moral politics questions for “outing” the “gays” — why are they rumored anyways?

Okay.  I’m having a little problem with this one.

The film tries very hard to make the case that outing is a moral act. Sometimes a gay politician’s hypocrisy runs so deep, it is difficult to argue with that. Yet the film never really addresses, in any meaningful way, whether closeted Democrats also deserve to be outed. Mike Rogers claims that “90 percent” of closeted gay politicians are Republicans, and it’s easy to understand why the GOP fosters such a culture. But there certainly are Democratic political figures who have long been rumored to be gay or lesbian: Janet Napolitano and Janet Reno, for example. By leaving them out of the story, Rogers and Outrage’s filmmaker, Kirby Dick, present an incomplete portrait of what they call the national media “conspiracy” to hide the true sexual identities of closeted gay politicians. For if Charlie Crist and Larry Craig benefited from mainstream media silence on their sexuality, so did Reno and Napolitano. But the film doesn’t really explore how the closet might affect ambitious political women, or Democrats, differently from the way it affects ambitious political men and Republicans. (Notably, Condi Rice is absent from Outrage. Was it simply too difficult to find evidence to back up claims that she is a lesbian?)

You know who’s also supposed to be gay?
Hillary Clinton.  Recirculated in that weirdly forgotten Ed Klein anti-Hillary Clinton book.

Also, I might add, that whatever rumor that Condelleza Rice is gay is offset by the rumor that she had an affair with George W Bush.  No, really — it circulated on one or two or three of the sub – National Enquirer tabloids.  The same one that is now reporting that Barack Obama has had a gay affair.

It’s also interesting that Janet Reno and Janet Napolitano are plucked out there.  They occupy roughly the same space in the mind of swarths of right-wing politicians — Waco for Reno, the DHS Report for Napolitano.  I suppose they set off some gaydar for peoples who care much.  Though, Napolitano hasn’t had enough of a national profile to get into the tabloids.  I suspect if we look back, Reno did.  The question we have before us now is — will Napolitano be played by a man on Saturday Night Live, as Reno was?

Why are they gay?  Dana Goldstein seems a sexist trope.  Anyway, the female politicians are deemed gay because they’ve wielded power and  because of their lack of child birth.  Frankly.  Find me an image of Reno, Rice, or Napolitano with some life-partner or other, and they’ll still probably fall short of Larry Craigism.

Hell.  Larry Craig falls a tad short of Larry Craigism.  But only a tad.

Leave a Reply