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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 28, 2023

Michelle Obama was never a man

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  • Michelle Obama was never a man.

PolitiFact has repeatedly debunked false claims that former first lady Michelle Obama was born a man, but they persist online. 

A Feb. 15 Facebook post, for example, claims that official government documents "expose" her "14 year history as a man."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)

A video in the Facebook post cites what a July 2022 News Punch blog post described as "official documents obtained from the Illinois State Board of Elections" that supposedly "reveal Obama officially changed her sex to female." 

The image in both the blog post and the Facebook post appears to show a voter registration card for Michelle Obama. In the space to indicate the applicant’s sex, the M is circled, and in a section for the applicant’s name, if changed, Obama’s maiden name is misspelled: "Michelle L Robison." Her maiden name is Robinson

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Matt Dietrich, a public information officer for the Illinois State Board of Elections, told PolitiFact that the agency doesn’t keep original voter registration cards like the one that appears in the posts. 

The card pictured in the video didn’t originate at the Illinois agency, Dietrich said. "We have no record of this voter’s record ever indicating any gender other than female." 

We contacted the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners to try to learn more about the purported voter registration card in the posts but didn’t hear back. 

However, it has long been established that Obama was never a man.

She was born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in January 1964 and gave birth to two daughters.

We rate claims that government documents prove she was a man Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Facebook post, Feb. 22, 2023

People, 17 Timeless Michelle Obama Throwback Photos from Her Early Years, July 17, 2022

USA Today, Michelle Obama: See photos of her through the years, Feb. 3, 2021

Barack Obama Presidential Library, First lady Michelle Obama, visited Feb. 28, 2023

News Punch, Michelle Obama registered to vote as a man In 1994 according to Illinois State Board of Elections, July 22, 2022

PolitiFact, No, Alexa doesn’t confirm Michelle Obama was born Michael. This is Pants on Fire!, Nov. 15, 2022

PolitiFact, Image of Michelle Obama is absolutely altered, May, 28, 2021

PolitiFact, No, Michelle Obama is not a transgender woman, Oct. 31, 2020

PolitiFact, No, Obama didn’t call his wife his ‘husband Michael,’ Oct. 17, 2022

Email interview with Matt Dietrich, public information officer, Illinois State Board of Elections, Feb. 27, 2023

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Michelle Obama was never a man

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