Same-sex marriage in the United States
1 min

The gay halo effect

I think certain metaphors are poorly delivered. Like Newsweek's catchy cover titled "The First Gay President," which depicts a rainbow halo over Obama's head. 

In a way I guess the halo is smart, in the sense that if the president finally legalized gay marriage in the US, he would be a sort of saint — and why not? He's already the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, even though he's spent many years at war. If we can draw parallels, then he could very well have a gay halo without having legalized gay marriage or being gay himself. 

A note on grammar: "First Gay President" would imply that he is gay himself, which he is not. Not that a leader's sexuality should matter, but I'm just not sure what this cover aims to do? 

Here I have to speculate because I'm at loss: it's a déjà-vu of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech where he gently brings us back to earth by explaining that "we" could not eradicate violence in our lifetime; he alone cannot create peace. He had not even been president for a year, so why on earth was he receiving a prize for peace where a prize for diplomacy was more fitting?

At least the Nobel committee had a rationale grounded in reality, but as for Newsweek, I guess shock and sales are the culprits behind what feels to me like a sarcastic cover. What worries me most is that it will ignite some backlash from ultra-conservatives or plain ignorant folk and serve as propaganda. Now of course, the antidote to that would be for Obama to truly embrace equal rights for homosexuals and take a firm stand on this issue so as to avoid shit-talking and confusion. 


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