Sunday, November 6, 2011

Coming Out & Political Coming Out

A short time ago I wrote a 3 part series about coming out to my family, I have now just written 3 parts (though it will end up being longer) about why I may be done with politics. This one is a combination.

To those of you out there who are straight but not narrow, thanks for the support and I appreciate it. However you will never fully understand the coming out process because you will never have to do it. You may be supportive, you may show empathy, you may be there for the person going through with a shoulder to cry on but you are not the one going through it.

Coming out never ends…..ever.

People I meet ask me about my wife because I wear a wedding type band on my left hand.

People ask me if I am married and when I say no it opens up more questions or when I say no but I am in long term committed relationship they ask me why I am unwilling to marry her. When I tell them I am not allowed to get married they are completely lost. And, then I have to come out.

“So Don we are having a little party after the Chamber mixer please bring your wife.” When I arrive solo, I have to come out.

Fundraising tickets are often discounted for a couple. My guy is just not into these types of social events so not only do I pay a higher rate of taxes I am also forced to pay a higher rate for charity or political fundraising. I may find a suitable female to bring along and when we are asked about our relationship as a couple. I explain that my “date” is married, I have to come out.

When filling out a benefits package at work, I have to come out.

When shopping for a car, I have lousy credit, I have to come out.

At my 20th year class reunion, I had to come out. I bailed on them ever since.

A childhood friend finds me and I have to explain why I never got married, coming out again. I had to come out a childhood friend’s father’s funeral.

Then there is politics.

My recent posting on L ‘Affair Simao prompted Jon Geeting (genius, wonder kid) to question whether I would think the same way if a straight candidate went through the same thing. He also wondered if there was a double standard for gay candidates. One of commenter’s wondered why Tony Simao did not campaign as an openly gay candidate and Jon accused Simao playing the gay card to garner some sympathy and victimhood status.

If you are straight you sex life is never part of the campaign but if you are gay it is. That is the double standard.

No President has ever had to prove his birth was constitutional but the black President had to, that too is a double standard. A straight candidate does not have to explain his/her divorce(s) but I would have to announce to the world that I have shared my life with a man and since he is black I would no doubt be required to bring his birth certificate with me.

Tony Simao did not play the gay card Walt Garvin did. Chairman Garvin is very smart and even shrewder; he brought this up because he knew there is a segment in this city that would be offended by Tony’s gayness and horrified that he was sexual.

Perhaps Tony Simao did not make his homosexuality part of the campaign because he did not think it was an issue or perhaps he knew it would have a negative impact on his tea bagger supporters. Either way what a candidate does with his penis is no one’s business unless what he does is not consensual

Jon asked if I would think the same way if Garvin had nude photos of Ron Angle. Yes I would, ones sex life is not subject to public debate. Most Democrats defended President Clinton and yet here is the party trying to exploit the sex life of someone running for Bethlehem City Council.

One of the reasons I never ran for public office is because I was unwilling to put my guy through the public coming out process. He was a public school teacher I thought of the added strain and or threat that my running as an out, loud and proud candidate could have caused. Would one of my opponents try to get to me by smearing my partner and threatening his career? I decided rather quickly that I would never run for office since my guy is more important me than anything else.


  1. Donald, Tony Simao is openly gay. He just never emphasized it bc he never thought his sexuality had anything to do with a Bethlehem City Council race.

  2. Tony Simao is a smug little racist shit who deserves every shitty thing he has done to him. He also happens to be gay. Simao jumped right back in the closet to gain support from the homophobic teabaggers he threw his hat in the ring with and i would think a gay man such as yourself struggling for acceptance to be who you are would have been offended by Simaos unwillingness to be openly gay (again he was in 2009 ) in a political race. Sorry for the late comment i just started reading your blog after the 2011 elections. If he could not be honest about himself what else will he not be honest about?

  3. 3:44 PM - Thanks for reading -
    I too found Simao's racist comments offensive and thought they were fair game to be part of the public discussion.
    As to the gay things I am no longer struggling for acceptance I am pretty out front with my sexuality and if someone does not want to accept that I don't need them in our around my life.
    I also don't think that a candidate needs to declare his or her sexual orientation - Straight candidates don't have to announce their sexuality why should gay candidates have too.
    I think more candidates should come out because ultimately it will no longer be an issue worthy of the low road attack like that of the Democratic Party leadership.