…while over at the State Department

I’m used to the flip-flopping of positions on issues around the Senate. I’ve worked for over a dozen senators and their staffs so neither brilliance or ignorance surprises me any more. At times I feel grateful that the person I’m working for is in Washington and other times I cannot believe the dolt made it out of college much less into the Senate (some senators included).

But this knocks my cranium askew. Today I wake to see a photo of Laura Bush and Condoleezza Rice swearing in new global AIDS coordinator Mark A. Dybul next to his, as Condi put it, his “mother-in-law’s” son, Mark’s partner. I’m actually looking at the photo now, Laura is smiling and Condi is in semi-beam. Mark and partner are holding a Bible, no wait it gets really weird. The scene looks like a Republican wedding, guy style. No, really. I’m not making this up even though I’m a master at photoshop. Over at the State Department R-leadership is presiding with smiles and affectionate affirmations over a swearing in of a gay man with his partner. Condi is reported as saying, “mother-in-law” when referring to Mark’s partner’s mom. Mother-in-law? Which is it? Gay threat? Gay blessing? Married? Not, but kinda…wink?

I’m used to the closet being that of an individual’s unique choice to hold onto their public lie or step out in personal truth. I look at this photo and can’t figure out what closet Condi is stepping into or out of. There has to be some psychological term, like schizophrenic or something to sum this up, but right now, I’m too dazed to contemplate such.

Congratulations Mark, partner, and mother-in-law. Congratulations Republican leadership for taking a stand?

2 Comments so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

    Here’s the photo and more commentary:

    I only ask how gays can serve in such an anti-gay adminstration. I wouldn’t, and I am not even gay.

  2. jgregory (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

    I’m with you. But, they do.

    I know one White House staffer who is gay and he won’t go to any public get-togethers with his partner of eight years. Affirming, isn’t it.
    Another aid has worked in the Bush family administration for years and has solved the issue be deciding he’ll never have a partner so it won’t be an issue for his job. There is a lot of “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t acknowledge, don’t fit a stereotype, don’t “do” gay so you can authentically dodge the label gay, and more don’t, don’t, don’t.” Silence. Acquiescence.

    Sometimes as gay men we are so acclimated to discrimination, having never seen anything but a certain climate of invisibility, our auto-tolerance for disregard is high. Sometimes we waffle between self-shame and relegated self-esteem. Sometimes our straight counterparts fail to realize their silence is just as potent as our own and lurking in the distance is just as much culpability as vocal participation.

    All of this is changing, so I seem to witness on occasion…and then I go back to Oklahoma and flip through AM radio stations for a dose of Bible-belt “reality.”

    What gets me about many “orientational conservatives” is their contradictions. Many believe the Bible, but not the part that tells them to stone queers. They believe the part about “the pursuit of happiness,” as long as we don’t get married or actually have sex with those whom we love. For me it is their hypocrisy that burns, not all their convictions. Beliefs we can explore and debate, but treachery guts the potential in all relationships.

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