Just when you thought that the only news that would capture the social media’s fancy from the NATO Summit would be all related to US President Donald Trump – from his handshakes to the hand-swatting, the shoving and the golf-carting – it so turns out, there’s another photo that’s been making news, and it has nothing to do with the billionaire businessman, even if it does feature his wife Melania. Moreover, this photo has generated a lot of interest for a more positive reason.
A picture from the summit where the spouses and partners of political leaders are posing for a photograph together is going viral and receiving a lot of love from social media. It is the presence of Gautheir Destenay, spouse of Luxembourg’s first openly gay Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, that has grabbed everybody’s attention. It goes without saying that Destenay’s presence will go down as a decisive moment for LGBTQ representation, and is being widely praised across the world, especially on Twitter.
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) May 26, 2017
Other than Destenay, the picture has the First Lady of France Brigitte Macron, First Lady of Turkey Emine Gulbaran Erdogan, US First Lady Melania Trump, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Jens Stoltenberg’s partner Ingrid Schulerud, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev’s partner Desislava Radeva, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel’s partner Amelie Derbaudrenghien, partner of Slovenia’s Prime Minister Cerar’s wife Mojca Stropnik and First Lady of Iceland Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir.
The most popular reaction to the photo was, understandably, of applause and appreciation.
— Phillip C Bollinger (@Shayach) May 27, 2017
The presence of Luxembourg’s first gentleman in this photo shows the world’s progress towards equality despite all that’s happening pic.twitter.com/oA1sRTIpDU
— tangerine (@salma_hamed14) May 26, 2017
— PoisonIvy (@LemonsAh) May 26, 2017
— Bru London (@Brubrulondon) May 26, 2017
— Beyza Burcak (@beyzaburcak) May 26, 2017
— Curtis Kimberlin Jr. (@SirKimberlin) May 26, 2017
Obsessed with this photo of Gauthier Destenay, husband of Luxembourg’s openly-gay Prime Minister, hanging-out with the NATO WAGs. Goals tbh. pic.twitter.com/rbaRtogTfz
— Jordan Pfotenhauer (@JordanPfot) May 26, 2017
Oddly enough, the photo is now making news for the omission of the very reason it went viral. As it turns out, the White House tweeted the same photo out, but omitted Destenay’s name in the caption. The tweet drew a lot of flak on the micro-blogging site, what with some people terming the omission as disrespectful and embarrassing.
Oh look!! The White House didn’t name Gauthier Destenay, husband of Luxembourg’s PM Xavier Bettel.
What a bunch of jerks. 👎 pic.twitter.com/cwaF0DLsON
— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) May 27, 2017
The error was fixed after around 10 hours, but by then there was enough buzz around it online. A White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham reportedly said it was an oversight.
But interestingly this wasn’t the only reason for the virality of the photo. While we’ve spoken about the laudatory comments the picture received, there were a couple of voices that also pointed out the absence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s husband, as well as the fact that we still live in a world where most world leaders are still male.