Monday, December 12, 2011

Congressman Rep. Barney Frank from Massachusetts will retire after his current term in Congress. So, who cares. We do because he is a gay man who courageously came out of the closet in 1987 at age 47. Now, I believe that who ever you are sleeping with is really no one’s else’s business but for same sex people it can be a problem at work for some reason. Well, in terms of benefits and next of kin issues it was not allowed.
He is known for being a to the point talker in Congress and always says what is on his mind. He is a democrat and said that his retirement was prompted by changes made to the boundaries of his U.S. House District. He was first elected to the House from Massachusetts in 1980. He is one of two people that came out in Congress. The other gay guy is Gary Studs and he was outed . Only Barney announced his sexuality to all.
What was that like 25 years ago? He admits that it was scary but he did not reveal it because of some kind of crusade. He knew that he was in a prominent job and that he wanted it to be known simply as a matter of fact and not as some tabloid revelation. When he did tell everyone he received less negativity that he thought he was going to get.
He sees it as more of a party difference. If you are a Democrat gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender you are pretty free to come out and get the support and encouragement of other officials and of the voters. Barney says, the closeted people are overwhelmingly Republicans. There have been 2 gay Republicans that have come out, both in Congress and in both cases, they ran into great opposition from their party.
Many don’t realize that this is not a choice. He says, People don’t choose to be straight or to be gay. No one is sorry about it, it is just a fact of life. The Republicans are going around saying .”It is not your fault that you are gay. As long as you seem to be ashamed of it! As long as he is embarrassed by it, lies about it and hides it they will tolerate it.”
On the Democrat side of it , he is free to be who he is. He brings his partner places and he will be at the White House party with his partner Jim, go to the White House Ball and have their picture taken with the President. So that means our country is divided also by gay and straight too?
Barney is not leaving over a gay or straight issue. He is leaving frankly because he is tired. He is 71 years old. By the end of his term he will be 73 years old. Also due to the fact that they changed his district he would have to campaign with new people in new places. He does not want to put in the effort necessary to get to know the people in the new district.
Whatever you may think about the sexuality issues, Barney Frank was well frank with people. He stood up for what he believed and wasn’t afraid to discuss any issues. Too bad he is old and tired but he is also ready to admit that unlike others in politics that do not leave well into their 80’s.

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