There Are Lesbian Republicans and the New York Times is On It

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Nov. 26 2012 2:41 PM

The New York Times Discovers Lesbian Republicans

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Mary Cheney, lesbian, with her dad

Photograph by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

In this great pluralistic nation of ours, there’s a little bit of X in every Y. If turkeys were enfranchised, a few of them really would vote for Thanksgiving, so we shouldn’t be surprised—as Sunday’s New York Times would like us to be—that while lesbian Republicans might be a “rare breed,” they really do exist.

If we take the Times story at face value, GOP dykes are apparently outnumbered by rude dykes. Cathy Smith, a Republican teacher and lesbian in North Carolina, told the paper that liberal lesbians have “reacted more negatively to her political views than conservatives do to her sexual orientation.”

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There are discourteous people everywhere, but I’d love to know what that negative reaction from the libs looked like. A scowl? A disparaging remark to the news that the sister swings red? Maybe even anger? The GOP’s anti-gay animus, on the other hand, sometimes takes the form of actively working to withhold gay men and lesbians’ civil rights. So while you can be both conservative and a lesbian—this is news?—it’s still hard to imagine a Republican party that’s cool with it.

Of course, political affiliation, like sexuality, is fluid. As a supporter of the Iraq war, I almost voted for George W. Bush in 2004. It was the realization that I might be voting indirectly for a Supreme Court justice who didn’t think me worthy of a whole bunch of rights and responsibilities that kept me with the rest of the gay turkeys.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

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