Barney Frank, the liberal political hack whose “give anyone a half million dollar home” ideology helped bolster the housing crisis, is reaching the end of his career. He’s now giving back, at least he thinks he is, by exploiting his sexual orientation and educating his fellow gay colleagues on “coming out,” while offering advice to other homosexual lawmakers who may still be hiding “in the closet.”
While Frank has, at times, been the pit of jokes (in 1990, he was officially reprimanded by his House colleagues for improperly providing assistance to a male prostitute), the politician has also served as a prominent voice in the gay rights movement. In an interview with Washington Post’s 2chambers, Frank shared his reasons for waiting until 1987 to announce his sexuality. Overall, he wanted to avoid being typecast and labeled for life.
“When I decided to run, I said either you come out and become an activist and have a major role there or I run for Congress” Frank affirmed. “There was no way I could have been out and won. In the end I almost lost on suspicion.”
One of the more interesting exchanges over Mr. Frank’s outing came when he admitted his dirty little secret to his mentor, House Speaker Tip O’Neil. Evidently, Rep. Bob Bauman (R-Md.) was writing a book at the time that was set to indicate that Frank was, indeed, gay. To avoid embarrassment, Frank sought guidance from O’Neil.
At first O’Neil discarded the allegation as a nasty rumor, but after Frank admitted it was true, O’Neil provided a rather comical retort:
“But I said, ‘Well, in this case it’s true,’” Frank recalled, adding that O’Neil responded with some sadness and told him: “I thought you might be the first Jewish speaker.”
O’Neil then alerted his press secretary, future talk show host Chris Matthews, that Frank soon “may be coming out of the room.” Aides had to explain to O’Neil that in fact Frank was coming out of the closet.
Insofar as Frank’s new “coming out” education project, I find it unbearably annoying. Not because I cringe when another gay politician surfaces, but because of the hypocrisy of liberal tolerance. Just like we aren’t supposed to see in color (that is, in terms of race), gay advocates say we aren’t supposed to focus on a person’s sexual preferences. Simply put, we shouldn’t care whether someone is gay or straight.
Yet, whenever some prominent individual “comes out,” everyone goes bonkers, calling them “brave” and googling over them as if they are some hero. Why should it matter? If we are supposed to accept a gay person for who they are, as if they’re the same species as anyone else, why make a fuss about whether they come screeching out of the closet?
People lost their minds when Anderson Cooper admitted, rather boastfully, that he was gay. Maybe Bill O’Reilly should indulge in a similar charade, by broadcasting to the nation, “Guys, I’m straaaaight!”
That would be so admirable. Then Mitch McConnell could retire and explain to his male Democratic colleagues that it is OK to like women — and express it publicly.