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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Meet Sarah Palin’s Gay Friend

posted by on October 1 at 13:33 PM

“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.”

RSS icon Comments


Accidentally nominating Supreme Court justices whose views don't reflect those of the administration is a thing of the past. They are NEVER going to let that happen again.

I challenge anyone who's on the fence or who usually votes Democrat but is considering voting for McCain/Palin to read "The Nine" by Jeffrey Toobin, and see how comfortable you are with the prospect of a McCain/Palin-nominated court.

Posted by Chris | October 1, 2008 1:40 PM

So he's basically saying "the only way to win the fight is to surrender before a single shot is fired, and then beg for mercy."

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 1, 2008 1:42 PM
“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.”


Posted by paint me alaskan and shoot me in the fucking face | October 1, 2008 1:42 PM

Can we call him "Sapguff"?

He's certainly got the "Sap" part down cold.

Posted by Fnarf | October 1, 2008 1:44 PM

Whats the point of being out and gay if you associate with people who don't even view you as a citizen.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 1, 2008 1:45 PM

This is one of the most ridiculous things I've seen on Slog.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 1, 2008 1:52 PM

Can anyone say "Stockholm Syndrome"?

Posted by keshmeshi | October 1, 2008 1:52 PM


Posted by boxofbirds | October 1, 2008 1:53 PM

He's friends with Sarah Palin. That fact alone should tell you all you need to know about him. How intelligent can he really be?

Posted by Roscoe | October 1, 2008 1:53 PM

“I blame that on the Mormons,” says SPGF.

Me too. In fact, I blame everything on the Mormons.

Posted by Slestak | October 1, 2008 1:53 PM

He's right - we need to elect the first ATTRACTIVE openly gay congressional leader before we can hope to get anything accomplished.

My grandmother liked that whiny guy from Will and Grace. What's he up to?

Posted by Ziggity | October 1, 2008 1:54 PM

SPGF sounds like a total dick.

Posted by Mike in MO | October 1, 2008 1:56 PM

SPGF is the Uncle Tom of Alaska gay politics.

Posted by Trey | October 1, 2008 1:58 PM

Sounds like one ignorant, self-hating homo. The level of cognitive dissonance in his responses is just staggering.

Posted by Hernandez | October 1, 2008 1:59 PM

Dan - I think you or any one of many others who post on SLOG, would have made such a better friend.

You'd disagree with SP, show her some fun and expand her horizons.

This toady just bows down and worships at her feet.

Hmmm - maybe there's more to this...

Posted by Ayden | October 1, 2008 1:59 PM

Did he have pictures of them together or anything? How do you even know he is legit

Posted by Non | October 1, 2008 2:00 PM

This may be hard for left coast liberals, who have bathed in the fluid of identity politics from birth, to comprehend, but: this guy sounds pretty reasonable. The world isn't exactly how he'd like, but he's built a life in it. He has all sorts of ideas and interests that don't map identically onto the positions of one candidate or party, and don't flow directly from his sexual preferences. Since no party or politician represents him, he lends his support on the basis of compromises and tactical decisions about what issues are most important to him. He's able to work with and befriend people who don't share all his political convictions.

All that makes him pretty much the antithesis of the typical SLOG poster, so I don't imagine he'll fare well here.

Posted by David Wright | October 1, 2008 2:00 PM

He reminds me of the blue collar, lower middle class workers who rant and rave about the neo-cons and bringing "family values" back to Washington and the U.S. They vote for the people who give tax cuts to their bosses and really end up voting themselves out of their own jobs.

Posted by GS | October 1, 2008 2:01 PM

This person sounds like the kind of homo I used to occasionally interact with when I worked at a certain gay bar (no, not Neigbours)

They're loud, they usually know absolutely nothing about what they are talking about, and they live for an audience. They're bad enough when sober, but when drunk - look out.

There's straight men like this of course, but they usually resort to violence. These guys just spout off and annoy everyone around them, but are essentially harmless. A screaming match is about as violent as they get, followed by an after-hours phone call where they sob out an apology for their behavior.

At least he's loyal. And who knows: Take away all the crazy religiosity and pathetic aspirations to power, and Sarah might be a great fag hag (or whatever we're calling them these days)

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 1, 2008 2:02 PM

I think I'd prefer it if this guy was a plant or a paid shill.

At least *that* would account for a series of opinions for which the only other explanations are mind-numbing apathy, outright hypocrisy, or blatant stupidity.

Posted by natopotato | October 1, 2008 2:03 PM

"snapshot perspective"? does that mean attractive-wise? does he mean the vanguard-waving fags in national politics have to be attractive? what does that even mean?

and by the way, when did it become okay to separate your personal life from your politics? how does that NOT indicate a lack of integrity? that, my gay friend, is the HEIGHT of hypocrisy. if she is truly the nice, caring, passionate person that SPGF claims, then how can she legislate intolerance and unequal treatment? who cares if she doesn't explicitly say anything bad about "gays, blacks, anybody" when she now has the power to simply legislate them into lower castes of society?

and finally, one last thing- so everything Palin does wrong, inconsiderately, bigotedly or purely for political reasons- it's someone else's fault? it's the democrats fault she's a habitual liar? it's the mormons' fault theres anti-gay legislation passing in Alaska that she explicitly supports? who's fault is it she doesn't believe in global warming- asians? good. fucking. god. stay in Alaska, SPGF, and i seriously can't wait for this country to hurl your bigoted friend back there come November.

Posted by rjsplow | October 1, 2008 2:05 PM

So, what exactly was this guy's reasoning for choosing McCain/Palin over Obama/Biden?
That she hasn't legislated against him yet? Hooray!

Good work dude, just hold on and wait until the part of her that would condemn you to Hell gets a little more power. Oh, wait, SHE won't do it, but her god will because she won't judge you... Sure.

She doesn't think your relationships are valid. She doesn't think you're suited to raise children. She doesn't think your partner should be covered by your insurance, etc.

She doesn't HAVE to condemn you, because she can make it impossible for you to live a normal life with the same rights as everyone else. Who needs to call you a fag and scoff at you when they can force you to live as a second class citizen?

Actions speak louder than words, and her actions scream something along the lines of 'fuck off and, burn in hell forever, faggot.' It doesn't matter if she 'tolerates' you and refuses to 'judge.'

Posted by Billm | October 1, 2008 2:06 PM

Palin keeps her politics separate from her beliefs—her personal values, her religion, all of that

Funny how when Palin was talking to Katie Couric about her pro-life stance, she kept saying "I believe". But those aren't her beliefs, right?

This reminds me of the argument I had with a guy in high school who was convinced that water was blue, and that's why the sky was blue. They can be blind as fuck and you can't convince them otherwise.

Posted by EmilyP | October 1, 2008 2:13 PM

I can certainly respect the part of his comments where he says that the only way to change their minds is to be “at their table”, which is a completely reasonable thing to say. The more gay people you know, the less likely you are to be homophobic.

But, I don’t know, I am neither gay nor black, but I just can’t help thinking, would this guy think that Sarah was just peachy if she had endorsed an amendment to Alaska’s constitution banning inter-racial marriage (would it still have been okay to blame it on the Mormons)? Or if she didn’t like black people, personally, but she “kept her politics separate from her beliefs” and never initiated any policy proceedings against them?

It just kind of squicks me out that his argument is basically, well, you know, a lot of people hate the gays so, it’s okay for me to vote for someone who is anti-gay.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 1, 2008 2:13 PM

The statement below sounds exactly like something that is said to LGBT people that think Democrats are not strong enough on issues:

"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…."

It's the same incrementalist crap all about waiting your turn for equality and working within the system to achieve tolerance.

It's bullshit no matter who says it. It sounds just as idiotic coming from the mouths of Log Cabin Republicans or Democrats (straight allies or gay sycophants).

Posted by patrick | October 1, 2008 2:16 PM

I'm kind of with #17.

And the last paragraph makes total sense to me. Gay-people-as-angry-abstractions will never convince Palin and Company. However, I've watched my friends' homophobic parents soften their views based on actually meeting /befriending/working with a friendly, competent, normal queer person for the first time. SPGF is being there as a friend, holding Trig and shooing off drunks, demonstrating his own good nature and humanity and putting a very normal face to The Gay Agenda for Sarah. If Sarah Palin comes around, it will be because of SPGF and those like him--not because of petitions and rallies and angry letters, which will roll off her like water off a duck's back.

I'd like to hear SPGF respond to the comments on this post.

Posted by Christin | October 1, 2008 2:25 PM

seems to me the guy just wants to vote for his friend. you could question why he's friends with a person who thinks being gay is a choice, but he shouldn't have to justify his vote to anyone.

Posted by brandon | October 1, 2008 2:34 PM


I love you, but I think someone is putting one over on you. In an interview, Palin refers to her "gay friend" as a woman. It's posted on Box Turtle.

Posted by Richard | October 1, 2008 2:34 PM

Having spent a considerable part of my life living in Alaska, I'd like to disagree with SPGF's opening statement: EVERYONE in Alaska is an asshole. Especially the Republicans. Case in point: Ted Stevens.

Posted by k | October 1, 2008 2:38 PM


Those are all great reasons to be openly gay and befriend people who have bigoted views of gays. BUT, those are never good reasons to vote those bigots into positions of power or encourage other people to do so.

Posted by boxofbirds | October 1, 2008 2:38 PM

What Richard said.

The whole thing feels bogus.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 1, 2008 2:39 PM

"oh, SPGF, i don't mean YOU. its all the other fags that i have to publically condemn".

Posted by Sarah Palin | October 1, 2008 2:39 PM

democrats are the assholes? conservatives in alaska repeatedly try to deny and limit subsitence rights for native and rural alaskans. they complain about outside controlling alaska as most of them, who live in southcentral, control the villages and rest of the state. that is asshole

Posted by Jiberish | October 1, 2008 2:44 PM


True. Very very true.

Posted by Christin | October 1, 2008 2:46 PM

Oh, Jamie.


Posted by AJ | October 1, 2008 2:48 PM

If only every moron would leave California for Alaska.

Real estate prices would drop like a rock, my commute would be cut by 9/10ths, and the air would be crystal clear all year-round.

I appreciate this particular fool's absence, at any rate.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 1, 2008 2:53 PM

Bah. You gotta stick up for your friends. She's no friend to him.

Posted by chris | October 1, 2008 3:02 PM

Sweet Mary. WTF? Newsflash, SPGF, Republicans aren't our friends. Talk to some of your fellow practicing homosexuals in the states where constitutional amendments have been passed. Ask them who put this shit to a vote. Hint: it wasn't Democrats.

I would like to know why SPGF thinks Sarah Palin is qualified to be VP. Would he really feel safe with her a heartbeat away from the presidency?

Oh, and that last "we've all got to get along" stuff sounds strangely familiar. Oh yeah, it sort of sounds like what Barack Obama's been saying.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | October 1, 2008 3:12 PM

Actually, Barney Frank is pretty terrible from a policy perspective, too.

Posted by Original Andrew | October 1, 2008 3:30 PM

You do what you wanna do, guy, but don't try to convince me you're not an idiot for doing this.

Posted by Greg | October 1, 2008 3:38 PM

"I don’t mean from a policy perspective, I mean from a snapshot perspective."

What the heck does that even mean? SPGF is seriously messed up.

Posted by Lavode | October 1, 2008 3:40 PM

Nice scoop, Savage.

Posted by STJA | October 1, 2008 4:00 PM

H. L. Mencken once said:

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard"

Also reminds me of the old saying "If you think our representatives are stupid you should see some of their constituents."

And don't write this off as anti-identity politics. Palin doesn't believe in rights or dignity for *anyone* who's not rich, white and male (with herself a special exception - two out of three not being bad and all :-)

Posted by bakfiets | October 1, 2008 4:03 PM

He's not a friend, he's an acquaintance. I'll bet Palin can't remember him and doesn't know he's gay. He's gettin his 15 minutes of fame, though.

Posted by crazycatguy | October 1, 2008 4:04 PM

But when she was interviewed, she said she had a FEMALE best gay friend for 30 years. Who's that?

Posted by Dean P | October 1, 2008 4:14 PM

“Palin keeps her politics separate from her beliefs—her personal values, her religion, all of that,” explains SPGF.

A person who separates their politics from their beliefs is a hack, among other things.

It's sad that this guy (assuming he isn't a complete fabrication) buys into the "liberal elite" canard as well. This guy is in serious denial.

Posted by LMSW | October 1, 2008 4:19 PM

how many straight women have gay women as 'best friends'? about as many straight guys who have gay guys as 'best friends'.


you might have acquantances you're friendly with, of childhood friends that became gay, but 'best friends'?

Posted by max solomon | October 1, 2008 4:25 PM

That "place at the table" crap is the giveaway. This guy does not have a mind of his own; he is repeating the assimilation argument that right-wing homo Bruce Bawer made in his book in the 90s. It is the argument of the self-hating gay who thinks the only way to be gay in America is to "moderate" your gayness enough to make the people who hate you for being gay hate you a little less. It's the argument from fear. No wonder he gravitates toward the Republicans.

Posted by bobbo | October 1, 2008 4:53 PM

my best friend of 30 years is straight. and i came out to him 30 years ago. we have never had so much as a sexual moment between us( although i confess that when we were younger he was a hottie that i would have had no problem giving it up to. it never happened and i've never regretted it). i was best man at his wedding ,his family has befriended me, i'm godfather to his now adult children. last year when i needed very expensive dental work he paid for it out of pocket. thousands of dollars and never ever dreams of asking for it back. when i told him that i plan on getting married to my boyfriend next year, he was positively teary.he has embraced my partner and my other (gay) friends as vigorously as he has embraced me.
..and by declaring him as my very best friend, i hope it doesn't diminish my other very close friends ( straight and gay) that i've made through the years, some of whom i've lived with, who are men,who are loyal to me, who love me, support me and vote partially in respects to those people and issues they think would uphold and defend my rights as an american. an american who is gay.

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | October 1, 2008 5:16 PM

I just came out to my best friend, and we're still best friends. It kills me how many commentors there are here who proclaim their own prejudices as fact, while simultaneously judging and belittling anyone who doesn't agree with them.

Posted by Vivian | October 1, 2008 7:13 PM

SPGF is a man of reason; not reason that everyone here would agree with, obviously, but reason nonetheless. That alone explains the hostility to him. He's looked at the mold that liberal gays are supposed to fit, and walked away from it. Publicly.

No wonder people are nervous. Just as Mrs Palin's popularity proves that liberals don't own the women's vote, so this person proves that they don't necessarily own gays either.

You guys--you know who you are--you'd breathe a sigh of relief if he turned out to be a paid shill, wouldn't you? Be honest.

Posted by Seajay | October 1, 2008 8:18 PM

@17, 26 and 51: This is the voice of a person who is admirable, but has never felt the freedom of being in the majority or at least feeling that he should be in the majority. Having spent a lot of time in Alaska (and in Wasilla and the Mat-Su Valley), I understand that he is grateful to Sarah Palin for not being mean to him. She might even be nice to him. Of course he is grateful. But that is the gratefulness of a slave to his master for not beating him. This is seriously fucked up. I'm not saying he needs to be a San Francisco ACT-UP radical, but just because Sarah Palin didn't spit on him doesn't mean that when he's not around she doesn't think he's icky (if funny) and sad (or worse, heading to hell). Living in a small town can be oppressive, and I'm sure he's grateful for any person that doesn't actually threaten him. That doesn't mean he is celebrated for who is he is (as he should be among real friends).

Posted by gay dad | October 1, 2008 8:44 PM

a disgrace to all gay people.

why would he vote for someone who fights to take his benefits away?

this dude is crazy!

Posted by blue | October 1, 2008 8:50 PM

First #52, you must be Terry, Dan's partner. How would I know that? Because I pay attention and am good at making connections. I respect you have your beliefs and values, but hopefully you can expand your worldview enough to believe that there is one smart gay person who doesn't agree with the body politic. I am not a follower. I don't fit easily into molds, never have. Ask my sister. She lives in Seattle and she is one of you in many respects.

#' 17, 26, 51 THANK YOU

The rest of you reactionaries in the cloth of progressives, run off the cliff, together, it is more fun that way.

Posted by SPGF | October 1, 2008 9:01 PM

52 is not my partner, for the record.

Posted by Dan Savage | October 1, 2008 9:09 PM

I forgot one thing. Dan, thank you for being pretty darned accurate. Fidelity is hard to find these days. Your post was nearly spot on.

Posted by SPGF | October 1, 2008 9:41 PM

a few years ago, while at a local Republican meeting, one of the local candidates voiced a strong support of the admendment to the Ohio Constitution banning gay marriages. "Gay and Lesbians are just sick and gay marrige is against God's Law." After he left the podium, he came to the back of the room put his arm around me and said, "You know, I wasn't talking about you."
Yeah, right.
I'm now a Democrat, only just a bit better.

Posted by arthur | October 2, 2008 3:03 AM
“One of the reasons I’m strongly for Palin is because the Democrats in Alaska are assholes,” says Sarah Palin’s gay friend
Even assuming that this is true, that doesn't change the fact most Repubicans in the rest of the country (and all of the ones who control the national party) would have to evolve to move up to the status of asshole. And its those anti-constitutionist, crypto-religionists whose bidding Palin (and McCain - who, assuming he ever had a soul, has clearly sold it) will be doing.

Please Dan - tell us that you made up this interview, that there really isn't someone in Alaska(or anywhere else) who is that out of touch with reality.

Oh wait...clearly Palin herself is.

Never mind.

Posted by Kat | October 2, 2008 6:31 AM

Ah yes, the old "gotta have a place at the table to change their minds" argument. What SPGF doesn't get is, you will NEVER change the minds of these folks. They might like you personally. But they hate what you are. But you're too fooled by the mask of a smile they wear on their face while they are stripping you of your human rights.

Thank the gods this dufus is up in the wilderness of Alaska.

Posted by danno | October 2, 2008 12:45 PM

@51 wrote: "Just as Mrs Palin's popularity proves that liberals don't own the women's vote, so this person proves that they don't necessarily own gays either."

Before you go talking about Sarah Palin's popularity with women, I think you really should check the figures. Women are supporting Obama-Biden over McCain-Palin by double-digits: 55% to 37%. Palin is popular with men, not with women. Do your math.

Posted by Kynn | October 2, 2008 2:46 PM

@61; assuming your poll figures are accurate, that still means well over forty million women support her. IMHO anything or anyone that forty million people like constitutes popularity, even if it's not a majority.

Posted by Seajay | October 2, 2008 3:29 PM

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