Michelle Obama has shared some personal details of how she tried to escape The White House with her daughter, Malia, to join a crowd of people celebrating beyond the iron gates.
Speaking on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the ex- Flotus recalled how she was at home when the US Supreme Court legalised gay marriage in 2015 and the White House had been lit up in the LGBT colours to celebrate the historic ruling.
Watching the fun unfolding outside on television, she realised she wanted to get out and join in, but only her daughter Malia expressed a similar desire.
“Everybody was celebrating, people were crying and I thought I want to be in that,” she said.
As the two were determined to get outside, it dawned on them it wasn’t going to be as easy as they had thought.
Michelle Obama recalled:
“So when you come out of the residence and there’s an elevator, there’s usually an agent right there.When you come out they whisper our code names and they know we’re moving. So we rush down the stairs and you can see the agent thinking, why are they running? He doesn’t quite know what to do so he starts following us.”
Followed by a whole group of agitated and baffled staff the First Lady and her daughter rushed to the front door.
The uniformed policemen, the usher in charge of the house were summoning other people in and exclaiming:
“She’s trying to get out!”
Then the usher told her:
“Ma’am if you walk out there you will be on camera in front of the nation.”
The US President’s wife realised she was in ripped up shorts and T-shirt, without shoes or makeup and thought to herself:
“Hmm. You have a point.”
The former first lady, who had also described the incident in her bestselling book, “Becoming,” said eventually she and Malia busted past the agents on duty.
“And there it was, the hum of the public, people whooping and celebrating outside the iron gates. It had taken us 10 minutes to get out of our own home, but we’d done it,” she continued.
“We were outside, out of sight of the public but with a beautiful, close-up view of the White House, lit up in pride. Malia and I leaned into each other, happy to have found our way there.”
During the presidency of Barack Obama the US Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal across the country, declaring that refusing to do so would violate the Constitution.
Shortly after the high court’s landmark decision, the Obama administration celebrated it by lighting the White House in rainbow colours, with crowds of people joining festivities outside its walls.
Under Obama the LGBTQ community witnessed an expansion of rights and discrimination protections, as gay people were permitted to serve openly in the military in 2011 and a 2014 executive order banned companies that do federal work from discriminating against LGBTQ workers.