Obama & Lawrence Goldyn
A new biography of former President Barack Obama claims that he considered having a gay relationship while he was a student.
The book Rising Star: The Making Of Barack Obama, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Garrow, makes a number of revelations about Obama’s past personal life.
In addition to claims that he proposed twice to another woman before he met Michelle Obama, Garrow also says that Obama had a “friendship beyond the classroom” with openly gay assistant professor, Lawrence Goldyn.
“Goldyn made a huge impact on Barry Obama,” writes Garrow in the book. Obama was one of Goldyn’s European Politics students at Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1980.
“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,” asserts Garrow.
“But 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.”
Obama went on to become the most LGBT supportive president in US history, pursuing a number of progressive policies (some of which President Trump seems set on undoing).
In a 2008 interview with the Advocate, Obama said that Goldyn was one of two people who most influenced his views on LGBT people.
“He was a wonderful guy,” said Obama. “He was the first openly gay professor that I had ever come into contact with, or openly gay person of authority that I had come in contact with… just his comfort in his own skin and the friendship we developed helped to educate me on a number of these issues.”
In 2012, Goldyn told BuzzFeed that as a student Obama “talked to me, he hung around with me, he wanted to learn from me. He was clearly not gay. But he thought I was somebody unusual and somebody he had something to learn from.”
He added: “It’s a very rare straight man who will hang out with a gay teacher in order to learn things.”