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Charlie Crist’s Sexuality, and Ours

| June 17, 2012

Mirror to Florida's conflicted sexual identity. (Mike Cohen)

By Mary Jo Melone

Rome burns.

But the greatest issue before us is whether Charlie is gay.

The former governor, then single, once elegantly deflected this rumor that refuses to die by saying he was married to Florida. A woman who had no truck for his views once popped the question at a big Tampa political luncheon; Crist simply said, “I’m not.” How he endures this garbage, of late inflicted by the indicted Jim Greer as a way to save his skin, is anybody’s guess.

The rumors naturally reveal far more about those who spread them than Crist. They expect the rumors to wound, even destroy him and his career, the way they might have sixty years ago when whispers of homosexuality were enough to ruin good people and forever taint the public good they did.

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Sixty years ago. The opinions of straights who presume their own characters are morally upright have not changed in over half a century. No matter the current talk of gay marriage and admiration of long-term gay relationships in which the partners love and cherish each other—even Jeb Bush has been respectful—the cruelty persists. Charlie Crist may have suffered politically more for standing next to Barack Obama, but this other weapon has always hung over his head, the way birtherism has always dangled over the President’s. The skeptics even said that Crist’s wife Carole is his beard, the result of a political decision he made to increase his odds of being chosen John McCain’s running mate.
After all, Charlie Crist fits the stereotype, doesn’t he?

His first marriage, when he was very young, blew up in eight months, when his wife must have discovered the “truth,” right?

He never had children. What do you think that means?

He’s pretty. Not handsome—speaking of stereotypes—in the angular way of a Mitt Romney, who photographs in such an expected way when he stands before the flag. With his never-a-strand-out-of place silver hair, his big-as-a-doe’s brown eyes, and his smooth-as-a-baby’s-skin face, Crist’s appearance is just plain astonishing; he’s perfect. Everybody in the straight universe knows, don’t we, that all gay men look different, that you can spot them at a hundred yards?

Most of all, he’s a spectacular hypocrite, right? He hides who he really is behind his ambition; he says he is against gay marriage.

None of this is meant to offend, unless you think this way.

It’s pointless to declare that these stupid and sometimes deadly prejudices should go away. They won’t. The fight for gay rights will always be; Charlie Crist is proof of that, as he is of the power of the accident of beauty. This nonsense is enough to make you yearn not only for honesty and decency but for the days before TV when a fat man with no hair and a cheap suit could get elected. Or, better yet today, a plus-sized woman.

Now that would be progress.

Mary Jo Melone, former columnist with the Tampa Bay Times, is a writer in Tampa.

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15 Responses for “Charlie Crist’s Sexuality, and Ours”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m so tired of hearing about if someone is gay and in power of government or whatever career there in. People in general need to face the fact wether someone is gay or not does not affect there workforce performance and society is still so closed minded.

  2. tbird says:

    Who cares?

  3. question says:

    One of the homophobe, racially challenged Tea Party’s first victims. Actual ‘crime’: he did not lie like other Governors [e.g. Bobby Jindal]. He supported President Obama’s Stimulus. He did not rail against Stimulus money then run behind the curtain and load up his trunk with fresh stimulus cash…like Jindal.
    Terrible, awful money that kept fire fighters & cops on the job.

    Should have an Academy Award category for excellence in two-faced hypocrisy! And how’s that T-party thing been working out for this country… not a moderate left standing, Congress approval has averaged 14% so far this year…and they keep getting paid for doing absolutely nothing other than ruin this country day by day by day.

    • some guy says:

      OK sure the tea party is behinde this what a joke. More likely just as with the “birther” thing it is Dems who are starting all this crap!

  4. gatorfan1 says:

    sounds like the writer’s jealous….come on who gives a crap?

  5. gatorfan1 says:

    by the way i would think that beautiful trophy wife of his would know….where do people come up with this garbage???

  6. Outsider says:


  7. Kendall says:

    Same list as Where as Obama’s birth certificate. Noise to distract from the real issues in the hopes that the ignorant and uneducated will do the noisemaker’s bidding.

  8. palmcoaster says:

    Charlie C. was a good governor comparison with what we have now. Who cares what people do behind the closed doors of their bedrooms with consenting adults? Who the heck are we to judge anyone else about this issue?

  9. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    “Rome burns. But the greatest issue before us is whether Charlie is gay.”. Outside of a few local media reports, there has been minimal reporting on Charlie Suntan’s sexual preference at all. This is just another example of a so-called journalist trying to create a controversial story, cover the story they created, and then claiming the coverage of the story they created is overblown and ridiculous.

  10. JL says:

    Glad to see most don’t care about whether he is or not. It doesn’t matter. It’s the press that wants to try to make something of it.

  11. TBA says:

    Who cares, Let Charlie keep chasing ambulances.

  12. Dedra Minor says:

    Not surprised that disgraced GOP boss Jim Greer will use the gay card against Crist. Anything to divert attention. Greer still controls Rep. Chris Dorworth who is vying for Speaker of the Florida House. Greer used campaign contributions from the RPOF to buy votes for Dorworth. Greer witheld campaign funds from those who refused to vote for Dorworth. Dorworth and Greer both should be indicted and stand trial. Learn more at htttp://

  13. James Watson says:

    Charlie Crist has a right to privacy concerning his sexuality. Here and there on the internet you can see Florida representative Chris Dorworth accused of being gay but he was married and now lives with a woman. If you are going to indict Dorworth for something it should be mismanagement of funds. He has received umpteen millions of dollars in contributions yet doesn’t have a dime left to spend for his mortgage or child support. Do not condemn our legislators because of their sexual preferences. If they are no good, vote them out of office. It worked for Crist and it will work for Dorworth (I’ll be voting for John Moffitt because he is honest).

  14. Jack says:

    As someone before stated “Who Cares!”. Charlie Crist was a good governor. Better than the “almost convicted crimial” that we have now. In our present society that pretty much doesn’t punish people who do wrong, they still do not even attempt to convict unless they have a lot of indications that the person did something wrong. Still the electorate elected an almost felon.

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