Like clockwork, Elena Kagan received her nomination to the Supreme Court... and the topic I brought up a few weeks back resurfaced: is she, or isn't she?
I have no idea whether Kagan is a lesbian or not (and, like many, don't really care)... but already it's clear that bringing this up, or suggesting it's in play is being drawn as off limits. That may be because it's untrue - though it's been a striking array of non-denial denials, and "I know her when she dated men" type appraisals that don't, in any direct way, answer the question - but I'm more struck by the attempt to silence a discussion before it even starts.
That's why, as frustrating as he can be, I'm impressed with Andrew Sullivan for bringing up the question and not being cowed into shutting up. If "there's nothing wrong with being a lesbian"... then why does everyone seem so skittish that, say, presenting a photo of Kagan playing softball (and, hilariously, I listened to a clueless Rush Limbaugh ask "is there something gay about softball that I'm missing?" Oh, Goddess...) might, you know, give anyone the "wrong" impression... or indeed, any impression at all. Other than that, you know, she likes to play a recreational sport.
In the rush to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as military policy, we forget, I think, why we wound up with it, and why it has, even now, stuck: what the compromise buys, really, is silence. And silence, really, is the story here. It's not that there's something wrong with being gay... it's that we'd rather not know.