After laying down the partisan card so forcefully yesterday, this post is a nice little breather. For me, anyway. Dave Cullen, blogger, journalist, and one of my favorite acquaintances, writes about the Mary Cheney flap in Wednesday’s debate:
Much of the gay population is incensed. At the media.
Let’s get one thing straight. 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. That’s how all the gays I have spoken to the past 24 hours perceived the press response. You’re embarrassed for us. And it’s infuriating.
Consider the way a paraplegic or a blind person feels when you act just a little too sympathetic about their “plight.” We don’t want your pity! Can you see how insulting it is?
The only thing offensive about Kerry’s statement to us gay people was that he had to pause mid-sentence and gulp and sputter the terrifying word out: “Dick Cheney’s daughter, who is … a lesbian …”
It’s not a dirty word, John. And why is the press reacting like he exposed a breast?
Dave isn’t any kinder to those on the right who reacted similarly.
Normally, I don’t link to stuff you need a subscription to read. But Dave’s piece is so good, I suggest you read the whole thing. If you’re a Salon subscriber, then you’ve already paid for it. If not, you’ll just have to click through a pretty unobstrusive ad.
Whatever. But go on and read it now.
When Dave emailed me the link to his article, I replied:
I honestly don’t know what to make of Kerry & Edwards twice bringing up Mary’s orientation. Was it an honest tribute to her? A hypocritical attempt to remind homophobic Bush voters that the Veep has a gay daughter? Something in-between? Both? I just don’t know.
But I think you’re right about Lynne Cheney today. But what are your thoughts on Mrs Edwards, and her accusation that the Cheneys are somehow ashamed of their daughter? Nothing I’ve ever seen indicates that – in fact, quite the opposite.
Whatever is going on, I can’t help thinking of the movie “Heathers.” You know that one? High school kids murder a homophobe jock, then make it look like a gay-shame suicide. At the funeral, the jock dad cries, “I love my dead gay son.” And one of the cool kids mutters, “How do you think he’d feel about a son with a limp wrist and a pulse?”
It’s confusing times, man.