Former NBA player Jason Collins recently announced he is a homosexual in an essay published by Sports Illustrated. Many Americans are suffering from what I call ‘gay fatigue’. But the fatigue is deepened when the POTUS once again offers political obeisance to a powerful PAC. The gay community are primarily DINKS (double income, no kids). They have money to blow.
On the heels of President Obama clucking about the immense courage of NBA player Jason Collins due to his announcement that he is gay, the White House has hastily scrambled a press conference. I am a frequent invitee to these scripted nightmares. So it seems right to share what transpired after the Commander-in-Chief clucked, the FLOTUS tweeted, and Bill Clinton sent out his own yodel about the nature of courage. It was quite the carnival with a full display of sexual proclivities.
I represented heterosexual married women who balance home life, child rearing and career. My reserved seat was at the back of the room. But no need to fear! My ears work fine. So I offer a first-person account, straight from the land of Obama in Wonderland.
The first man to speak was a community activist from Adultery-on-the-Sly. Waving his hand wildly, he caught the eye of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Jumping to his feet, he read his question.
“Mr. Carney, in light of this momentous occasion, those of us who belong to Adultery-on-the-Sly want to know what is being done to protect our rights as part of the American family? And secondarily, how can we receive our own congratulatory message from the President of the United States?”
Mr Carney smiled brightly. “I believe this problem is being resolved as we speak. The President is acutely aware of the emotional challenges for those who commit adultery. Will you get caught? Will you get caught in the bathroom? So it is with great pleasure that I announce Mr Bill Clinton has agreed to chair a task force.” Wild clapping was heard from the front and centre of the room.
Carney then surveyed his fiefdom and pointed to a woman who was stylishly dressed. Rising from her seat in regal manner she surveyed her fellow sufferers. “My issue is quite different. As the madame of a discreet escort service, which provides refined companionship for powerful leaders and visiting dignitaries, my girls are well paid but lack self-esteem. The men go home to their families and the poor girls are left hanging in the wind.”
The Press Secretary pursed his lips together. “This is also a difficult scenario. We want these ladies to feel they are a part of the American family. But we cannot allow them the same public image as that afforded Jason Collins. The men must maintain their image as devoted family men to stay in office. I don’t have to remind you about Governor Eliot Spitzer...These things must be handled with discretion. We are leaning toward establishing a dedicated phone line for your valued employees. They can call every day and listen to a short tribute. President Obama thanked Jason Collins for ‘coming out’. The POTUS will thank your girls for not coming out. These women have the deep gratitude of political leaders.”
A teenaged girl struggled to her feet. “I belong to a national support group for unwed teen mothers. What is the President going to do for us? We have rights too. Why doesn’t he tell us that we have courage?”
Carney smiled benevolently. “My dear, dear girl. You show your courage right up front, about the sixth month of pregnancy. Carry that tax burden with pride! Free medical care awaits you. And we will be proud of that little squirt too. Proud enough, to subsidise your poverty throughout his childhood. Stand tall! Show a bit of pride!”
Dressed in my best outfit, a gently worn suit with a pair of low heels, I twirled the wedding ring set on my finger whilst contemplating whether to enter the fray. Fate decided the issue for me. The individual next to me wearing a tag ‘Jewish Transgender Democrat’ dropped her (or was it his?) pen. As I picked it up and handed it back, Carney looked me squarely in the eye and asked me to stand. “What is your area of courage? And what may the President do for you?”
No guts, no glory.
“Well,” I began tentatively, “I have been married to the same man for many years now. We have two sons. We represent quiet Americans who live without any need for public accolade. We find our satisfaction by providing for our children, caring for aging parents, and volunteering in our communities. We believe that healthy, monogamous, heterosexual marriages provide the best shot for the development of children. We believe that traditional marriage is the design of the Creator. It is a societal safety net, which although frayed, still holds firm. It takes moral courage to stick with these choices. If ‘courage’ is homosexuality then it is cowardice that is my choice.”
The tension in the room was palpable. Needless to say, I continued to speak. “Here is what I think. President Obama wanted to be a new Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, but in America we are all emancipated. Even our pets are emancipated. So with no one left to emancipate, he had to scramble. Only sexual proclivities remained available for emancipation. Is homosexuality a class worthy of civil rights or is homosexuality an act of free moral agency? Can those of us who believe that it is immoral to live such a lifestyle retain freedom of conscience? Can we pass on our moral boundaries to our generations?”
Caught up in my musings, I scarcely noted that Carney had slipped his shoe off until it winged off my ear and landed with a thud. I heard the sound of clucking across the room. Fleeing to a safe zone, I hurried to my car.
The writer is a freelance journalist and author of the novel Arsenal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org