Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I was Mark Buse

Here are my thoughts on the news that Mark Buse, John McCain’s chief of staff, is gay.

I lived in Washington DC from 1997-1999 with a four month hiatus managing a congressional campaign in 1998. DC was a magical place and allowed me the space I needed to come out, baby step by baby step, of the closet. It was also a place that allowed me to foolishly jump back in the closet.

It was in DC that I went on my first date with a male, had my first boyfriend and experienced things I never thought possible. From a private tour of the White House by National Security Advisor-cum-docent Sandy Berger to watching the impeachment proceedings of Bill Clinton in the gallery of the Senate, I was a kid in the proverbial candy store.

The hiatus I mentioned above was to work for a congressional candidate in east Texas. The candidate, Brian Babin, was a republican seeking to unseat incumbent Jim Turner in the 2nd District of Texas. The 2nd District is known for its most famous representative, Turner’s predecessor Charlie Wilson. I went to work on the campaign more for vanity reasons than anything else. At the age of 21, I was the youngest campaign manager working on a federal level campaign and though I knew where my candidate stood on, among other things, homosexuality (virulently anti-gay) I decided to briefly return to the closet in exchange for the superficial satisfaction of doing something that no one else my age was doing.

In August of ’98, after a series of events, I resigned from the campaign, citing irreconcilable differences with my candidate over the issue of homosexuality. It was briefly a story (see here) and when I made it back to DC I was a changed man.

I understand Mark Buse working for someone who believes in inequality for, and votes consistently against, the LGBT community. I understand because I was just like Buse but also because I knew hundreds of people just like Buse. I do not condone, but I do understand.

And let me be perfectly clear. When the truth comes out about the sexuality of many in DC, the Buse story will seem silly. Hell, the Larry Craig and Mark Foley stories will seem silly. Buse, Craig, Foley et al are D-List in comparison. Currently there are men and women hiding in the closet that are in the highest positions (household names type of “highest positions”) of government and when – not if but when – they are outed the stories we have heard so far will seem like child’s play.

So what do I think? I think the hiding in the closet is cowardly and if, while hiding in the closet, you are working for someone who works against those that live their lives honestly you should be fully prepared for someone to call you on your BS. If you can’t tell the truth, someone else will tell it for you.

But Buse? Please! He’s nothing compared to the outings yet to come.


GingerSnaps said...

But, but...what are your thoughts on THIS big news??? http://tinyurl.com/3sftr3 ;)

libhom said...

Buse, regardless of his sexual orientation or gender identity, has deliberately promoted discrimination and violence against queers by being McCain's Chief of Staff. If Buse is indeed gay, he should be the subject of community wide sex/dating/socializing boycott. Why should we have anything to do with people who deliberately endanger us?

Buse is just as much a queer basher as the people with the baseball bats, the chains, the stones, and the guns.

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