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Who are Our Conservative “Divas”?

One thing which seems to unite all gay men is our respect (in some cases, reverence) for strong woman. We see this notably in our affection for such screen legends as Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor and for Broadway divas like Ethel Merman, Tallulah Bankhead and Carol Channing. Some turn to their affection to woman who have succeeded in a variety of different venues, particularly such divas as Marlene Dietrich and Barbra Streisand, the latter whose song and screen performances (especially Funny Girl, What’s up Doc? and The Way we Were), we enjoy despite her angry leftist politics.

Given Barbra’s politics, perhaps we gay conservatives need to find a few divas of our own, strong women, who are successful and command respect even from straight men, but whose political views don’t turn our stomachs. To that end, Bruce and I have decided to poll our readers to help determine the gay conservative diva — or perhaps divas.

Before we do that poll, we’d like to open nominations in several categories.

In the Political Leaders category, obvious nominees include Margaret Thatcher and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but perhaps we should also include German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And of course, we should consider such political aides as Mary Matalin (who once complimented your humbled blogger on his then-long and curly locks) and the President’s confidante, Ambassador Karen Hughes. Is there anyone else we should consider?

In the field of political commentary I would favor my Athena*, Peggy Noonan, while Bruce would pick Ann Coulter.

There are many candidates for the conservative blogress diva including Ann Althouse, Tammy Bruce (can a lesbian be a diva?) Polipundit‘s Lorie Byrd, Bridget Johnson (GOP Vixen) and Michelle Malkin.

In Entertainment, our choices seem limited as so many strong women either have kept their politics to themselves or mouthed off against conservatives. One great playwright comes to mind–Claire Booth Luce, a friend to the Buckley family and author of The Women, a perennial favorite of gay men. Emmy Award winning actress Patricia Heaton of Everybody Loves Raymond and Elizabeth Hasselback of The View have come out as Republicans. Are there others?

If we turn to U.S. history, we would naturally include Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of a Republican president and wife to a Republican Speaker of the House, who kept an embroidered pillow on her sofa with this phrase, “If you haven’t anything nice to say, come sit by me.” Some Federalists would surely opt for Dolley Madison. And since we’re now talking first ladies, we must of course consider Nancy.

So, please e-mail me or drop a comment with your nominees in these categories. And if you find a strong Republican woman who doesn’t fit these four categories, include her anyway and tell us why you think she should be nominated.

*If you define diva as I do, a strong, talented woman who commands the respect of men, the goddess Athena may well have been the first diva.



  1. We see this notably in our affection for such screen legends…


    ….(especially Funny Girl, What’s up Doc? and The Way we Were), we enjoy despite her angry leftist politics.


    and author of The Women, a perennial favorite of gay men.


    I do like Patricia Heaton.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 11, 2005 @ 4:43 am - December 11, 2005

  2. I nominate 2 for the entertainment category………..Heather Locklear and Lara Flynn Boyle

    Comment by nuyorker — December 11, 2005 @ 9:23 am - December 11, 2005

  3. What? No mention of Joan Crawford? 🙂

    Comment by Frank IBC — December 11, 2005 @ 11:05 am - December 11, 2005

  4. Did I see Laura Ingraham’s name in your list?

    Her show is one of my favorites. She somehow combines “sweet” and “killer” in her attitude.

    Until I went here to check her name – I never realized how hot she was.

    Comment by Calarato — December 11, 2005 @ 12:08 pm - December 11, 2005

  5. Wow, Laura I. could almost turn me straight!

    Comment by Hello Moto — December 11, 2005 @ 12:29 pm - December 11, 2005

  6. I like Laura Ingraham a lot. But I’ve never been into the diva thing.

    Comment by V the K — December 11, 2005 @ 1:11 pm - December 11, 2005

  7. I’ll name two who get called “conservative”, though I’m not altogether convinced that either one qualifies. Still, many of their ideas resonate well with conservative thought. They are decidedly divas in my personal pantheon: Ayn Rand and Camille Paglia.

    Comment by Doug — December 11, 2005 @ 1:15 pm - December 11, 2005

  8. Oh yeah. I should have said Ayn Rand!

    Religious conservatives don’t like her, but libertarian ones (that’s me) get most of our ideas from her.

    Comment by Calarato — December 11, 2005 @ 2:19 pm - December 11, 2005

  9. I nominate Laura Bush (her stylishness and grace under pressure put Jackie O to shame) and Jeanne Kirkpatrick, UN Ambassador under Ronaldus Magnus. Laura is a true Steel Magnolia, and Jeanne is just a spunky Irish woman with enough “down there” to go toe-to-toe with the UN.

    Peter Hughes

    Comment by Peter Hughes — December 11, 2005 @ 4:25 pm - December 11, 2005

  10. Bo Derek should be on your candidate list. Check out her book description,Riding Lessons. Yes, she’s a Republican!

    Comment by Talkin Horse — December 11, 2005 @ 4:31 pm - December 11, 2005

  11. WOW!!! You readers are reminding me of a lot of prominent conservative women whom I had neglected to include. Keep these names coming!

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 11, 2005 @ 4:49 pm - December 11, 2005

  12. Political Leaders: Jeanne Kirkpatrick

    For conservative blogress diva:

    This site is a treasure:

    Comment by Bourgeois Reactionary — December 11, 2005 @ 5:04 pm - December 11, 2005

  13. Fun! But I don’t think I qualify to nominate or vote, based on any of the three basic qualifications. : )

    It’ll be amusing to follow the thread, though …

    Comment by reader_iam — December 11, 2005 @ 5:40 pm - December 11, 2005

  14. Again, not on board with the diva thing, but I think if you gave a nod to K-Lo, you’d at least get another link in The Corner.

    Comment by V the K — December 11, 2005 @ 5:40 pm - December 11, 2005

  15. Don’t forget Shanon Doherty. Also, I heard Geri Halliwell on Howard Stern, & he asked her about the controversy in England over Blair’s support for Bush. She said, “I think we should trust our leaders.”

    Libertarian Paglia is a gay man trapped in a lesbian’s body, & my idol. For an entertaining show, sit her next to Tammy Bruce at a dinner & watch the sparks fly!

    Comment by beautifulatrocities — December 11, 2005 @ 6:18 pm - December 11, 2005

  16. Also, Ayaan Hirsh Ali, the fearless woman who lives under police protection in Holland & is now making a movie about Islam’s treatment of gays (which she wrote with gay martyr Theo Van Gogh)

    Comment by beautifulatrocities — December 11, 2005 @ 6:22 pm - December 11, 2005

  17. 12: Wasn’t Jeanne Kirkpatrick involved with Bill the Cat back in the 80s? sounds like a dicey choice to me….

    Comment by Kevin — December 11, 2005 @ 9:27 pm - December 11, 2005

  18. Rachel Hunter not an american but wow is she hot!!!!

    Comment by nuyorker — December 11, 2005 @ 10:35 pm - December 11, 2005

  19. Although she’s still a notorious figure (even in death and even among Republicans), I think it’s difficult to talk about “right-wing divas” without at least mentioning the late Ayn Rand.

    Along with Hayek, Friedman, Chambers, and others, Rand played a crucial role in the rebirth of the intellectual right in the 1930’s/40’s – especially the libertarian right. The influence of her thought on libertarianism—and, by extension, today’s economics departments—would be almost impossible to understate.

    There was, for instance, her personal influence on Alan Greenspan—especially her views on the evils of inflation.

    Although she mostly ignored academic philosophers (to which they gladly responded in kind), her thought probably has had a (largely hidden) impact on the nation’s philosophy departments:

    “In the decades since Rand first began constructing her maverick philosophical system, the philosophical mainstream has moved in Rand’s direction. Professional philosophers are far more likely today than they were in the 1960s to agree with Rand about the directness of sense-perception, the relation between meaning and reference, the incompatibility of utilitarianism with individual rights, or the prospects for a neo-Aristotelean ethical theory (or indeed a neo-Aristotelean philosophical approach generally); and many of the dichotomies she rejected—between empiricism and rationalism, analytic and synthetic statements, dualism and materialism, nominalism and conceptual realism, fact and value, liberalism and an ethics of virtue—have fallen into increasing disfavor.

    “These developments are largely independent of Rand’s own influence… […]. But they are not entirely so; I can testify, from two decades’ experience in the profession, that the number of academic philosophers who will privately admit having been decisively influenced by Rand is far greater than the number who can be found citing her in print.”

    I’m a young gay man, and it was Rand you first led my away from the left. Today I consider myself a secular Republican—and, though I have great misgivings about certain aspects of Rand’s thought, she’ll always have a place in my heart.

    Also, I don’t there’s any questioning her diva credentials.

    Comment by form a — December 11, 2005 @ 11:27 pm - December 11, 2005

  20. Exactly.

    Few are willing to cite her; but very many have read her, and realized that her challenge to the profession (of philosophers and professional academics) had to be answered in some fashion; and that, on a surprising number of points, her challenge could only be answered by edging in her direction or conceding at least some points of her argument.

    Comment by Calarato — December 12, 2005 @ 2:37 am - December 12, 2005

  21. Laura Bush a “Steel MAgnolia”. Bullshit! If she were a true steel magnolia she would drop kick that no good husband of hers to the curb and find a more appropriate spouse who doesn’t kill youn men a and women for oil. Laura Bush is a Southern Belle wannabee.

    Comment by Meow — December 12, 2005 @ 3:08 am - December 12, 2005

  22. Not sure whether she is “conservative,” but Angie Harmon is definitely republican and can fit in the Entertainment Diva category.

    Comment by O.F. Jay — December 12, 2005 @ 6:35 am - December 12, 2005

  23. You forgot Phyllis Schafely — you know, the lady who Campaynes vigoriously against Gays even tho she has a Gay son. Sick – friggen sick!

    Comment by JRC — December 12, 2005 @ 9:50 am - December 12, 2005

  24. I didn’t know that Angie Harmon was either a diva or a Republican.

    The idolization of divas by some gay men makes little sense to me. It’s all too cheap and easy to idolize The Most Complete Cunt from a distance. Would one actually want to work for or with someone like Joan Crawford or Tallulah Bankhead or Madonna? I wouldn’t. Recall, for instance, the celebrations among her co-workers when Kathleen Battle was famously fired. And, speaking of Bankhead, if you read Tab Hunter’s autobiography, he gives the goods on how unpleasant it could be to actually work with her on Broadway.

    Comment by Patrick Rothwell — December 12, 2005 @ 12:48 pm - December 12, 2005

  25. On the libertarian side of conservative, there’s also Megan McArdle of Asymmetrical Information.

    Comment by Doug — December 12, 2005 @ 1:02 pm - December 12, 2005

  26. You forgot Cathy Young at Reason Magazine.

    Comment by Justin — December 12, 2005 @ 1:44 pm - December 12, 2005

  27. What about Bar, the president’s Mom?

    Comment by H.W. — December 12, 2005 @ 3:00 pm - December 12, 2005

  28. Don’t forgot Betty!

    Comment by Jerry — December 12, 2005 @ 3:44 pm - December 12, 2005

  29. The Divine Sondra K

    Comment by beautifulatrocities — December 12, 2005 @ 3:47 pm - December 12, 2005

  30. Tonya Harding for TGC:)

    Comment by hank — December 12, 2005 @ 5:32 pm - December 12, 2005

  31. And again, citing those comments above regarding the First Lady and Phyllis Schafly, it shows how unhinged the demoncRATS are when you suggest a strong, conservative woman. Typical leftist pap smear.

    Peter Hughes

    Comment by Peter Hughes — December 15, 2005 @ 2:07 pm - December 15, 2005

  32. Do you think we should also include Liddy Dole?

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 15, 2005 @ 2:37 pm - December 15, 2005

  33. Oh my God, how could you forget Eva Braun?
    She was THE incarnation of the conservative diva!
    I believe she is Ann Coulter’s main source of inspiration – just look at the hair and the refined humour…

    Comment by Alpine Log Cabin — December 15, 2005 @ 3:15 pm - December 15, 2005

  34. Errr, she’d make a great Left diva.

    Fascism = dictatorial collectivism…..= leftism.

    Comment by Calarato — December 15, 2005 @ 3:44 pm - December 15, 2005

  35. encore, tete dans le cul

    Comment by hank — December 15, 2005 @ 4:51 pm - December 15, 2005

  36. Alpine, gosh you’re so original, another leftist comparing conservatives to Nazis. You guys just make your narrow-mindedness so manifest.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 15, 2005 @ 7:44 pm - December 15, 2005

  37. Many good choices but why isn´t Nancy Reagan on the top of the list?
    She is one of the few conservatives in Hollywood and as a first lady
    she was most elegant.

    Comment by Roberto — December 16, 2005 @ 10:56 am - December 16, 2005

  38. I was surprised that NR’s Kate O’Beirne was left off your list. The Left wakes troubled each morning that they don’t have a Kate of their own…

    Best wishes,
    Mike S.

    Comment by Mike S. — December 16, 2005 @ 11:03 am - December 16, 2005

  39. hank, je parle francais.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — December 17, 2005 @ 1:26 am - December 17, 2005

  40. Cool. That wasn’t meant for you;)

    Comment by hank — December 17, 2005 @ 10:57 am - December 17, 2005

  41. Being called narrow-minded by someone who hails to notorious gay bashers, hoping to make them potential gay divas, is more of a compliment than I could ever have dreamt of.
    But I do love your use of the word “gosh”!
    And Hank, whose tĂŞte is in whose cul – Babelfish appaently remained mute on that issue…

    Comment by Alpine Log Cabin — December 18, 2005 @ 1:04 pm - December 18, 2005

  42. the brain dead Calarato.
    translate it for him
    i won’t be here anymore

    Comment by hank — December 19, 2005 @ 1:07 am - December 19, 2005

  43. Debbie Schlussel.

    Comment by anon — December 19, 2005 @ 1:58 pm - December 19, 2005

  44. Poor, poor Hank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reduced to crude name-calling – even though neither I, nor anyone here except TGC, has ever called him one!

    And on his 3rd or 4th (by now) distinct announcement of leaving in a huff. – ROTFLMAO 🙂

    Comment by Calarato — December 19, 2005 @ 10:36 pm - December 19, 2005

  45. I think Cassy Fiano, a newbie conservative diva needs to be mentioned.

    Although Cassy’s readership is not as high as others mentioned above, she does contribute to and Conservative Grapevine.

    But, as an active member of I must place my vote with Sondra. The HMIC simply rocks!

    Comment by Gothguy — December 4, 2007 @ 8:36 pm - December 4, 2007

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