In a recently resurfaced 1982 letter, former President Barack Obama wrote about his thoughts on sexuality and his own "androgynous" mind, he also talks about “mak[ing] love to men daily, but in my imagination," the letter, obtained by The Post, offers a glimpse into the inner workings of a young Obama.
The 40-year-old letter, written by a 21-year-old Obama to his then-girlfriend Alex McNear, sheds light on his thoughts surrounding homosexuality and his own sexual fantasies. In the letter, Obama wrote, "In regard to homosexuality, I must say that I believe this is an attempt to remove oneself from the present, a refusal perhaps to perpetuate the endless farce of earthly life. You see, I make love to men daily, but in the imagination."
Obama's words reveal a contemplative young man grappling with his own identity and desires. He describes his mind as "androgynous to a great extent" and expresses a desire to think in terms of people rather than gender. Despite this, he acknowledges the physical reality of being a man and chooses to accept that contingency.
The recent rediscovery of this letter can be attributed to Obama biographer David Garrow, who discussed its contents in a lengthy interview. Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, included the redacted portions of the letter in his book, "Rising Star." The letter itself is currently owned by Emory University and is not available for photography or removal. Instead, Garrow's friend Harvey Klehr transcribed the redacted paragraphs by hand and shared them with the author.
The content of the letter has sparked controversy and debate. Some argue that it is a mere reflection of the sexual fantasies of a young man, while others see it as a significant revelation about Obama's sexuality. It is important to note that Obama has been married to his wife, Michelle Obama, since 1992 and has two children.
David Garrow, the biographer who brought attention to the letter, believes that these youthful musings are not unusual and that many individuals have sexual fantasies. He emphasizes that it is a part of human nature and should not be sensationalized.
The letter provides insight into Obama's mindset during his time at Occidental College in Los Angeles. It showcases his intellectual curiosity, introspection, and willingness to explore complex topics such as sexuality and identity. Obama's contemplations on androgyny and the role of imagination in his experiences highlight his deep introspective nature.
To fully comprehend the significance of the letter, it is crucial to consider the historical context in which it was written. The early 1980s marked a period of societal change and increasing acceptance of diverse sexual identities. This letter offers a glimpse into the thoughts and struggles of a young man during a time of shifting social attitudes.
While the letter may not drastically alter Obama's legacy, it adds a layer of complexity to his personal narrative. It humanizes him, revealing his inner thoughts and vulnerabilities. It serves as a reminder that even public figures have private lives and wrestle with questions of identity and sexuality.
The revelation of the letter has garnered attention from the media and the public. Some news outlets have sensationalized the content, focusing on the salacious aspects rather than the broader context. It is important to approach the discussion with nuance and respect for Obama's privacy.