Job change is in the air. I know this because I've just given notice at my current place of employment and am poised to start a new gig at the beginning of 2005. I also know this because over at Homosexuals ‘R' Us, also known as the Human Rights Campaign, there's been a little upheaval on the personnel front.
Cheryl Jacques, the former politician from Massachusetts who gave up life at the statehouse for a stint at the helm of Gay America's largest advocacy organization, is calling it quits. We'll set aside for now the issue of what really happened over there at Equality Sign Central and just accept the Jacques resignation at face value. We'll carefully avoid any cheap innuendo, unlike a certain newspaper that ran a front-page photo of Jacques standing beneath the "George W. Bush, you're fired!" semi-truck, cropped so that only the words "You're fired!" appear above her head.
It's clear to me that the folks over at HRC need my help in picking the next executive director. I've never made a bad pick when I've been enlisted to select the leader of a rich, powerful gay organization, and I don't intend to botch this task, either. But I don't want to make this choice single-handedly. I've often joked privately about how when HRC spends money, it's my gay tax dollars hard at work. (This would be a better joke if I were a member of HRC.) In other words, HRC is like our gay government. The leader should be chosen by the people.
So I present herewith my nominations for executive director of the Human Rights Campaign. I will let you, the gay and lesbian community, vote on the final choice (residents of Ohio are not allowed to participate). Please vote for only one candidate.
- BARNEY FRANK. Yes, okay, we tried our luck with a Massachusetts politician and that didn't turn out the best. But we need to consider that this Massachusetts politician, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has been on the national scene talking about and working for the issues that matter most to gays for many years now. In my experience as a reporter at a gay newspaper in the 1990s, Rep. Frank has an unsurpassed ability to talk fast and incomprehensibly when he wants to confuse his victims. (From what I remember, he wasn't so fond of reporters.) This could come in handy for befuddling homophobic oppressors.
- BARNEY THE DINOSAUR. I know a lot of little kids, and I'm not hearing much about the giant purple Barney lately. Maybe it's time for him to dust off his résumé and consider a career change. That whole shtick about "we're a happy family" is a perfect motto for a beleaguered gay community under assault from the cultural conservatives. Running mate: Tinky Winky from the Teletubbies.
- DONALD TRUMP. It's been proven that he knows how to run a business. Possible perks of Trump taking the helm at HRC could include a high-profile Cabinet appointment for Kyan from "Queer Eye" to be in charge of the E.D.'s hair. The yellow stripes of the equality symbol on the side of HRC's headquarters could be replaced with real bars of gold. Most importantly, when The Donald says "you're fired," the recipient of that directive does actually lose his job.
- MY FRIEND WHO WORKS AT HRC. I'm not going to name names and embarrass anyone or, more importantly, get anyone in trouble with her bosses. Still, I submit for your consideration My Friend Who Works at HRC because she is really committed to the work she does and has been doing for several years now, and she has some awesome leadership skills, even though she's only 31. She knows the workings of the organization and has a knack for getting the message out in a way that resonates. Also, she's really witty but in a charming way, which is helpful for disarming the opponents. I don't want to mention her new wife by name, because that would reveal the identity of My Friend Who Works at HRC, but she would make an excellent First Lady of Gay America.
- WONKETTE. I think it's pretty clear that Wonkette is not a lesbian, but her fascination with a certain sexual activity often associated with gay male behaviors make her a clear standout in the field of candidates for HRC's executive director. She's cute and sassy, and she's bitingly funny. I like a leader who makes me laugh. Most importantly, she knows Washington in and out -- and in and out, and in and out.
- ELLEN DEGENERES. The thing about Ellen DeGeneres is that she's so genuine, and Gay America needs a leader who can be taken at face value. (My friend Will and I like to debate whether or not she's had work done on her face, but that's beside the point.) Ellen DeGeneres knows lots of rich and famous people, meaning HRC dinners would become much more interesting. She comes with her own DJ. She's been filmed naked with Sharon Stone. Like many of us, she has an ex her friends probably didn't approve of during the relationship, meaning she can relate to the Gay America commoner. Plus, she gives away really cool stuff on her show, and maybe that would carry over to her stint at HRC. (Then I might be persuaded to join.)
- MICHAEL MOORE. He's been so depressed since Nov. 2, we need to do something to cheer him up. How about making him head of Gay America? I don't think he's gay, but he'll do a lot to assuage tensions between the well-groomed gay male and our gay brothers who are, to put it nicely, a little less obsessed with personal appearance. (You know who you are, and we think it's sweet that you don't care what people think.) Consider the documentaries he'd make about Gay America.
- ME. While it's true that I just took another job and my new bosses won't be happy if I can't work there because I've been elected commander-in-chief of Gay America, but it seems like a good career move in some ways. So please consider voting for me. I pledge to keep Gay America focused on domestic interests (like interior decorating) and won't send our gay youngsters off to war, beyond the cultural war right here in our front yards. I'll push my economic stimulus package, which includes a Subaru kickback plan, and I'll lobby for more flower shops and hair salons to improve the gay employment rate. Worried about my prospective Gay Supreme Court appointments? See above.
Kristina Campbell approved this message. Contact her at email@example.com, and check this space biweekly for further explanation of her campaign platform under the heading of "Alphabet Soup."