During the 2008 Presidential elections, the Obama campaign rightly identified queer people and their straight allies as a crucial liberal base to be pandered to. Upon taking office, however, the Obama Administration seems much more interested in expending a lot of effort claiming that it has policies that expand and entrench GLBT rights while not doing much in particular. Sure, the James Byrd/Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act was a great thing, and Obama took the opportunity of signing the bill to compare himself to another leader with dubious human rights claims, President Johnson. (However, the bill includes gender expression as a category of protection, an advancement that is hugely important for the transgender community, and one that the gay community is too often satisfied to leave out of other anti-discrimination legislation.) The HIV travel ban, which prevented HIV-positive foreigners from visiting the United States, has been finally lifted.
Yet these are merely tokens compared to what the Obama Administration could really do for queer rights, if they were actually an interest. Not even a priority – merely a sideline. Dan Savage, for instance, suggests that the president should order Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to not be enforced, an action that would free up important personnel and time from ridiculous investigations into gay soldiers’ personal lives. This has something that the President promised but has not gotten around to it. Lt. Dan Choi’s recent visit to University of Puget Sound has magnified that particular issue in local news, but there is a huge list of things the President could do – and isn’t. This inaction has not played well in the gay community, and the administration has been on the defensive, mostly to secure funding for Democrats from its liberal base. The gay community has become the fundamentalist Christians of the left: we get pandered to, but the deliverables are scanty.
Therefore, in order to promote the advancement of legal rights for the GLBT community, I am writing this open letter to Malia Obama.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20006
RE: Your Future Sexual Orientation*
Dear Ms. Obama,
At eleven years old, you will soon begin to experience certain…changes. Aside from growing hair in weird places, you will soon have uncontrollable and frequent sexual thoughts and fantasies. As you begin to develop an adult understanding of your sexuality, I urge you to consider going gay.
Women have a lot to offer as sexual partners. Aside from the capacity for multiple orgasms, the huge and interesting variability in tastes between women, and our generally more attractive bodies (though men are okay, I guess), women have better communication skills and are more likely to take care of you if you become sick. Thus women offer great advantages for short- and long-term relationships.
As you explore your sexuality, I urge you to share your thoughts on the desirability of women with your parents, particularly your father, the President. One advantage that men can offer you in all states is spousal rights – insurance coverage, equal custody of children, medical decision-making, burial rights, inheritance rights, financial rights and protections, and so forth. You can change this. One hint that one or both of his daughters have the hots for ladies and your father President Obama will suddenly take a huge interest in the status of lesbians and other sexual minorities in this fine nation. I am sure that your parents have instilled in you the values of equality and justice for all, but there is nothing like the possibility of injustice to a family member to motivate those in power to rethink the status quo. This is the benefit and purpose of coming out: to change the hearts and minds of those that love you.
But, Ms. Obama, you only have a short window in which to do this: before Inauguration Day 2013, on the off-chance that your father does not get re-elected. Many people choose to come out in college, but you would be joining a new wave of young people exploring and discussing their minority sexual preference with their parents and communities. Even, after a short period of contemplation, you conclude that men rather than women tingle your clitoris, the good you could do for the queer community may be substantial. In one day, you could accomplish what your father would not do for ten months. Think about it: your adolescent bi-curiosity could produce the same number of rights for American queers as every gay rights activist since Stonewall. Isn’t that a fine goal for any right-thinking American daughter of the President?
*Note: I am not, other than posting this on the internet, actually sending this to Malia Obama in any way. Because she is a child.