The most interesting thing in the Times article by Micah Cohen, on the gay vote, on November 16, is that, among straight voters, the vote was roughly divided, 49% Democratic and 49% Republican. The gay vote, which was 5% of the total, was approximately 75% Democratic, more than enough to give Obama the ultimate advantage, according to a study by Gary J. Gates of the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law, in conjunction with Gallup. It appears that we gave Obama the decisive edge in the election. It appears, finally, we can claim we have power and the next goal is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA.
Carole Cadwalladr announces in The Guardian that Nathan Silver has announced he is gay. He’s the man of whom Rachel Maddow said, “You know who won the election tonight? Nate Silver.” Jon Stewart “saluted him as ‘Nate Silver! The lord and god of the algorithm.’” After all, he correctly predicted the vote in fifty states, and he’s gay.
What else? Well, a gay Abraham Lincoln. J. Bryan Lowder, in Slate, writes, “In a particularly poignant moment in Lincoln, honest Abe spends a few moments with a handsome telegraph operator, played by a somewhat period-discordant Adam Driver. ‘Do we choose to be born? Are we fitted to the times we’re born into?’ the Great Emancipator wonders aloud, gazing tenderly at the young man.” The scene, and apparently the movie, don’t give a definitive answer to the question of Lincoln’s sexuality, but it’s suggestive in this scene with the young man, and it shows what it would have looked like, had Lincoln, our greatest president, been into men. That’s a step in the right direction.
Then there’s Daniel Craig, as 007, and Javier Bardem, the sexual object-choice for half the gay men in America, who plays a gay villain named Silva. Mark Simpson writes of their most charged scene, “Whether out of genuine desire or a desire to undercut 007’s masculinity, Silva slides up close to his bound antagonist and caresses his thighs: ‘There’s a first time for everything – eh, Mr. Bond?’ But Bond meets his captor’s gaze with his customary implacability and asks, ‘What makes you think it’s my first time?’” Well, whatever. 007 knows about gay sex, and he isn’t uneasy with it, whether it’s his first time or his thirty-third. He’s not bothered.
That’s a lot of triumphs for the LGBT team in a short time, which we’re not yet accustomed to. We’ll remember election 2012 for many reasons, and I have no doubt that we will remember the folks who didn’t make it to this point.