When it comes to LGBT rights, no other president has been more vocal, progressive and successful than President Barack Obama. Although Obama’s term in office is coming to a close, he hasn’t slowed down when it comes to pushing for LGBT rights and he recently made history as the first U.S. president to pose for the cover of an LGBT magazine.
Obama landed on the cover of Out magazine’s latest issue, and for all of his accomplishments in the LGBT rights movement, Obama was named “Ally of the Year” by the magazine.
In the feature story, Obama spoke about his journey as an LGBT ally and shared when he realized it would be an important piece of his presidential term.
“This really goes back to when I was a kid, because my mom instilled in me the strong belief that every person is of equal worth. At the same time, growing up as a black guy with a funny name, I was often reminded of exactly what it felt like to be on the outside. One of the reasons I got involved in politics was to help deliver on our promise that we’re all created equal, and that no one should be excluded from the American dream just because of who they are. That’s why, in the Senate, I supported repealing DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act]. It’s why, when I ran for president the first time, I publicly asked for the support of the LGBT community, and promised that we could bring about real change for LGBT Americans,” Obama said.
Obama also spoke about the growing acceptance for the LGBT community in America and how he can see the changes affecting the younger generation, especially his own teenage daughters, Sasha and Malia.
“Absolutely. To Malia and Sasha and their friends, discrimination in any form against anyone doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t dawn on them that friends who are gay or friends’ parents who are same-sex couples should be treated differently than anyone else. That’s powerful. … That’s also why it’s so important to end harmful practices like conversion therapy for young people and allow them to be who they are. The next generation is spurring change not just for future generations, but for my generation, too. As president, and as a dad, that makes me proud. It makes me hopeful,” Obama shared.
But that’s not all he had to say. Read his thoughts on same-sex marriage, as well as the story of his first gay friend, after the cut.