I had an uncle once who doted on his nephews and nieces. He was a hard-drinking, ex-Army MP, ex-Merchant Marine veteran with a lazy approach to life. He’d take us kids out on weekends to buy comic books, and then fall asleep on the couch while we stayed up late rotting our brains with said comic books and late night creature features. He was also a confirmed bachelor almost his entire life. I had a teacher in junior high who was the same age he was, was always asking about him, and as it turned out, had once asked him to marry her, and he turned her down.
Was he gay? I don’t know, and don’t really care. He was my uncle, and his sex life was none of my business (and he didn’t make it mine). I do know that late in life he settled down with a woman and seemed to be happy. Even that isn’t contraindicative, because human lives and relationships are complicated.
I mention this because the press coverage of Lindsey Graham drives me nuts. Once again, here’s another piece speculating on whether he’s gay, and also implying that liberals are mocking him for being gay.
None of it makes any sense.
There’s no reason to even suspect that he’s gay: unmarried is different than having a same sex relationship, just like being an atheist isn’t the same as being religious. There are also all these weird assumptions about the signals for being gay.
Even in 2015, many Americans still assume that anybody who isn’t partnered at a certain age must be homosexual. The fact that Graham talks in a somewhat stereotypically gay voice only makes the assumption more irresistible.
If Graham were more traditionally masculine, I seriously doubt he’d be dogged by so many questions about his bachelorhood. The fun of poking Graham about his personal life lies in the ambiguous presentation of his sexuality.
Whoa. What is a “stereotypically gay voice”? What is “traditionally masculine”, and why assume that masculine is associated with heterosexuality?
Does the author even know any gay men?
But the article does point out another problem: Jon Stewart and John Oliver, who have this schtick mocking Graham by playing on his pronounced Southern accent. The problem isn’t gayness…it’s that they treat the dialect of a significant chunk of the country as a great big joke.
Also, their corny Southern accents are terrible. Stewart is always segueing into a hammy Southern Belle routine, because his accent is so awful he has to exaggerate it into something stupidly recognizable.
I think, in general, liberals are going to be mostly unperturbed by a gay candidate, so that would be an absurd line of attack. But there is still an unfortunate side of classism and contempt for the South that is ultimately damaging to the liberal cause. Add to the list of things that fuel Southern resentment the fact that so many Yankees think the way they talk is effeminate and indicative of low intelligence (and equating those two is another level of problem).
We liberals love to talk about diversity, as long is it doesn’t include people whose voices are a little less flat and nasal than the Midwestern pattern.
Graham actually has one of the more pleasant voices in the senate. It’s the brain behind it that is rotten.