In a few days, in response to one of the best letters I have yet received from a reader, I expect to write on one gay Republican dilemma — whether or not if I still lived in the Buckeye State I would vote for Ken Blackwell. Tonight, I confronted another, possibly more significant dilemma for gay Republicans — how to respond to Barbra Streisand.
This talented singer and actress has become such an icon among gay men that one supposedly giveaway sign of Howard Brackett’s (Kevin Kline) homosexuality in the 1997 comedy In & Out was his love for her music. I just watched The Way We Were, one of my three favorite (along with Funny Girl and What’s Up, Doc?) Streisand flicks. And unlike the movie I watched last night, this one really holds up. Anyone with strong emotions and deep convictions which he (or she) can’t seem to help expressing can easily relate to Streisand’s Katie Morosky. While some parts of the film have become clunky after repeated viewings, Streisand’s performance continues to stand out, an authentic portrayal of a passionate outsider.
And yet despite Streisand’s beautiful voice and powerful performances in a number of films (not limited to the three listed above), her politics have become increasingly unhinged over the years. As gay men, we respond favorably to her screen presence and vocal talents. As Republicans, we’re repulsed by her politics. I guess that as far as her politics goes, when we watch her movies and hear her sing, what’s too painful to consider, we’ll simply choose to forget.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com