The interwebs and the gay blogoshpere are aflutter with the recent announcement from Ken Mehlman that he is gay. This came as no surprise to those in the elite social/political circles in Washington DC. Mehlman who was the campaign manager during Bush version 2's reelection run oversaw some of the most homophobic, anti-gay campaigns--specifically getting 11 states to pass anti-gay and anti gay marriage amendments. He also was a key supporter of everyone's favorite homophobe Mr. Rick Santorum.
In recent interviews Mr. Mehlman claims that he was only one person in the Republican party and he could not change what was going on because he wasn't comfortable with who he was. His exact words, "As I’ve said, one thing I regret a lot is the fact that I wasn’t in the position I am today where I was comfortable with this part of my life, where I was able to be an advocate against that [strategy] and able to be someone who argued against it. I can’t change that – it is something I wish I could and I can only try to be helpful in the future." As a practicing Buddhist, I am all about forgiveness and I hope Mr. Mehlman has a happy, 'comfortable' life living in the posh Chelsea area of NYC. I hope he will make amends for the carnage he unleashed upon millions in the LGBT community.
What concerns me about this whole ordeal is that some gay folks will call Mehlman a 'hero' for coming out so publicly--I am referring to the Log Cabin republicans and 'gay patriots.' Evidently Mehlman gets a free pass from these groups since he's still a Republican. But I digress. In a few years the gay community will all but forget what Mehlman did because he will pull out his Rolodex and get some of his rich friends to fund another insipid HRC event or sponsor a log cabin republican gala. Ta, Da! Hero status achieved! Throw money at any problem or give money to an LGBT organization and all is forgiven. But not so fast--before we give Ken his cape I have a name we should consider: Lawrence King. Do you remember him?
Unfortunately King's bravery cost him his life; but for those short 15 years he lived them with honesty and integrity--now that is what I call a HERO. We should remember people like Lawrence King, Charlie Howard, Rebecca Wight, Brandon Teena and Andrew Anthos who died for having the courage to live their life openly and with honor.
So before we start calling Ken Mehlman a hero, let's not forget those who walked the walk and didn't have the luxury to hide behind their political ideology for hear of being 'found out.' As I said before, I wish Ken all the luck in the world, but I believe he has a long way to go before he reaches hero status.
"Your User ID is... - TuPac7, sir. And I ain't mad at ya." Thankfully the customer found this to be amusing.
2 years ago