throws people off when it comes to politics. I think News Week might be reading way too much into this while they compare his bi-racial struggles to his opinion on marriage equality. It’s really not that serious.

  •!/clnmike Tonton Michel

    As of right now your right, the proof is in the legislation.

  • Misty_Moonsilver

    haha its awful but entertaining. I’ll allow it.

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