Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

To Our ‘Gay’ President

Dear President Obama,

I have to admit you are full of surprises. As I am sure you are aware from your daily perusal of our humble blog, I am critically supportive of you. I worked for your election, cried when Jon Stewart called the election for Obama as part of The Daily Show and Colbert Report’s special live coverage of Indecision 2008, keeping the live show going a few more minutes in order to announce your/our victory, and praised your Obamacare, even if it was far from perfect.

I didn’t expect you to be so deadly cool and take out bin Laden like you did, when many hawks would be squawking at their roosts deciding if to or not.

Still, you will excuse me if I don’t jump up and down on your decision to support gay marriage, or the tribulations that have followed. You see, Mr. President, you simply did the right thing. That’s it.

I appreciate you having the guts to do it in an election year, but the President should do the right thing. You are the President of everyone – the blacks, the Jews, the Hispanics, the whites, the card-carrying NRA members, the religious and the secular. And you are the President of the gay community. You did the right thing.

So to thank you, here is a song that was brought out when it was difficult to come out as gay in Britain, sung by a singer who is not (I think) gay. But Billy Bragg wanted to be a representative of all progressive people and so he challenged us all with this song.

By the way Mr. President, I chose this version because it features the late Kristy MacColl who tragically died 12 years ago.

Thank you for reading this, sir. Always a pleasure. Here’s to another four years.


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

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5 thoughts on “To Our ‘Gay’ President

  1. Elizabeth Esposito on said:

    Thank you so much. It is refreshing to read good things about President O’bama. It really hurts me to hear and see people who treat him like he is a piece of trash. I almost want to leave and live in another country. I know it has to affect him deep down. Thank God we have a president who is tolerant of others. I just hope people are not stupid enough to believe everything they hear and vote for Romney.

    • I agree, Elizabeth. Some of my most frustrating discussions have been with people who hold left wing views and can’t see past criticizing him. It happened to me in a crowded room and I couldn’t help taking the person on (perhaps more than I usually do). I wonder if he thought about the damage he was doing with others in the room who are more centralist and undecided how they want to vote.

      Don’t leave though. This country needs its moderates now more than ever.


  2. Well, a week late but here I am. I meant to read this when it was fresh and admittedly it took me this long to get back to it. Great post, Alon. I like your approach of personalization. I agree on all points, that President Obama has had an embarrassingly lack of respect all along, and that this really shouldn’t even be such an issue in this country. Marriage is marriage, be it between two people (regardless of gender) or two businesses (and let us not forget that marriage as a business arrangement is not uncommon) and mostly, love is love. Why shouldn’t everyone have a chance at happiness? As I’ve said many times, I will never understand how someone can sit across from another person and say/think; I am better than you, I am superior, therefore you do not deserve humanity. But it exists, every day. It exists in my own family, sadly.

    Have you seen this story? The most recent to make me want to hang my head in shame at being an American.

    ~ Kymberlie

  3. Pingback: Join The Party « Left Coast Voices

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