Tag Archives: gaydar

Mike Michaud returns to work tomorrow as Congress’ 7th out gay member

When the intensely private Rep. Mike Michaud laid bare his private life and announced he’s gay, one openly gay congressman joked that the Maine Democrat had never registered on his “gaydar.”

As he prepares to return to Capitol Hill this week as the seventh openly gay member of the U.S. House, Michaud said the decision to come out last week was a positive experience that drew support from fellow congressmen and hundreds of constituents — even if it was political nastiness that prompted his announcement.

“People know me as Mike. They know my issues are veteran issues, economic development, health care and jobs, and nothing is going to change,” he said.

Michaud, who’s engaged in a three-way race for governor, used an op-ed provided to two newspapers and The Associated Press to disclose he’s gay, saying he did so to address “whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls” that raised questions about his sexuality.

He said constituents have been supportive, with many finding his honesty refreshing.

Several members of Congress, including Democratic Reps. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts and David Cicilline of Rhode Island have reached out to show support, as well.

Among them was Republican Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, who works closely with Michaud, the committee’s ranking Democrat.

“Mike Michaud is my friend and colleague. He is a strong ally in advocating for veterans and his recent announcement does nothing to change that,” Miller said.

Before Michaud’s announcement, there were six openly gay members of the U.S. House. Michaud’s sexual orientation was as much a surprise to at least some of them as it was to Mainers.

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., who is gay, tweeted in surprise after Michaud’s announcement that “My #gaydar missed it.” He also reached out to lend support.

“I conveyed to him that I felt it was great that he has this load off his shoulders and I know he’ll be an even more effective servant for the people of Maine,” he said.

Back in Maine, political observers said Michaud’s announcement likely won’t have a big impact on the governor’s race. Voters here approved gay marriage a year ago.

Michaud continued a regular schedule of public events after making his announcement. On Friday, the Maine Association of Police and the Professional Fire Fighters endorsed Michaud over Republican Gov. Paul LePage, the incumbent, and wealthy independent Eliot Cutler.

Michaud’s sexual orientation was never mentioned.

“Mike was the same person six years ago when I knew him,” said John Martell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine. “He’s the same person today. It makes no difference whatsoever.”

Michaud, for his part, has never been one to discuss his personal life. He informed his mother that he was gay just hours before announcing it to the world.

He said he doesn’t have a partner and said his private life is “boring.”

“I don’t have a very exciting life, other than public work,” he said. When he’s not in Washington, Michaud is usually traveling the vast 2nd Congressional District to meet constituents.

Polis said he fully expects his colleague to dive back to work on Tuesday, when he’s due to return to Washington after attending Veterans Day events in Maine.

“It’s clear he doesn’t intend to make a big deal out of it,” Pollis said. “It’s done and he’s ready to get back to work.”

Gays big users of social networks

A massive survey shows that social networks increasingly are an effective way to reach LGBT consumers.

The fifth annual LGBT Community Survey, conducted by Community Marketing Inc., involved a partnership with 150 organizations, websites and publications and the polling of 30,000 people.

Gay consumers, the survey shows, are leading the charge toward the intersection of social networking and brand interaction, using mobile apps such as Grindr.  Also, they increasingly are making use of mobile ad platforms, including QR codes and tags.

Nearly 70 percent of gay men own a smartphone – a percentage slighter higher than among lesbians. About 50 percent of gay smartphone owners have iPhones, which are used, according to the survey, mostly for texting, Web browsing and updating social networks such as Facebook.

The survey also shows:

  • Gay and lesbian consumers are 50 percent more likely than the general population to make a purchase with their smartphone, and 50 percent are more likely than the general population to receive notifications from Groupon, Living Social and other “deal” services on their devices.
  • 85 percent of older gay men and 88 percent of older lesbians are connecting with friends on Facebook.
  • 39 percent of gay men and 37 percent of lesbians are planning a major vacation in the next year.
  • 18 percent of gay men plan to purchase cars in the next year, and 16 percent plan to purchase tablet computers.
  • 48 percent of older gay men and 33 percent of younger gay men regularly read local LGBT publications.

– Lisa Neff

Gaydar woes

Gaydar, an international gay dating website that offers members “what you want, when you want it,” is offering Marcus Bachmann a complimentary lifetime membership. Bachmann, a “Christian counselor” who tries to turn gay people straight, has come under increasing ridicule on the Web for his overtly effeminate mannerisms. His wife, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, has made opposition to LGBT equality a cornerstone of her GOP presidential campaign.

“Marcus Bachmann is popping up on everyone else’s gaydar, we figure he might want to be on the real Gaydar!” a rep at Gaydar headquarters blogged.

Gaydar offers Marcus Bachmann free membership as his wife signs anti-gay pledge

Gaydar, an international gay dating website that offers members “what you want, when you want it” is offering Marcus Bachmann “a complimentary lifetime membership.”

“In light of Marcus Bachmann’s spike in popularity on gay and gay-friendly blogs across the U.S., Internet dating megasite Gaydar.net is offering the husband of Tea Party presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a complimentary lifetime membership,” Gaydar’s blog stated this morning.

“Marcus Bachmann is popping up on everyone else’s gaydar, we figure he might want to be on the real Gaydar!” a rep at Gaydar headquarters blogged. “With over six million members, we like to think Gaydar is the picture of inclusivity – from swarthy barbarians to piggy politicos – all are welcome!” 

The Bachmanns are vehement anti-gay activists. Marcus Bachmann operates a “Christian counseling” clinic where he reportedly tries to save gays from “sin” through biblical teachings. He has referred to gays as “barbarians” in need of “discipline.”

Michele Bachmann has suggested that her fear and contempt of gays helped to inspire her political career, which has focused on efforts to enact policies preventing gays from achieving social equality. She has called gays as being “of Satan” and warned “it is our children who are the prize for this community.”

The Advocate reported that Bachmann was “first in line to sign” today to sign a new pledge called “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family.” The pledge, circulated by the anti-gay group Family Leader asks candidates to affirm that gay men are a public health risk, that gay parents are inferior to straight parents and that homosexuality is a choice.

The Family Leader is headed by Bob Vander Plaats, who has compared gay marriage to the dangers of second-hand smoke. He led the successful campaign to unseat three Iowa Supreme Court justices who legalized gay marriage in the state.

But despite the Bachmanns’ anti-gay stance, Marcus Bachmann’s strikingly effeminate personality has come to light amid the publicity surrounding his wife’s presidential campaign. With that attention has come ridicule from both the left and the right.

Gay conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan labeled Bachmann a “ssuper-sserial hunter of gays.” Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley tweeted, “How can Michele Bachman be opposed to gay marriage when she is married to gay man.”

Many LGBT advocates have condemned the ridicule of Marcus Bachmann as unseemly and counterproductive.

“I don’t view saying that someone’s gay is a negative thing, but I believe that perceived sexuality was being used as an attack on Marcus Bachmann, and I find it unacceptable to use perceived sexuality as an attack on anybody,” Stonewall DFL chair David Joseph DeGrio told the Minnesota Independent.

 “The message I see it sending is a bit hypocritical because we’re advocating for policies in schools to stop this exact thing, saying someone’s effeminate or someone speaks with a high-pitched voice or even (saying) someone is gay because this a gay characteristic,” DeGrio said.

The unwanted attention of Marcus Bachmann has also led to scrutiny of the Bachmanns’ marriage. Michele Bachmann provided a clue about the marriage in a 2006 speech to the Living Word Christian Center in which she suggested the marriage was based on “divine inspiration” rather than passion.

“And the Lord then led me to this man,” she said, pausing to identify her husband in the audience. “That my calling was to marry this man. And I tell you that, because, I hate to disappoint you, darling, but it wasn’t a big romantic surge that led us to each other. It was His word.”