Like many here, I've come out in numerous ways over the years--among them, lesbian, bisexual, FtM, and queer--and like many, I realize that coming out is an ongoing, constant, life-time process. It never ends.
But today on Coming Out Day, 2008, I'm going to veer off in a different direction.
I'm going to come out as...having a massive crush on the totally awesome Rachel Maddow!
This won't come as a complete surprise to regular readers, as I've praised Maddow before--she's one of my heroes. Well-informed and extraordinarily intelligent, she is so smart, in fact, that (as a Cal alumnus) I'll even forgive her for graduating from Stanford- which according to Wikipedia she did in 1994, earning a degree in Public Policy! She then went on to become the first openly gay American to win a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University in the UK-- you know, the same scholarship Bill Clinton earned? She obtained a PhD from Oxford in political science.
Not only wonderfully smart- Dr Maddow is funny! Her flashing smile, infectious laugh, and sense of humor allows her to score hard-hitting points against conservative pundits without ever getting nasty, transforming people like Pat Buchanan from despicable to almost likeable in the process. Remember: Buchanan was the guy who, referring to AIDS, wrote in 1983 that gays "have declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution." He called gay sex "filthy" and urged several successive New York mayors to cancel the city's gay parade.
Yet on Maddow's show, Buchanan appears almost human as Maddow refers to him as her "pretend uncle" and humorously reveals the fallacies of his position. It's magical- the way Maddow, with her light touch, can expose the Right's distortions and lies without losing her wit nor dropping her smile.
And while you might expect someone as all-around dazzling as Maddow to be vain and arrogant- she's not. She comes across as disarmingly self-effacing- humble, even.
As a matter of fact, Maddow has been quoted as disparaging her own good looks. This simply cannot be left to stand unchallenged. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds her drop-dead gorgeous in a butch, geeky, fabulous way. I swooned when I saw her clip from the Tonight Show this week- dressed all in black but for the flash of white on her shoes, with that cool button-up Western shirt and those stunning heavy, dark-framed glasses.
She revealed to Jay Leno that her parents found her at age 4 reading the newspaper after, unbeknownst to them, she'd taught herself to read.
How utterly revealing! Of both her genius, and her future calling.