This past week, Republican congressman Jim Kolbe from Arizona, publicly acknowledged that he is a homosexual after a storm of outing activity which promised to blow up in an as-yet-unreleased Advocate story (Cher still stares at us from newsstands and from the takes-forever-to-load front page of the Advocate's web site. I wonder if Kolbe is going to be on the next cover -- it would break their habit of putting straight people on the front page -- barely.) Kolbe had voted for the oh-so-charmingly-named Defense of Marriage Act.
Naturally, I'd be expected to be pro-outing, and anti-hypocrisy. But I see a danger -- that he might become a role model.
I know, because I've fallen victim to taking as role models past right-wing flaming assholes who have been outed.
Take Roy Cohn. That commie-baiting friend of J. Edgar Hoover, so well profiled in the book "Citizen Cohn," can squarely and posthumously take the blame for my habit of waving $100 bills at eligible young men. Not to mention that I've gotten plastic surgery so my nose resembles Cohn's schnozz, marred at birth by an obstetrician's forceps, and no doubt only enhanced by years of cocktails with the rich and exploitative.
And J. Edgar himself is doubtless responsible for my lack of taste in drag apparel.
To Malcolm Forbes I trace my habit of throwing expensive parties in Morocco, which has led me down the road to a string of maxed-out credit cards. Not to mention my membership in a motorcycle gang, inspired by Forbes' own posse, the Capitalist Tools.
To Pete Williams, defense department spokesman during the Bush administration's all-but-forgotten Gulf War (better known by its designer label of Desert Storm), I lay the blame for my tapdancing habit.
It all makes a pretty good case for the closet.