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Letters to President-elect Obama: Vestal McIntyre

Letters to President-elect Obama: Vestal McIntyre


Open letters from 26 gay men and lesbians.

Dear President Obama,

Congrats! America is celebrating in a way that surpasses the party we had when Clinton was elected. The music alone is better. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" blows "Don't Stop" completely out of the water--and that's coming from a die-hard Stevie Nicks fan. I wish I were there with you all!

Unfortunately, I can't be. You see, I am kind of an exile. My husband, Tristan, is English. After we had been together two years, it came time for us to "shit or get off the pot," as Tristan put it. (Like a lot of English blokes, Tristan has a very, shall we say, spicy way of expressing himself.) Living apart was too painful, not to mention expensive, so one of us had to move. If we had been a straight couple, we would have had more than one option. But we're gay. In England the government treats gay people like regular citizens who are allowed to sponsor their spouses (or "civil partners," as they call us) for immigration purposes.

Now I'm here on a spouse's visa, able to work and get a lot of the benefits British citizens enjoy. I take the tube, eat fish and chips, and get buggered. (That can mean drunk, you know!) I even get to go to the doctor when I'm sick, which was something I didn't do in the United States, since I'm a lowly writer with no health insurance. But that'll be the subject of a later letter. We've got four years, Barack! Four glorious years!

Which brings me to the favor I'd like to ask. I know that you're a supporter of the Uniting American Families Act, a bill before Congress that would change immigration law to allow Americans to sponsor their foreign same-sex partners. I wish you would have cosponsored the bill, but I'm willing to put that behind us if you give it a boost now. The bill has been referred to committee in both the Senate and the House, which can be a graveyard for bills such as this one, but I have a lot of hope for our little UAFA. In the last couple of months alone, several senators and representatives joined in cosponsoring the legislation, bringing the total to 18 senators and 118 representatives!

Your victory has everyone back home feeling very positive, hopeful, and ready for something new. Maybe you could use a little of that momentum to garner more support for the bill and push it through. Then Tristan and I could live in the United States if we so chose. I wouldn't be separated from my little niece and nephew and 77-year-old dad anymore. We could live in a town with more than 10 sunny days a year, and my vitamin D levels would return to normal.

And in four years Tristan and I would be able to attend your re-election party! Think it over. We're good at parties.

Sincerely yours,

Vestal McIntyreAuthor of You Are Not the One and the forthcoming Lake Overturn, out in April

More Letters to the President-elect:Tammy Baldwin, Democratic member of Congress from Wisconsin

Daniel Tammet, author of Born on a Blue Day

Evan Wolfson, Executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry

Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign

Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter

Michelangelo Signorile, radio host and author of Queer in America

Tammy Bruce, radio talk-show host and author of The New American Revolution

Kenji Yoshino, professor at New York University School of Law and the author of Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights

Vestal McIntyre, author of You Are Not the One and the forthcoming Lake Overturn

Jarrett Lucas, codirector of the 2008 Soulface Q Equality Ride

Michael Lowenthal, author of Charity Girl and Avoidance

Suzanne Westenhoefer, comedian and star of the documentary A Bottom on Top

Jim Buzinski, CEO and cofounder of

Perez Hilton, blogger, radio host, and television personality

Carole Midgen, former California state senator

Pam Spaulding, Durham, N.C.-based blogger

Paris Barclay, Executive Producer/Director HBO's In Treatment

Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center

Jeffrey Prang, Mayor of West Hollywood

Jorge Valencia, Executive director and CEO of Point Foundation

Mark Leno, California assemblyman

The Reverend Doctor Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator emeritus, Metropolitan Community Churches\

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality

Donna Rose, transgender activist

Peter Tatchell, LGBT human rights campaigner and spokesman for OutRage!

Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director, Immigration Equality

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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