New biography claims Barack Obama ‘considered’ a gay relationship
A new biography has claimed that Barack Obama ‘considered’ a same-sex relationship.
The new book comes from David Garrow, a historian and author who previously won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Martin Luther King Jr.
Garrow’s new unauthorised biography profiles the early years of the 44th President of the United States.
It makes a number of extreme, headline-grabbing claims about President Obama’s personal life, including a suggestion that he considered a gay relationship as a student.
The claim was made in relation to Obama’s close relationship with his mentor Lawrence Goldyn, an openly gay assistant professor at Occidental College.
“Goldyn made a huge impact on Barry Obama,” reads an excerpt republished in the Daily Mail.
“Almost a quarter century later, asked about his understanding of gay issues, Obama enthusiastically said, ‘My favourite professor my first year in college was one of the first openly gay people that I knew… He was a terrific guy’, with whom Obama developed a ‘friendship beyond the classroom’.
It continued: “Goldyn, years later, would remember that Obama ‘was not fearful of being associated with me’ in terms of ‘talking socially’ and ‘learning from me’ after as well as in class.
“Three years later, Obama wrote somewhat elusively to his first intimate girlfriend that he had thought about and considered gayness, but ultimately had decided that a same-sex relationship would be less challenging and demanding than developing one with the opposite sex.
“There is no doubting that Goldyn gave eighteen-year-old Barry a vastly more positive and uplifting image of gay identity and self-confidence than he had known in Honolulu.”
The excerpt concluded: “I think anyone and everyone, no matter what their role in life deserves a certain basic degree of privacy, in that context.”
Obama previously spoke about his relationship with Goldyn during an interview with The Advocate.
He said: “Somebody [who] influenced me, I actually had a professor at Occidental.
“He was a wonderful guy. He was the first openly gay professor that I had ever come in contact with, or openly gay person of authority that I had come in contact with.
“And he was just a terrific guy. He wasn’t proselytising all the time, but just his comfort in his own skin and the friendship we developed helped to educate me on a number of these issues.
Asked if they spoke about sexuality, Obama added: “As I said, he was really comfortable in his own skin, and the relationship was a strong friendship and I never felt as if I had to get over any mental hurdles to be close to him or to learn from him.
“He’s probably somebody who had a strong influence.”
After leaving the White House in January, the Obamas went on holiday with their longtime friends, US ambassador James Costos and his husband Michael Smith.