My name is Adam Hoover. I'm a gay rights activist, soon-to-be political science and business major at Miami University, and a new volunteer with President Obama's campaign here in Ohio.
I've supported Barack Obama since he first ran, because he seemed like a genuine person who really cares for other people. I was a sophomore in high school when he was first up for election, and seeing an African American getting elected president—that was change. It was the kind of thing I've been fighting for, and hoping to see. He had nothing, like I do now, and he grew up and became something. It made me feel like I could run for president someday—that's my goal, and I'm doing everything I can to get there.
When my mom told me that the President would be coming to Cincinnati for a grassroots event on my 18th birthday, I didn't miss a beat. The second I got off work, I jumped right in line for tickets. My mom and I waited overnight outside the local field office so we could be there when the doors opened the next morning. The reason I did that is simple: the President stood up for marriage equality. Marriage equality is something I've been fighting for, and I figured since he took the time to support me and support the people that I've met along my journey, I should at least be there to support him at his event.
As I was waiting in line, I started talking to a volunteer. That's when I realized: I tend to make the excuse that I can't find time to help out as much as I'd like. But when you see somebody like the President coming out to support you and everything you're trying to accomplish—it's a good feeling. That's worth even more than a vote. So even though I'm just getting started as a volunteer, I've already made 400 phone calls for the President this week—and so has my little sister.
Seeing the President in person was a once-in-a-lifetime experience—and it was even more amazing when he got the entire crowd at Music Hall to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. That doesn't happen every day.
After the President's speech, my mom raised her hand to ask him a question—she was shocked when he actually called on her. She did a double-take and got so excited. Then she stood up and asked a question about the LGBT community. Hearing him talk about equality and what he's done is the reason I'm behind him and willing to go into his office to help out. He's standing behind what I do, which is trying to make Ohio a little better for gay people. I just came out a year and a half ago, I live in a small Republican town, and I'm not always very accepted. Living like that means you're always waking up with a question on your mind: What's going to happen today because of who I am? You spend all your time convincing people to come out in support of who you are, and the President hasn't just done that—he's encouraged a lot of other people to do the same. He gives me hope for our politicians. He's the first president I've actually been able to follow and get involved with—I know I won't regret my vote.
That's why, over the next three months, I'm going to keep volunteering as much as possible. And after that, I'll keep volunteering and doing whatever I can. He's put a lot of time into supporting me, so I'm doing the same.
Join Adam—get the President's back today by signing up to volunteer where you live.