Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I mean, the thought that Elena Kagan, this otherwise and obviously brilliant, former dean of Harvard Law School, Solicitor General of the United States and Presidential nominee for Supreme Court Judge might be hiding in the closet made my head spin.
The possibility that the Obama administration might try to slip in a "win" under the closet door made me absolutely furious. That would be "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at nose-bleed high altitudes of governmental service.
The Lesbian panic attack was in absolute overdrive on the Right, many of whom were having a bad case of the vapors every time they saw her picture.
When this picture of her at a softball game was published in a major newspaper, the Right-Wingnuts went into a serious case of apoplexy.
Truth be told, so did the Lesbians - but for a completely different reason.
I absolutely agreed with those of the LGBT community who insisted that her sexual orientation was no more relevant than her gender or ethnicity. At the same time, I'm not naive enough to think that it's not an important issue.
Truth be told, it would be very important to me and to many other people in the LGBT community. We want to claim one of our own and celebrate just like any other minority group has - and will - when "one of ours" achieves an obvious marker of success and achievement.
Either way, if she is a lesbian, I agree with those who say she should 'come out' now - before the confirmation hearings begin.
Apparently, she's not.
Which is fine.
For example, here is Kagan's yearbook picture from Hunter College High School in NYC.
The profile criteria for detecting lesbians seems to be: plain facial features sans makeup + unattractive eyeglasses + no real hair style to speak of + plaid shirt = Dyke.
Add: short hair cut when older + softball picture, minus husband, boyfriend or discernable dating record = proof positive ID as Dyke.
It reminds me of that old joke about lesbians: There really are more lesbians in the world than one might think. That's because there are only five authorized lesbian hair cuts so we all look the same - and, those of us who don't have an authorized lesbian hair cut (ALHC) slip right under the radar.
Which makes me laugh with a memory from years and years and years ago.
When Ms. Conroy and I 'ran away from home' to live in Maine, we first thought we had died and gone to Lesbian Heaven.
Turns out, there were lots of LGBT people on Mt. Desert Island who worked at Jackson Lab as well as on the faculty of College of the Atlantic.
However, we soon discovered that MANY women from Maine dressed the same way: Plaid flannel shirts, down jacket, cords or jeans, and boots.
In Maine, that's not a statement about one's fashion sense or politics or sexual orientation. It's a necessity.
I have never met Elena Kagan, but my sense of her is that she's much more interested in law than she is either fashion or politics.
Which is what I imagine one would want in a Supreme Court Justice. I mean, anything she'd wear would just get covered up in an ugly black robe, anyway.
The whole kerfluffle about Kagan's sexuality has provided some important lessons to political camps on both sides of the aisle and on all points on the spectrum of sexual orientation.
You can't judge a book by its cover.
You can't tell a lesbian by her haircut.
But, don't even try to tell a lesbian what book to read. Or, how to cut her hair. Or, what kind of clothes to wear.
We're a pretty independent, feisty bunch.
Just think: If you meet the above criteria, you, too, might be a lesbian.
Then again, you just might be from Maine.
Or, perhaps, just a really smart, independent woman.
Like Elena Kagan.