Our differences unite us
Today’s exchange of letters can be found in Letters of Note: Fathers, a book which, incidentally, is the perfect gift to send to your dad on Father’s Day (that’s June 20th). Order a gift-wrapped copy here. It also features letters from Anne Frank, W.E.B. Du Bois, Jawaharlal Nehru, Groucho Marx, Che Guevara, Ted Hughes, Katherine Mansfield, Fergal Keane, Arthur Conan Doyle, Samuel Bernstein, and many others.
In an interview in May 2012, Barack Obama became the first sitting US President to publicly endorse same-sex marriage, saying:
I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.
Such a supportive statement was music to the ears of millions, not least Sophia Bailey-Klugh, a ten-year-old girl with two fathers who soon wrote to the President with a request for advice. Much to the delight of her whole family, a reply eventually arrived.
Dear Barack Obama,
It’s Sophia Bailey Klugh. Your friend who invited you to dinner. You don’t remember okay that’s fine. But I just wanted to tell you that I am so glad you agree that two men can love each other because I have two dads and they love each other. But at school kids think that it’s gross and weird but it really hurts my heart and feelings. So I come to you because you are my hero. If you were me and you had two dads that loved each other, and kids at school teased you about it, what would you do?
I just wanted to say you really inspire me, and I hope you win on being the president. You would totally make the world a better place.
Your friend Sophia
P.S. Please tell your daughters Hi for me!
November 1, 2012
Thank you for writing me such a thoughtful letter about your family. Reading it made me proud to be your president and even more hopeful about the future of our nation.
In America, no two families look the same. We celebrate this diversity. And we recognize that whether you have two dads or one mom what matters above all is the love we show one another. You are very fortunate to have two parents who care deeply for you. They are lucky to have such an exceptional daughter in you.
Our differences unite us. You and I are blessed to live in a country where we are born equal no matter what we look like on the outside, where we grow up, or who our parents are. A good rule is to treat others the way you hope they will treat you. Remind your friends at school about this rule if they say something that hurts your feelings.
Thanks again for taking the time to write to me. I’m honored to have your support and inspired by your compassion. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to dinner, but I’ll be sure to tell Sasha and Malia you say hello.
Huge thanks to Sophia Bailey-Klugh and family.