In her new memoir, Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares a touching episode from the day the U.S. Supreme Court declared marriage equality the law of the land.
The date was June 26, 2015.
Although she had just returned from a funeral service for the victims of the Charleston church shooting, she saw crowds gathering in front of the White House as evening fell.
From the window she could see a purple glow.
The staff had arrange to illuminate the residence in rainbow lights in celebration of the landmark ruling by SCOTUS.
Seeing the energy of the people, she found she was “suddenly desperate to join the celebration.”
After checking with her husband (“There are tons of people out there – you know I can’t do tons of people!”) and her youngest daughter, Sasha, who was engrossed in her iPad, Michelle found Malia was down for the adventure.
|(image via Twitter/WhiteHouse)|
“Looking out the window, I saw that beyond the gates on Pennsylvania Avenue, a big crowd of people had gathered in the summer dusk to see the lights. The north drive was filled with government staff who’d stayed late to see the White House transformed in celebration of marriage equality. The decision had touched so many people.
“From where I stood, I could see the exuberance, but I could hear nothing. It was an odd part of our reality.
“We made our way down a marble staircase and over red carpets, around the busts of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin and past the kitchen until suddenly we were outdoors. Malia and I just busted past the agents on duty, neither one of us making eye contact.
“The humid summer air hit our faces. I could see fireflies blinking on the lawn. 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. We were outside, standing on a patch of lawn off to one side, 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.”
In related news, Michelle appeared on ELLEN today to chat on the new book.
The segments included a visit to Costco with Ellen (where she created a foreseeable spectacle); her first kiss; Malia attending her prom with secret service agents in tow; and a discussion about inauguration crowd sizes (“Two of ours, one of someone else’s…”).
Michelle’s publisher, Crown Publishing, reports that Becoming sold over 725,000 copies on its first day making it one of the biggest debuts of the year.