Let Me Help You Out with the Gay Choice Issue, Sarah

Okay, we know that Sarah’s not particularly articulate. And she doesn’t always successfully stay on point when answering questions. So her response to Katie Couric about the “Pray Away the Gay” Conference her Wasilla Bible Church announced predictably went off kilter.

Couple of things, Sarah. Your church really did help to promote the conference. And those conferences are controversial. They’re kind of like when you accept the offer for the free trip in exchange for attending a seminar on time-shares. And once they get you into that room they won’t let you leave for a bathroom break and put a lot of pressure on you to buy the time-share or else they’ll stand there and watch you pee in your pants. Or even worse, it’s like your parents kidnap you and force you to go to the time-share lecture until you buy them that time-share and finally MAKE THEM PROUD OF YOU.

And, Sarah, you dodged a bullet when Katie didn’t ask you about your other church, the Wasilla Assembly of God Church. If you had difficulty talking about the Wasilla Bible Church, think about how much more difficult it would be to discuss the Wasilla Assembly of God and its frequent guest Pastor Thomas Muthee who encourages people in the name of Christianity to hunt down and burn people labeled as witches and who you claim prayed you into the governorship!

Whew! But I digress.

This is how Sarah responded to Katie’s question about the Wasilla Bible Church and their promotion of a conference to “pray away the gay”:

”When the media gets it wrong, it frustrates Americans who are just trying to get the facts and be able to make up their mind on about — uh, a person’s values…. And you know, I don’t know what prayers are worthy of being prayed. And I don’t know what prayers are gonna be answered or not answered. But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships. I have, um — one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years who happens to be gay, and I love her dearly. And she is not my gay friend, she is one of my best friends who happens to have made a choice that, um, isn’t a choice that I have made. But, I’m not gonna judge people.”

First the positive. This is a clearer answer than any thus far that you’ve given about Russia, Russian trade missions from Alaska, the newspapers she reads, how old Biden is, the Supreme Court, the economy, McCain’s record on regulation, and really anything related to Troopergate. So plenty of points for clarity, Sarah!

HOWEVER, content and meaning leave a bit to be desired.

First, of course if you play womens basketball in high school you will have a lesbian friend. You may not realize it at the time you’re playing together, but you’ll figure it out sooner or later that you have lesbian friends on the team. There are five in the starting line up alone so statistically it’s a near slam-dunk or just a tip-in  that one of them is gay. I’m glad you didn’t need to use up one of your lifelines on that question, Sarah. But couldn’t you have looked more comfortable and, well, happy for your friend when you were talking about her? I thought that you looked unhappy — maybe a little queasy — when talking about your friend’s sexual orientation. And that must be a real drag for her.

Second, the choice issue. I realize that you are fond of that word. You used it in describing Bristol’s decision to keep her baby. You don’t seem to use it, however, when you talk about Bristol and Levi getting married. Now that’s always confused me. But here’s the point, Sarah. When it comes to sexual orientation a lot of LGBT people (you know, GAYS) get offended or out-right scared when you talk about “choice”. Sure, you can choose to get married, have a wife, adopt kids, and then choose a seemingly quiet airport bathroom stall during business trips to meet like-minded people. And some people make better choices than others on bathroom stalls and manage to avoid undercover police. To each his own.

But for the most part, LGBT people get very afraid when they hear people talking about how being gay is a choice. It’s because “choice” is a term that ultra-conservatives love to throw around when arguing that being gay is not normal and is a morally culpable choice. And that with enough pressure, ridicule, and maybe a tiny bit of torture or brainwashing they can help you make the “good” choice rather than just being the fabulous person that you already are. Like the ‘choice’ Rev. Ted Haggard was able to make until he left his “heterosexual-maintenance” program. A “Pray Away the Gay Conference” has a snappy ring to it, but it’s kind of misleading. They use the phrase because it rhymes. It’s really more like “Go ahead and be cruel, it’s just a homosexual” conferences. It’s also known as the ex-gay movement. Not as snappy and rather negative sounding, but a more accurate description of the goals and objectives of those people who want to pray for you.

So, Sarah, while I realize that you carefully chose to speak personally and not from a position of an informed person or a person making policy, here’s the rub. You WANT to be vice-president of the United States. That means that you WANT to have a role in making policy. I know you’ve been asking for quite a while what exactly a vice-president does and apparently John McCain has been remiss in explaining this point to you. You are SUPPOSED to be an informed person contributing to the direction of the United States. And, therefore, people want to know what you think, why you think what you do, and whether or not they trust you when they turn their backs. Or, more specifically, will they trust you if John McCain — the 72-year old, four time survivor of melanoma — is no longer able to serve and you become president of this country.

So, Sarah, get empowered and educated and talk like a person who’s asking us to put you in a position of power and use judgment wisely. When you’re answering questions from reporters or debate moderators try to pretend like you’re speaking about policy positions that will greatly impact this country.  And, please, stop dredging up that crush that you had on your high school basketball teammate that you may or may not have acted on when people ask you anything about gay people. It’s so 1980s, Mariel Hemingway, and “Personal Best“. And while that movie was a ground-breaking and sensitive portrayal of lesbianism at the time,  we’ve come so far since then as a country. Discussing your unrequited high school love is better left for Oprah than Katie. And, Sarah, if you chose to be straight, then that’s a personal decision that is best not aired on national television.

But here’s the tough love part of my message. Sarah: If you’re a 44-year old woman who choses to be straight and you don’t have any gay male friends to mention when you’re doing a major television interview, then it looks like something’s wrong with you. And why would people then want you to be vice-president if something’s wrong with you? But don’t worry. Gay men are sweethearts! And right now there’s a movement to git ‘cha some gay friends!

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