Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mary Cheney: Dad Never Had A Problem With Her Being A Lesbian

Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary, is publishing a memoir in which she explains her relationship with her parents and how they reacted to her coming out as a lesbian. Many may be surprised to learn that she came out to her parents while she was still in high school. Matt Drudge reports on the details from an upcoming Vanity Fair article:

In her new memoir, NOW IT'S MY TURN(Simon & Schuster/Threshold Editions, 2006), Mary Cheney writes that when she told her parents she was gay, the first words out of her father’s mouth “were exactly the ones that I wanted to hear: ‘You’re my daughter, and I love you, and I just want you to be happy.’”

VANITY FAIR editor Todd Purdum reports that Mary Cheney tells her story in a voice very much like her father’s, and that she came out to her parents when she was a junior in high school, on a day when, after breaking up with her first girlfriend, she skipped school, ran a red light, and crashed the family car. Cheney writes that her mother hugged her, but then burst into tears, worried that she would face a life of pain and prejudice.

When Purdum asks the vice president whether he thinks gay people are born that way, Cheney scrunches up his mouth, fixes him with a look that says “Nice try,” then says: “I’m not going to get into that. Those are deeply personal questions. You can ask.”

Mary Cheney tells Purdum that her father “has very little tolerance for bullshit, pardon my French.” She also says that one common reaction from people who have read the manuscript of her book is “‘Wow, you guys really have this close-knit, loving family,’ and it always strikes me as ‘Yeah, of course we do.’ It was very surprising to me that people would think we didn’t.”

It certainly places Dick Cheney in a different light, knowing how accepting and caring he was of his daugther from the very beginning. It also makes a bit of a liar out of her mother. I distinctly remember her mother being interviewed during the presidential race in 2000 and being asked about Mary's lesbianism. Mrs. Cheney became very angry and challenged the interviewer, claiming that Mary had never said she was a lesbian, and that she had no right to suggest Mary was a lesbian. By that point, everyone in the GLBT community had known about it because she had been working in the gay community on behalf of Coors. The interviewer was taken aback by Ms. Cheney's reaction.

What really bothers me is how a politician can place his own selfish political interests ahead of his own child. Cheney has sat by idly while President Bush has allowed Karl Rove to mastermind ballot initiatives all over the country targeting gay marriage as a divisive wedge issue to turn out conservative voters at the expense of gay families.

Cheney is not alone in this department. There is one very long-time serving state senator here in Indiana on the ballot today who has done just that to his own son. He has been in a position to make a big difference, and he's chosen to remain silent. How he sleeps at night knowing this I will never understand.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, Gary, but the current face of the Republican Party is one of the ultra-right wing agenda of anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-anythingthatisn'tlike us.

I'm not certain I see much difference between Dick Cheney being a republican even though his daughter is gay and someone who is gay being a republican and working for the party.

Sure, an argument can be made that the gay person is trying to "change the party from within", but by all appearances the party is lurching further rightward to the point of even pulling the democrats that direction as well (how many times have I heard that a democrat must be more "moderate" in order to win now?).

If a gay person insists on remaining within the party, I think maybe a change of tack is in order. The course they are sailing is way too slow and kinda off direction.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Using that kind of logic, an African-American would never have become a Democrat since it was the party of slavery and the GOP was the party for ending slavery.

Anonymous said...

You can now say "former" State Senator who "could" have done so much for his gay son, but didn't.

All the while, at least he wasn't as publicly homophobic and downright evil on gay issues as a former leader of the other chamber. The former Speaker from Sandborn would be an obnoxious homophobe as a fake zealot Christian in the statehouse, and then enjoy himself while lodging with his openly gay brother and his partner at their Brown County retreat.

Although the Senator is toast, the former Speaker may not be, though I hope he never re-enters Indiana politics unless he changes his ways.

Anonymous said...

OK, so name ANY progress you have made in your Party on behalf of the GLBT community.

I was raised in a republican household, registered as a republican when I was old enough to vote, have a sister that has GOP return address stickers on all her outgoing mail, a brother who has TWO pictures of George W on his desk, and an uncle that thinks Rush Limbaugh is the greatest man alive.

The turning point for me was the relentless attacks on my personal life for the political gain of the party. I understand that whipping up the base with the threat of the homo invasion works very well. I just can't be a party to something that is out for my very destruction.

It would be different if things were getting better, progress was being made. But it keeps getting worse!