This year, as well as the past several years, has been monumental for the LGBT community. On the heels of the legalization of same-sex marriage, President Obama has been named “Ally of the Year” by Out magazine. The list is cultivated by Out to showcase the most influential people in LGBT news and media through the year. Included on this year’s list are actors, comedians, internet personalities, artists, activists and more who have made an impact on the LGBT community.
President Obama is the first sitting president to appear on the cover of an LGBT magazine, and is quoted in an interview with Out: “There had been a remarkable attitude shift—in hearts and minds—across America. The ruling reflected that. It reflected our values as a nation founded on the principle that we are all created equal. And, by the way, it was decades of our brothers and sisters fighting for recognition and equality—and too frequently risking their lives or facing rejection from family, friends, and co-workers—that got us to that moment.” The President acknowledging the years of work and dedication that activists have put into attaining rights for the community is key to framing the movement within the context of the last century.
Joining him on this list are actress Cynthia Nixon, writer Roxanne Gay, the team behind the musical Fun Home, Caitlyn Jenner, and many others who have been influential this year.
In the face of unprecedented obstructionism, President Obama has accomplished a lot over his two terms, and in the last several years, things have dramatically changed for the LGBT community. Of course, there is still so much to be done, but as I am writing this, the President has released a statement endorsing the Equality Act, which “would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal laws to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” Progress continues, and President Obama has been instrumental in pushing that forward.
Congratulations to President Obama for being named “Ally of the Year.”
Mehek Naresh is an Indian American lesbian, living and working in Florida after recently graduating with a Bachelors in Political Science. Her hobbies seeking out small talk with cashiers, reading, and spending more time staring at tumblr than she’d care to admit.