Granted, I may not be the biggest politics buff around, but I know a thing or two about trying to get attention. I was once a 16-year-old teenage girl, after all.

Newsweek’s May 21 issue, which hit iPads yesterday and newsstands today, features a cover with President Obama, complete with a rainbow halo around his noggin and a caption that reads, “The First Gay President.”

It’s impossible that it’s a coincidence this cover came out a week after Time magazine’s controversial breastfeeding cover.

I know that the cover’s caption could also be seen as not solely attention-seeking but also as a positive nod to Obama’s statement given last week in favor of same-sex marriage, which was a great moment for the nation’s LGBT community and, you know, human rights in general. I also can appreciate how the cover could give a sense of support reminiscent of Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project to LGBT teenagers across the country who are fighting to be accepted for who they are.

I see your one idiotic high-school bully and raise you the freakin’ President of the United States.

But couldn’t Newsweek conceptualize a cover that highlighted Sullivan’s piece and applauded the president’s support of gay marriage without using a headline (a play on Clinton being referred to as the first black president) that clearly was just for provocative means?

The accompanying cover story is by Andrew Sullivan, an openly gay political writer and blogger. The story is now available for viewing online, and in it Sullivan compares the experiences of the president to that of the gay community. Obama “had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family,” he wrote.

What a legitimate point. Now if only the cover was able to reflect the impact of Obama’s statement without being so goddamn teenage-girl, for lack of a better term.


No A. Put the A in, and you die.


  1. They definitely stirred the controversy they desired with this issue. I still feel he made the move now, to win the election with gay votes. Politics and strategies. I just can’t trust any of them. I’m the first declared gay gonzo journalist according to my enemies on facebook.

  2. Abby Bower Abby Bower says:

    To the author of “Newsweek’s “The First Gay President” Cover”;

    First of all, why do you find Newsweek’s title to be such a “teenage girl” way of putting things? Why not a teenage boy? Teenage in general? Or… gay man way of putting things?… I find the last sentence in your article to be offensive.

    Secondly, just to clarify the context, Newsweek is pulling from the media announcing former President Bill Clinton as being “The First Black President”, back in the 90′s. It’s true that this will slip right by most people who don’t do their research or know that particular piece of media history.

    I do agree that the cover title distracts from the subject matter. I take some offense, however, to the way you worded your article.