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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

AOL: Another Online Lesbian (Mary Cheney gets a new job)

News item:

"DULLES, Va. -- America Online Inc. has hired Mary Cheney, the daughter of the vice president, to a newly created position."

Awwwww ... isn't that nice? Mary has a job now. As an unemployed gay man, it gives me great hope that at least some more-or-less out LGBT folks are finding gainful employment.

Poor Mary! It's been a rough couple of years for her. First she was "outed" by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry during the debates. The outing prompted Lynn Cheney, Mary's mommy, to denounce Kerry as a "bad, bad man" in the press (though she was silent earlier when perennially losing Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes referred to Mary as a "sinner" and "selfish hedonist" during the Republican convention). Of course it wasn't actually Kerry who outed Mary but his running mate, John Edwards, during the vice presidential debate. And, truth be told, Edwards didn't really out her since Mary had previously been employed by the notoriously anti-labor Coors Brewing Company as head of Coors' highly visible gay and lesbian outreach program.

Apparently all that notoriety made Mary virtually unemployable and she was forced to take a position running campaign office operations for her Daddy. It's nice to know Mary comes from such a supportive family who will create a job for her once she gets outed. Besides, the $1 million she made off the advance for writing about her experiences as an out lesbian and a Republican for Threshold, a new subdivision of Simon & Schuster devoted to conservative books that is being run by Republican strategist Mary Matalin, should help her get over the trauma of her outing.

Now Mary's back in the spotlight with her new position at AOL where she will "assist in managing the advertising, e-commerce and search engines considered AOL's core functions," according to news accounts.

Who knows. Maybe Mary can help reverse AOL's fortunes. While AOL was announcing the addition of Mary, it was also laying off 700 U.S. employees and dealing with a loss of 2.7 million subscribers in the past year.

For once I was ahead of the curve. I gave up AOL several years ago, but it didn't have anything to do with lousy dial-up service, frequently getting "booted" off line by glitches in the system, slow downloads, and other problems. My disenchantment with AOL came when AOL founder and his wife made a substantial donation to the homophobic Coral Ridge Ministries.

Hey, maybe Mary can do something about AOL's affiliation with Coral Ridge and other right-wing homophobic groups! Maybe Mary can make AOL "gay-friendly."

If AOL puts Mary in charge of LGBT outreach like she was at Coors, maybe we can look forward to some changes like these:

1. That annoying "You've got mail!" will be replaced by the voice of Rosie O'Donnell saying, "You've got FEMALE!"

2. During lengthy downloads, AOL users can opt for listening to music by Melissa Ethridge and the Indigo Girls while twiddling their thumbs and cursing the sloooooooow downloads.

3. Profile photos will be rejected unless the subject is wearing a flannel shirt or softball uniform.

4. Really butch lesbians will monitor and mediate all chatroom disputes.

5. At least two lesbians will be assigned to every gay male chatroom and will be instructing to begin discussing the finer points of girl-on-girl sex if the guys get too raunchy.

6. The "News of the Day" feature will be replaced by sports news featuring Women's Pro Golf standings and frequent updates on the AOL women's softball team's results.

7. AOL online polls will feature probing questions such as "Who's hotter? Melissa Ethridge or k.d. lang?" and "Which describes your feelings about Anne Heche? 1. Hate her 2. Really hate her 3. Really, REALLY hate her 4. I speed up to run over Anne Heche?"

So congratulations on your new job, Mary. We're expecting great things from you! (Well, not really. Actually we're just hoping you don't screw us over too much.)