2008 Meet Sarah Palin’s Gay Friend
posted by October 1 at 13:33 PMon
“One of the reasons I’m strongly for Palin is because the Democrats in Alaska are assholes,” says Sarah Palin’s gay friend. “And half of the stuff that the media has reported about Palin that’s negative was perpetrated by that small group of assholes.”
Sarah Palin’s gay friend spoke to me on the condition that I not reveal his name. While he’s out to everyone he knows, including Palin, and while he says he’s not embarrassed to be identified publicly as Palin’s gay friend, he doesn’t want to come forward at this time. So we’ll call him SPGF, for “Sarah Palin’s Gay Friend.” SPGF provided me with a photo of him with Palin, a link to a personal ad on a gay dating website created before Palin ran for governor, and a news story written about him in an Alaskan newspaper.
“I met Sarah met during her campaign early in 2006,” says SPGF. “That picture I sent you was taken at our first meeting. She was dancing and there was this chronically inebriated guy in the room who made her way up to her, and I was the only one who would cut in and rescue her, and she was very grateful.”
SPGF is 36, originally from California, and moved to Alaska 11 years ago. Earlier this summer he had the honor—long before Cindy McCain—of holding Trig Palin, Sarah Palin’s infant son with down syndrome.
How does an openly gay man like SPGF support an anti-gay candidate like Palin?
“Palin keeps her politics separate from her beliefs—her personal values, her religion, all of that,” explains SPGF. “I have never never seen her bad mouth anybody—gay, black, anybody.” And since being elected, says SPGF, Palin “has never once initiated a policy proceeding that was homophobic or anti-choice.”
But Palin endorsed an amendment to Alaska’s constitution banning same-sex marriage while she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.
“I blame that on the Mormons,” says SPGF. “They drove that campaign up here. That was one of the most divisise battles I’ve ever seen. But the amendment was very popular, you know, with voters up here. I have friends and people I associate with across the board who were for that amendment, who voted for it. What can you do? I don’t expect Sarah Palin to be the vanguard of the liberal elite on that issue. She’s practical. She’s not going to take on battles that she can’t win.”
What about Palin’s membership in a church that hosts ex-gay conferences, and encourages people to believe that we can “pray-away-the-gay”?
“A lot of people believe that crap,” says SPGF. “But there is no religious test to run for office. Those are her religious beliefs. I saw the video where she stood up there and had the guy put his hands on her, the witchcraft guy. But I’m not going to hold that against her, just like she’s not going to hold being gay against me.”
From there our conversation jumped the rest of the way through the looking glass. SPGF is confident that John McCain is pro-gay—or tolerant of gay people—because he saw him on Ellen and he was polite to Ellen Degeneres, wishing her “every happiness.” Never mind McCain’s insanely anti-gay voting record, or his opposition to same-sex marriages like the one Ellen just entered into. And SPGF is confidant that McCain—or Palin, if McCain drops dead—won’t pack the Supreme Court with extremist, right-wing justices because, he says, the Senate is going to be dominated by Democrats. And besides, McCain or Palin could accidentally wind up nominating liberal justices like Kennedy and Souter, right?
So I finally asked SPGF the obvious question: Is he crazy?
“No,” he said. “This is the first time I will ever have voted for the GOP candidate. My eyes have been opened. it’s not us vs. them. We have to make friends with as many of these people as we can. It’s the only way we’ll ever make any true progress…. If we’re there and we’re at their tables so that when the gay issue comes up, or when someone says something anti-gay, I can be there to say, ‘Dude that’s me.’ We need a place at the table.”
But what earthly good is a place at Palin’s table if knowing you—and being “best friends” with a lesbian—doesn’t moderate her views on gay issues at all?
“We need to be there present and fighting,” says SPGF, “but fighting in a way that’s effective. We can’t just have Barney Frank. He’s a terrible spokesperson for being gay. I don’t mean from a policy perspective, I mean from a snapshot perspective.”