Queer: October 2004 Archives
I'm sick of reading people say it's offensive to mention that Mary Cheney is a lesbian. She is openly gay, she brought her partner onto the stage after the VP debate, and she was gay for pay as a liaison to the gay/lesbian community for Coors.
First, from Hank Stuever in the Washington Post -- it's scary when Andrew Sullivan and I agree on something.
"How incredibly sad for Mary Cheney, the lesbian in question. And not for the reasons that her parents and the pundits have been screaming about," journalist Dave Cullen wrote on Salon.com, deftly describing his own offense at the latest chapter in the quiet saga of Mary. "It is not an insult to call a proudly public lesbian a lesbian. It's an insult to gasp when someone calls her a lesbian. . . . You're embarrassed for us. And it's infuriating."
Andrew Sullivan, the gay conservative pundit and obsessive blogger, takes a stab at the elusive Meaning of Mary:
"The Cheneys didn't respond to . . . [Republican senatorial candidate] Alan Keyes' direct insult of their own daughter in Illinois. They have not voiced objections to a single right-wing piece of homophobia in this campaign," Sullivan posted Saturday.
"But they are outraged that Kerry mentioned the simple fact of their daughter's openly gay identity. What complete b.s. . . . The GOP is run, in part, by gay men and women, its families are full of gay people, and yet it is institutionally opposed to even the most basic protections for gay couples. You can keep up a policy based on rank hypocrisy for only so long. And then it tumbles like a house of cards. Kerry just pulled one card from out of the bottom of the heap. Watch the edifice of double standards slowly implode. Gay people and their supporters will no longer acquiesce in this charade. Why on earth should we?"
Before she became a public enigma, she used to earn a nice living as a corporate liaison for Coors Brewing Co., going into gay bars (sometimes with Mr. International Leather 1999, who would wear his chaps and straps, according to the Advocate) to convince everyone that Coors had changed. For a long time, gay people were implored by activists to boycott Coors, based on its funding of anti-gay causes. Mary got in there, talked about Coors's new domestic-partner benefits for employees. Mary said, here, try a Coors. She was good at that, and the boycott wafted away, and you didn't see as much Bud Light in gay bars.
Mary is mythic, perhaps tragic, and don't forget sapphic. The conundrum for the liberal-hearted, stereotypical homo voter is this: She likes being Republican. She is a lesbian Republican.
One day, years from now, Mary may explain it to us. For now it's a tale about a woman trapped in a tower circled by bats. This is a common gay conceit, a misconception: Mary needs to be freed from all this. But just when you think she's rescued, she's back in that fortress again.Finally you realize that she returns there voluntarily, that she is not trapped, that she was born and raised in the tower. Absent any words from Mary herself, you can only assume that she would be the first to tell you she belongs there.
The second is from Margaret Carlson, and appeared locally in Newsday. I had to link to it as soon as I read this wonderful section:
Republicans know they have to be careful how they strike back for fear of alienating their moderates. For the first time, Log Cabin Republicans are not supporting the GOP. The constitutional amendment on gay marriage was too far to go for a tax cut.