Thursday, May 11, 2006

Contrary to Mary

Much virtual ink has already been spilled over Mary Cheney’s recent publicity blitz. Many bloggers have had smarter things to say than me. “Wait, GayProf,” I hear you saying, “We must know what you think about Mary Cheney. We have declared you the most desirable man on the blogosphere.” Okay, maybe you aren’t saying that. You are just thinking it quietly to yourself.

Oh, Mary, you are not merry, Mary. Yet again the mainstream media has singled out a gay conservative as the face of the queer community. Liberal queers (who are the majority of queer folk) are nowhere to be found on Good Morning America. Yet, we are learning much about how Mary takes her coffee and where she buys her furniture these days. USA Today even gushed about her appearance, reporting that Mary “dressed in an expertly tailored bright pink jacket and black trousers. Her makeup and hair are done simply but carefully.”

She has a new book that is about to drop entitled Now It’s My Turn. Her turn? Wasn’t she raised in a wealthy elite neighborhood? Didn’t she have the option to attain any education she wanted? Doesn’t she make more money in a year than most of us will see in our lifetimes?

When hasn’t it been your turn, Mary? What’s the matter? Isn’t AOL paying you enough to keep federal regulators off their back?

From early reports, Mary uses her book to do a great deal of whining about Democrats and those pesky gay activists during the 2004 campaign. We all recall that the Republican party used the anti-gay Marriage Amendment as a means to mobilize their base. During that time, a counter-campaign started called “Where’s Mary?” that asked why she didn’t speak out against the amendment. In her new book, Mary says that Democrats declaring her sexuality fair game “was outrageous.”

No, Mary, I don’t think so. Being tied to a fence post and murdered because of your sexuality is outrageous. Dodging shrapnel from a bomb in a gay club is outrageous. Being asked to defend people like yourself is not outrageous. That’s a call to arms, Mary.

Now I understand Mary faces some of the same mundane problems all of us queer folk face in our day-to-day lives. She probably gets caught in traffic driving to work. When she comes home, she and her partner, Heather, debate about where to eat dinner. Sometimes she argues with Heather about installing that stripper pole in the bedroom like Mary wants. In other words, despite the wealth and prominent parent, she is just a regular person. So, why do I expect more of her?

Quite simply because I expect more of all queer folk. I am just a guy with a blog, but I am tired of the mediocrity of people who present themselves to the press as queer, but not leaders. If you have a place in the national spotlight, you must use it to defend us. I am tired of queer folk who only care about themselves and don’t even think about their fellow queer brothers and sisters.

Mary Cheney understands that the conflict between her sexuality and her conservative political background will sell books. Queer folk will buy the book, wondering how she will justify her betrayal of us. Those on the right will buy the book, thinking her a good daughter, even if she is that way.

To sleep at night, Mary depends on a presumption that her actions don’t have any implications for people other than herself. In truth, she simply doesn’t care about other lesbians or gay men and feels no common bond with them. All she cares about is her own selishness. As long as she and Heather can be happy together, why should they care who else is suffering? Any tears she may create will never be her fault.

At the same time, though, Mary paints herself as just a hapless individual who got wrongly picked on by mean “activists” with their “gay agenda.” All Mary wanted, she claimed, was to live life in her sedate multi-million dollar mansion. Then those nasty gay folk kept pointing out her hypocrisy. What could they possible want from her? After all, Mary even promises to vote against the anti-gay amendment currently pending Virginia. Gee – Thanks.

Mary has a comfortable life because her political connections and economic privilege allow her to live comfortably. Her experience is far removed from the reality of our queer lives.

I have no pity or patience for Mary Cheney. Believe me, I understand bucking your family about queer issues might have been tough in the middle of an election campaign. I mean, on a good day, Dick Cheney shoots his friends in the face. Just imagine what he might have done had his daughter bolted.

None of us, though, have had an easy time with our families. In most circumstances, our parents grew up desiresing relationships with the opposite sex. They simply do not understand our experience.

For that reason, we queer folk don't have the luxury to think of ourselves as strictly individuals. We all must imagine a unity of purpose and community. Unlike Mary, we can pledge ourselves to be there for each other. We will demand better representation from the media and we will win against the homophobia that plagues the United States.

Yes, Mary, I criticize your blatant selfishness and depraved indifference to the suffering of people just like you. Yet, I would also defend you and try to prevent you from being placed on a truck because I understand you. We share a common bond. In the end, I expect the same support from all of my queer brothers and sisters.


tornwordo said...

no comments yet? I think this should be in every op-ed page in the country (surely you could get this published if only as a letter to the editor)

And you really summarized my feelings of revulsion for her.

She still believes voting for Bush was the right thing to do in 2004. So I don't need to buy a stupid person's book.

Anonymous said...

*Yes, Mary, I criticize your blatant selfishness and depraved indifference to the suffering of people just like you.*

That's it in a nutshell!

I agree with every word Tornwordo said. I hope no one buys her book and helps her "garden grow".

Brilliant post.


Kalv1n said...

I sometimes think the media doesn't put liberal LG's on the media because they think that's doing LG's a favor (not like you ever even see B's or T's). I think you're truly correct about Mary. But if she's really doing this for her family money, can't she at least keep a low profile? At LEAST

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Roy Cohn ? Enough said.

Elizabeth McClung said...

How interesting is America, where a person like Mary apparently feels a stronger identity with something she does once every 4 years (who she votes for) than her sexual attraction/orientation (I do she has sex more often than every 4 years).

So now she writes a book where she explains that her identity does not come from her orientation but from her political position. And blames, again, politics for having to write the book at all (aka gay activists, etc). For Mary, Gay activists are democrats first instead of being activists because they are gay or care about gay people. What a odd view of the world.

Mary seems to support people who want a world where people like me don't exist, or at least can't be seen. She seems almost apologetic that her orientation is distracting from her political ferver. I have no need to worry about saving Mary from the trucks as to prove her loyality, I am sure she will be driving them.

dirk.mancuso said...

Saw the book at Borders and thought, "Damn, woman...all that money and you still can't pull a look together."

Now, gay prof on the other! I'd stalk myself too if I looked like you.

GayProf said...

Aaah, Thanks Dirk. To be honest, I don't get nearly enough felony-level attention.

Roger Owen Green said...

"Quite simply because I expect more of all queer folk." GP- TTTT, I feel similarly. Condi Rice and especially Clarence Thomas give me the heebie-jeebies that few white conservatives do.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I think that the real tell-all book is going to come from Heather. Also, is she going to be on Ellen??? That would be a curious interview.

Mark said...

Thank you Mr. Prof for giving me the opportuntity to use the word SMOLDERING when I tell you that you're really hot when you get all worked up!

Margaret said...

Fantastic post. I agree with tornwordo: this should be on op-ed pages everywhere.

(And I am thinking quietly to myself: Gayprof *IS* the most desirable man in the blogosphere!)

Anonymous said...

Ooh. She makes me mad. I read the article on her in People (I think.. or some other worthless mag with nothing but celebrities' personal details..) I think that she is an embarrassment to the gay community. She is gay, but doesnt think theres a need for equal rights? For the opportunity for anyone no matter what their sexual orientation is to have the right to marry. That was the best line in the article. I couldnt believe it. She is in this long term, committed relationship but doesnt think they "NEED" the option to take it any further. Well sure no one needs a marriage to prove their love to each other.. I just think Equal Rights would be nice. The option to do so. =) Grr. I couldnt put the stupid mag down cus everything about her was making me so furious that I felt the need to keep reading. ahh.
As always, GayProf, I love you blog! You always seem to hit the nail right on the head! =)

Anonymous said...

*stands up and applauds gayprof* That's it exactly.

jeremy said...

Supporting people? I don't know . . . sounds like a lot of work . . .
This truck doesn't sound so bad . . .

ChristopherM said...

I'm not so certain about gays in the public sphere having an obligation to support the rest of us. However, they certainly have an obligation not to take a six-figure salary to campaign for those who go out of their way to demonize us. Mary deserved a lot worse than a guilt trip. I was hoping for the Dykes on Bikes to follow her on the campaign trail and call her out at every stop.