Wednesday, October 25, 2006


What a closeted gay candidate for Governor of Florida might look like

Julia Reischel, writing in the Broward–Palm Beach New Times, finds that rumors about Florida's Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor have been floating about for years. Can it really be true that Charlie Crist is even "gayer" than fellow Floridian Mark Foley, who himself does not normally wear make-up or use tanning creams?

The record presented by the mainstream media (MSM) suggests otherwise, and that's not likely to change. Reischel remarks—

It seems as though nothing short of the revelations of a tell-all lover or a lurid photograph will propel Crist's reputation as a closet queer into the news. In their absence, one of the most talked about matters of the gubernatorial campaign remains hush-hush.

Really, Julia. That's not quite fair. You and I both know that the MSM would never publish a fact that they don't know to be absolutely true, and they have better things to do than sit around the glory holes at the Attorney General's office waiting for evidence.

What we do find in the public record is this—

He won his first election to become state education commissioner in 2000 and took a public stance against homosexuality in 2001, condemning a Florida Atlantic University stage play that featured a gay Jesus as its star.

"The sponsorship by government of this enormously disrespectful act should appall any thinking person who honors the religious beliefs of others," Crist wrote in a letter he sent to newspapers titled "Desecration 101." "For Christians, it is a personal attack, defiling the accepted image of the Son of God." He added that he thought the play's characters were "lecherous and profane."

And this—

... a woman began appearing with Crist at public events and campaign stops. Kathryn "Katie" Pemble, an officer at the Bank of St. Petersburg, acknowledged to reporters that she and Crist were "dating" in January 2006. She quickly became a fixture of Crist's campaign, eventually making cameos in several crucial pre-primary newspaper biographies of Crist.

Crist back in the day
And then there's his own denial. If you can't believe a politician, who can you believe?

When Crist was asked point-blank in 2005 whether he was gay, he denied it. Then he went on talk radio the following week—

"Are you a homo?" asked McKay, an enthusiastic Crist booster.

"No, man. No. I love women," Crist replied. "I mean, they're wonderful."

"I've seen you with some great-looking women," McKay said. "I've heard some women even complain that you're a womanizer."

"I wouldn't say I'm a womanizer," Crist countered hurriedly. "That's probably going too far."

The ladies probably had him confused with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But if the MSM are remaining mum, Reischel has found fellow politicians ready to speak out. Reischel writes that even Crist's opponent in the Republican primary tried to suggest that Crist is "light in the loafers."

Reischel says that Florida's gay organizations aren't touching the topic—

"Anybody in the gay community who's working politically knows the policy nationally," Rusty Gordon, vice president of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus, says about the rules of outing. "Unless the politician has done something to seriously harm the gay community, outing them is considered bigotry."

They apparently haven't noticed that, generally speaking, electing Republican politicians to office has seriously harmed the gay community—and especially those who support or fail to condemn anti-gay bigotry.

Now let me be the first to say that I have no real knowledge of Crist's sexuality, much as I would've liked to know him in his glory days of football. But I have been forced to hold meetings in a few cocktail lounges, and you get a feel for these things—hypothetically speaking, of course—

Making friends is what Charlie Crist does best. A charismatic and dapper 50-year-old
Light in his loafers?
bachelor, Crist favors pastel shirts and bright ties that offset his darkly tanned skin and distinguished shock of gray hair. He is whippet-thin with an expressive, deeply lined face that looks as if it was carved out of mahogany and is often set in a concerned frown. His tan has been the subject of jokes and speculation, but he explains that it's entirely due to his Greek ancestry. He is a toucher and a hugger — at a recent campaign stump speech in Dania Beach, he methodically clapped backs, shook hands, and thoroughly embraced all the burly firefighters who were within arm's reach. When you're watching him live, he makes you think he's winking and grinning directly at you.

Wink back. It could be your lucky day.

Related post
The Republican party's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy (8/31/04)


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