The first black President of the United States, an open-minded leader and a defender of progressive values, Barack Obama greatly upset American politics during his two terms in the White House. It is notably thanks to him that homosexual couples obtained the right to marry in 2015, following a decision by the Supreme Court, suggested by the Head of State. Moreover, he himself asked questions about his sexuality in his youth, long before he met his soul mate Michelle Obama. This is what we learn in a letter written by the former President over 40 years ago, in November 1982. Addressed to his then-girlfriend, Alexandra McNeal, it was revealed (in part) to the public in 2017 by the Rose Library of Emory University, which owns it. But on August 12, 2023, our colleagues from New York Post unveiled the rest of its content, including the very intimate confidences of Barack Obama on his sexuality and his gender identity.
“I make love with men every day, but in my imagination”
In this missive, Barack Obama confides as follows: “As far as homosexuality is concerned, I must say that I believe it is an attempt to extract oneself from the present, a refusal perhaps to perpetuate the endless farce of life on Earth. You see, I make love with men every day, but in my imagination.” The then 21-year-old political science student then wrote about his relationship to gender: “My mind is androgynous to a large extent and I hope it will be even more so, until I can think in terms of people, not women as opposed to men. But, coming back to the body, I see that I have become a man, and physically, in life, I choose to accept this contingency. In all, nine letters are currently on display at Emory University. Sent between September 1982 and April 1984, these evoke the vision of Barack Obama concerning the future, society, school but also travel. In one of them, he expresses in particular all his affection for his girlfriend: “I think I know that I miss you, that my concern for you is as wide as the air, that my trust in you is as deep as the sea, that my love is rich and abundant. With love, Barack.” A particularly poetic statement, proof that the young student would become a talented speaker in the future.
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