I'm not in the damn mood for that this morning.
If you're not getting it, the 77-year-old senator thought she could go on MSNBC and make a gay slur. Everyone knows, by this point, the giggle factor over 'tea b**gers' is that it refers to a same-sex male practice where one man dangles his 'junk' over the mouth of the other, dipping it in like a tea bag dipped in a cup of hot water.
For any mature adult to do this is disgusting.
The point is to get people to laugh at Republicans by hinting that they are gay. Getting the laugh for that requires the assumption that being gay is something to laugh about, that it's strange and weird. Getting the laugh on that requires embracing and standing on homophobia.
It's the adult of equivalent of the kids who stupidly say, "That's so gay." (Or, as Ava and I just pointed out yesterday, Tina Fey, see "TV: The sewer that is NBC.") It's an attempt to use homophobia -- to use hatred and discrimination -- to get a laugh.
For any adult to do that is appalling.
For a 77-year-old 'bachelorette' to do so is shocking.
Barbara, the whole world knows.
At 77, even you should be able to get honest about who you are.
That you won't but you'll make fun of gay men to try to 'fit in' goes to your internal shame.
Your dysfunctional and you're embarrassing.
For those who don't remember, Big Barbara had to be repeatedly shamed -- and threatened with outing -- to get behind the repeal of DOMA (the so-called Defense Of Marriage Act which banned marriage equality by defining marriage as an act only between a woman and a man). For almost ten years, various equality activists had to tip-toe and hint to get it across to Barbara -- who is very stupid and slow -- that if she wanted to publicly be against LGBTs, she could be publicly forced out of the closet.
As The New York Press in 2004 noted:
These fears have made Mikulski less than a champion of gay rights, perhaps lest anyone think she might be gay herself.
In 2006's "Politically closeted lesbian Maryland Senator Mikulski on gay marriage in her state," Pam Spaulding
How on earth can a Senator have no opinion on her state’s wrestling with the question of gay marriage? Maryland’s been in the news for the last week after a judge ruled that an anti-same-sex marriage law violated Maryland’s constitutional guarantee of equal rights.
Somehow, Democrat Barbara Mikulski hadn’t found time to issue a comment on all the goings-on. As Mike Rogers over at BlogActive notes, Senator Mikulski was outed in the 90s by Queer Nation, but she has managed to keep herself politically closeted.
Raw Story added:
Indeed, both [John] Aravosis and Michael Rogers, another activist working in tandem with the Dear Mary site, have begun publishing names on their personal Web sites, beginning with familiar targets such as Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski (whose sexual orientation was first made an issue by failed labor secretary nominee Linda Chavez during Mikulski’s first campaign for Senate). While Mikulski still refuses to comment on the allegations, and has denied them in the past, she seems to have changed her position: She voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, but after her name appeared on Aravosis’ Web site she issued a statement saying she planned to vote against the proposed constitutional amendment.
She has to be pushed and pressured into anything and the only thing that gets a response from her is when people start talking and writing about her sexuality.
Now maybe every DC gossip (including senators I know) has it wrong and Barbara's not, in fact, a lesbian. Maybe she's secretly riding John Stamos every night. (Now that is funny.) But let's just play this out with, as everyone concludes, she's gay.
Are Mommy and Daddy going to stop loving Babs because she's gay?
What keeps her in the closet at this late date?
At 77, she's only got a few years to come out or else face going down in history as "The Senate's Original Closet Queen." If she is gay (and I believe because too many members of Congress have talked about it over the years -- there's a retiring Democratic senator, for example, who, if her name is brought up, will call her "a damn fool" for refusing to come out), it's better that it comes out while she's alive so she can turn it into something other than shame. If she is gay and she never comes out, she's dictated the historical narrative about herself which will go something like this:
Mikulski was plagued by shame and paralyzed by the thought that anyone might ever call her a "lesbian" or worse. This led her to repeatedly take anti-gay stands. The public would push back with loud 'whispers' that Mikulski herself was gay and this would, each time, force her to make the right vote. Yet still she refused to come out. So many years of internal shame and hatred manifested itself in her gross obesity but she could never 'eat away' her shame. In a striking contrast, Tammy Baldwin served in the Congress as an openly gay woman, even made it into the Senate as such in a 2012 election. In the face of that historic moment, Mikulski's shame and self-revulsion remained so great that she still refused to publicly utter the phrase that remains a defining moments for LGs, "I am gay."
Now I've been writing here since 2004. I've never felt the need to comment on Mikulski being in the closet. She was already getting enough attention on that from LGBT bloggers who were rightly holding her accountable.
But seeing the story this morning (while I thought I was working on an NSA entry) reminds me that most LGBT bloggers won't say a word. Barbara's insulting Republicans and conservatives. And when that happens, on the left, a wide silence spreads.
Even LGBTers who want to call her out will know that doing so will mean going against the club rules and risking the wrath.
Sorry, I don't play by those rules.
My only rule is: Don't be silent when your voice is needed.
Long before gay America got their first friend in the White House (Bill Clinton -- yes, he implemented "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" but only after Colin Powell and some Congressional Democrats ensured that gays and lesbians would not be able to serve openly in the military), I was already publicly supporting LGBT rights and I would hear, "Don't you worry that people might think you're a lesbian?"
My non-serious answer was, "I hope so. If the rumors weren't there about Joan Crawford and others, do you really think people would still know their names?" (And, truly, those rumors have kept the work of many women alive long after their deaths. And on the male side, no celebrity lasts in history at the top -- after their deaths -- without a few gay rumors. A point I keep making to a friend who's basically been outed and really just needs to own up to it at this point -- unlike Mikulski, he's got an agent and an agency who are telling him all film roles will dry up. That's not going to happen.) My reality position was I didn't care what people thought. You can't go through life with that. I've known many women who have place so much emphasis on what others thought and they can't face the cameras and they break down in tears because they're so afraid that they're going to disappoint their public, that the scene they're about to film can't be pulled off and they'll be hated.
The only rule that matters is: Don't be silent when your voice is needed.
Mikulski thought she could go on MSNBC, utter some homophobia, chuckle and be embraced.
When she spreads homophobia, she needs to realize how quickly she can be yanked out of her closet.
Using that term for 'giggles' should be beneath anyone serving in the US Senate -- even those who stupidly still believe that being gay is a 'choice,' even those senators should know that the term is being applied in a hateful and divisive manner.
There's no excuse for it.
Kat's "Kat's Korner: Jack Johnson learns what really makes a man sexy" went up yesterday as did Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Destroying The Privacy Wall."
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