Friday, May 05, 2006

Dear Lynne Cheney

Can we talk? You know, mother to mother. I hate having to write a letter over the internet when it would be so much easier to have you over to my home for a glass of ice tea and a face to face chat. I have so much I want to ask you. And somehow writing you a letter just does not cut it. But alas, I know you are the Second Lady of the United States married to the second most powerful man in the world and probably way too busy to take time out of your hectic schedule for someone like me. But you know Lynne, you and I share something in common: we are both mothers of gay children. And that Lynne is why I so desperately would love to have an hour of your time. There are so many things with which I need to come to terms and unfortunately, you are the only one that can help me.

I watched Diane Sawyer interview your lesbian daughter, Mary, on Primetime last night. I could not help watching her from the perspective of a mother who also has a gay child. And from that perspective Lynne, I could not help feeling terrible sadness and anguish for your daughter. I saw a young woman speaking in an almost robotic voice, carefully weighing and measuring each word with the seasoned experience of someone who has had years of practice. I saw a young woman who sold her soul so long ago that she expects nothing more from life than the sad existence her father’s homophobic, hateful administration is working hard to enshrine into the constitution. I saw a young woman who has sacrificed everything for a mother and father who should have been the ones sacrificing for her. I saw a young woman who has had to rely on empty words of love from parents whose actions betrayed their real priorities, which did not include her happiness, dignity, or right to equality.

Many in the gay and lesbian community harbor intense anger towards your daughter. As a lesbian and the daughter of two very powerful people, Mary could have made a huge difference in the fight for equality and dignity. She chose to let that opportunity evaporate. And I believe she made that choice out of deference to her parents, which is why I aim all of my seething rage at you, Lynne. As a mother in the position you are in, you could have made a huge difference in the life of not only your daughter, but thousands and thousands of sons and daughters, but you chose power and glory instead. Good Lord Lynne, even Nancy Reagan was finally willing to chuck the rigid, dogmatic GOP policies on stem cell research when someone she loved was personally and negatively affected.

I would sacrifice anything and everything to ensure a better life for my gay son, so it is beyond my comprehension how you could be a part of an administration that is so willing to demonize and rob your daughter of the basic rights everyone else enjoys. As a mother, I simply cannot fathom your role in all of this. Was it a sort of Sophie’s Choice situation, on the one hand, all the power and glory that goes with being Second Lady of the United States, and on the other, the regrettable but necessary sacrifice of your daughter’s happiness?

Did you have any clue that when you tearfully told your daughter, upon learning she was a lesbian, that life would be much harder for her, that you would one day be part of the homophobic administration that was going to bring that prediction to fruition? Does it bother you that you have sat quietly by while your daughter has been used as a sacrificial lamb at the altar of your so called Religious Right base? Does it bother you that you had the power to make a difference and you did nothing? In your quiet moments do you feel any guilt? Do you even see the hypocrisy of being a member of a party that preaches family values, but destroys families like yours and mine? Do you sleep well at night? I know your husband has no problem sleeping.

I have no respect for you Lynne Cheney, not as a mother and not as a Second Lady. You had the chance to make a difference for all of our gay and lesbian children, but you either lacked the courage to lead the fight or your lust for power and prominence took precedence over your own child. There is no defense, the past 5 ½ years speak for themselves. Your administration thinks gays and lesbians should not be parents, well I know plenty of straight people who are poor excuses for parents.

On second thought, maybe that invitation to share some iced tea and a chat was wishful thinking. You don’t even have the courage to stand up for your own child, why did I think you would have the back bone to face the seething mom of one of the people you have damned to a life of second-class citizenship?


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