President Barack Obama became the first American president to appear on the cover of an LGBT publication, OUT magazine. The publication highlighted the extraordinary change brought into the lives of LGBT Americans under the administration.
“This is the first time a sitting president has been photographed for the cover of an LGBT title,” OUT’s editor-in-chief, Aaron Hicklin wrote in the magazine’s Editor’s Letter. He continued, “A historic moment in itself, and a statement on how much his administration has done to advance a singularly volatile issue that tarnished the reputations of both President Clinton and President Bush.”
In the interview with Mr. Obama, Hicklin underscored the president’s transformation with regards to the LGBT community, particularly on marriage equality. “President Obama’s evolution on marriage equality has been something to behold,” Hicklin wrote. The editor-in-chief noted that the first African-American president came to office with the strong belief that marriage was an institution exclusive to a man and woman. He went about underscoring that when Mr. Obama became president in 2009, only two states allow same-sex marriage. “Today it is a right nationwide,” he wrote, stressing that “without the active engagement of the 44th president of the United States, who has made securing the rights of LGBT Americans a fundamental part of his legacy, we’d still be working to fulfill that dream.”
Mr. Obama, when asked about the particular moment when he realized LGBT equality would be one of the significant focus of his administration, said his mother was the one who instilled in him 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,” the president said.