“So is she gay?” — asks gay pundit Andrew Sullivan of Elena Kagan.
“Elena Kagan is not gay,” answers gay pundit Richard Kim of The Nation. (Um, I think he’s gay, that is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
Sullivan and Kim exemplify the two camps on this question — this question that I would answer with another question: “Is Johnny Weir gay? Duh!”
Gay isn’t some genetic or soulful essence; it’s a name you call yourself –and Kagan has not done that. So in my book, case closed. Elena Kagan is not gay. Is she straight? I don’t know, and again, I don’t care. Why does she have to have a sexuality at all?
Wow. I wholeheartedly disagree.
Gay is not just “a name you call yourself.” A straight guy can call himself gay and that doesn’t make him gay. Gay indeed is a “soulful essence,” and it’s probably genetic, too, at least in many if not in most cases.
What is Kim smoking? (Shit, maybe it shouldn’t be legalized…)
Why does Kagan have to have a sexuality at all? Um, because she’s a human fucking being?
Why is it so important for Kim and his ilk to strip Kagan (and some others) of all sexuality? (I mean, who is she, Jesus or Mary?)
The straw man that Kim and the others of his camp put out there is that people want the salacious details of Kagan’s (and other public figures’) sex lives. The very last sentence of Kim’s piece is: “The Senate and the press have the right and responsibility to interrogate [Kagan] about her legal opinions—not about her sex life.”
Like anyone (besides a “tea party” dipshit, perhaps) actually is going to ask Kagan if she engages in cunnilingus (receptively and/or administratively) and/or whether she has worn and/or been the recipient of a strap-on.
No one, to my knowledge, has much, if any, interest about any of Kagan’s actual sexual practices (or whether she even engages in any sexual activity at all).
However, to assert that her sexual orientation — a basic part of herself (and perhaps I should write that as “her self”) — is irrelevant is pure, raw, unadulterated bullshit.
Sullivan writes of the question of Kagan’s sexual orientation:
It is no more of an empirical question than whether she is Jewish. We know she is Jewish, and it is a fact simply and rightly put in the public square. If she were to hide her Jewishness, it would seem rightly odd, bizarre, anachronistic, even arguably self-critical or self-loathing. And yet we have been told by many that she is gay … and no one will ask directly if this is true and no one in the [Obama] administration will tell us definitively.
In a word, this is preposterous — a function of liberal cowardice and conservative discomfort. It should mean nothing either way. Since the issue of this tiny minority — and the right of the huge majority to determine its rights and equality — is a live issue for the court in the next generation, and since it would be bizarre to argue that a justice’s sexual orientation will not in some way affect his or her judgment of the issue, it is only logical that this question should be clarified…. Are we ever going to know one way or the other? Does she have a spouse? Is this spouse going to be forced into the background in a way no heterosexual spouse ever would be?
Yup. Excellent fucking points.
Sure, I would rather focus on Kagan’s record (what there is of it) and how she might perform for the plethora of progressive causes as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
But, truth be told, there is plenty of that discussion already, and as a blogger, I prefer to discuss what people aren’t discussing but should be; there is no reason for me to regurgitate what plenty of others already are saying.
And I’m with Andrew Sullivan on this one.
The fact that no one — on the uncomfortable right or on the cowardly left — wants to address Kagan’s sexual orientation — when one’s sexual orientation is as basic to oneself one’s self as is one’s race, age, biological sex, and political and spiritual/religious beliefs and values — and that addressing her sexual orientation at all is considered by so many to be “inappropriate” — demonstrates how far the United States of America needs to go on the issue of equal human and civil rights for those who are not heterosexual and/or not gender-conforming.
Frankly, I don’t want to see Elena Kagan seated on the U.S. Supreme Court until I know whether or not she is heterosexual or homosexual or somewhere in between, and whether or not she has a significant other, and if so, whether her partner is a he or a she. (We would find it awfully odd for a heterosexually coupled U.S. Supreme Court justice to try to hide his or her partner, so why wouldn’t we find it equally odd for a gay or lesbian justice to hide his or hers?)
You know, as a member of the court that will rule on my equal human and civil rights, Kagan’s business indeed is my business.