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Barack Obama 'ashamed' to have called people 'f*gs' as an 'insecure' teen

The former US President makes the confession in new memoir A Promised Land

2020-11-19

Barack Obama has admitted he used to use the word "f*g" as an "insecure" teen.

In his new memoir, the former US President also confesses to using the word gay as an insult back in the 70s.

Obama, whose book A Promised Land is out now, adds that he felt "ashamed" of his language.

 
 
 
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"Callow attempts to fortify our masculinity"

In the memoir, Obama also shares for the first time that his great aunt was in a same-sex relationship.

He writes (as reported by Pink News): “I grew up in the 70s, a time when LGBTQ life was far less visible to those outside the community, so that [grandmother] Toot’s sister (and one of my favourite relatives), aunt Arlene, felt obliged to introduce her partner of 20 years as ‘my close friend Marge’ whenever she visited us in Hawaii.

“And like many teenage boys in those years, my friends and I sometimes threw around words like ‘f*g’ or ‘gay’ at each other as casual put-downs – callow attempts to fortify our masculinity and hide our insecurities.

“Once I got to college and became friends with fellow students and professors who were openly gay, though, I realised the overt discrimination and hate they were subject to, as well as the loneliness and self-doubt that the dominant culture imposed on them. I felt ashamed of my past behaviour – and learned to do better.”

While the f-word brings back painful memories for many in the LGBTQ+ community, others embrace and reclaim the term.

Read the Attitude December issue, available to download and to order globally now.

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