This was a moment I’d barely dreamed of: by his leadership, the president has empowered Americans to be their inclusive best
By now, the political implications of the president’s public support for gay marriage have been analyzed from all angles by hundreds of pundits. And while, of course, there are significant political ramifications from the president’s ABC interview, I, for one, would like to focus on those who will be most affected by it: the loving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered couples and their children who this week heard President Obama not just assert a policy position, but affirm their way of life – their very being.
That’s partly why I was so moved by the president’s announcement. He made it in the context of America’s loving LGBT families: his friends, neighbors, staff members. Obama made a human announcement, not a political one.
I came out of the closet when I was 17 years old. And I was terrified: scared of what others would think, and convinced that it would be impossible for me to live a full and fulfilling life as a gay woman. I never dreamed then that, in my lifetime, a president would give me the hope, affirmation and validation that Obama gave to millions of LGBT kids and young adults on Wednesday.
His message was implicit but clear: gay and lesbian citizens not only deserve to be treated equally, but deserve their own fair shot at the “pursuit of happiness” – to lead successful, whole and affirmed lives. And in doing so, I am convinced that the president saved lives.