Skip to comments."Dad Was Fine When I Came Out of Closet" -- Mary Cheney
Posted on 05/02/2006 1:10:54 PM PDT by meandog
New York, N.Y. In her new memoir, NOW IT'S MY TURN(Simon & Schuster/Threshold Editions, 2006), Mary Cheney writes that when she told her parents she was gay, the first words out of her fathers mouth were exactly the ones that I wanted to hear: Youre my daughter, and I love you, and I just want you to be happy.
VANITY FAIR editor Todd Purdum reports that Mary Cheney tells her story in a voice very much like her fathers, and that she came out to her parents when she was a junior in high school, on a day when, after breaking up with her first girlfriend, she skipped school, ran a red light, and crashed the family car. Cheney writes that her mother hugged her, but then burst into tears, worried that she would face a life of pain and prejudice.
When Purdum asks the vice president whether he thinks gay people are born that way, Cheney scrunches up his mouth, fixes him with a look that says Nice try, then says: Im not going to get into that. Those are deeply personal questions. You can ask.
Mary Cheney tells Purdum that her father has very little tolerance for bullshit, pardon my French. She also says that one common reaction from people who have read the manuscript of her book is Wow, you guys really have this close-knit, loving family, and it always strikes me as Yeah, of course we do. It was very surprising to me that people would think we didnt.
When Purdum asks Cheney if he is fatalistic about his heart disease, Cheney says, I am. I dont even think about it most of the time. You do those things a prudent man would do, and I live with it. Asked what he would have for breakfast at Noras Fish Creek Inn, his favorite pre-fishing spot in Wilson, Wyoming, Cheney responds without missing a beat: Id probably have two eggs over easy, sausage and hash browns, then hastens to add that that is not his normal breakfast. The day I go fishing, I get off my diet, he says. At a roundtable lunch with reporters a couple of years ago, two who were present tell Purdum that Cheney cut his buffalo steak in bite-size pieces the moment it arrived, then proceeded to salt each side of each piece.
Cheney tells Purdum that he has not changed over the years, but perhaps many of his contemporaries think he has because of my associations over the years, or because I came across as a reasonable guy, people have one view of me that was not necessarily an accurate reflection of my philosophy or my view of the world.
Purdum asks Cheney if, during his darkest night, he has even a little doubt about the administrations course. No, he tells Purdum. I think weve done what needed to be done. Of the debate over whether or not the administration hyped the pre-war intelligence, Cheney says, In the end, you can argue about the quality of the intelligence and so forth, but ... I look at that whole spectrum of possibilities and options, and I think we did the right thing.
Cheney rejects the caricature of him as the power behind the throne, insisting, I think we have created a system that works for this president and for me, in terms of my ability to be able to contribute and participate in the process. When Purdum says that the cartoon characterization of him must not be accurate, Cheney says, My image might be better out there, this caricature you talk about might be avoided, if I spent more time as a public figure trying to improve my image, but thats not why Im here.
Purdum reports that Cheney travels with a chemical-biological suit at all times. When he gave his friend Robin West and his twin children a ride to the White House a couple of years ago, West commented on the fact that Cheneys motorcade varied its daily path. And he said, Yeah, we take different routes so that The Jackal cant get me, West tells Purdum. And then there was this big duffel bag in the middle of the backseat, and I said, Whats that? Its not very roomy in here. And [Cheney] said, No, because its a chemical-biological suit, and he looked at it and said, Robin, theres only one. You lose.
Purdum talks with former New York Times reporter and former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, James Naughton, who asks of Cheney: Does he acknowledge that he is not as pleasant as he used to be? Naughton knew Cheney as a fellow prankster during the 1976 campaign, and all but sighs in search of an explanation as to why he is so different now. I guess I would like to believe, he says, without any evidence to support it, that coming very close to death has somehow compelled him to act as though he only has so much breath and so much life, that hes only got so much time to accomplish what he has to do. But the public figure is nothing like the private one that I remember.
Gerald Ford tells Purdum: He may have changed a bit, but that was required for the change of circumstances. Ford, who will turn 93 in July, adds, Times change, and people change as a result of that.
If youre looking for a change from one point to another, being vice president is sui generis, Lynne Cheney tells Purdum. Its not quite like any other job.
The June issue of Vanity Fair hits newsstands in New York and L.A. on May 3 and nationally on May 9.
Mary looks the portrait of an All-American...Son!
Drudge's posting of this article is a a cheap and tawdry political trick. He is not a good man.
Sorry. Couldn't resist.
If we were all the same, wouldnt life be boring!?
Which explains his well-defined atttitude towards the press. :-)
That's what we love about him.
This article is BS anyway, what the hell is a father gonna do?
You love your kids not matter what they do.
One simply wonders which teacher, student leader or family friend "helped" junior high age, Mary Cheney, realize her dream of becomming a lesbian.
Me, 2, too! Both are compassionate and lovely (like Mary Cheney) but neither is gay (both nurses). Still, I could love them none the less if they were!
He probably already knew. And your kids are your kids all ways and always.
Not when they are gay. There are lots of parents who have turned their backs on their children because of it. Alan Keyes is one. I'd imagine many FReepers would not be nearly as accepting as the Cheneys.
Oops, forgot to add "Girl Scout" leader since GSA strongly supports lesbianism, abortion, and sexual identity programs.
Liberals cannot understand that conservatives do not disown everyone who disagrees with them or do something that they might not approve of. Conservatives like people. Liberals on the other hand...
Lots of people don't know what they would do until they are faced with the situation. They might bluster about it now, but if the chips were on the table, I bet they would have a different reaction.
"what the hell is a father gonna do?
Oh, there are some fathers who don't react like that. I know two who threw their kid out. One of the kids was just 16. Not all parents can deal with it.
Cheney writes that her mother hugged her, but then burst into tears, worried that she would face a life of pain and prejudice.
Her mother must have already known John Kerry and John Edwards back then.
Exactly. Something happened, etc....that helped her along her way. What that is is not for us to know, as it is a private family matter.
I wish her only the best and of course her father and family still love her, that is what parents do.
I don't know how I would react. I would try to talk to them and if they still chose the deviant lifestyle, I probably would not want much to do with them. Hopefully I won't ever know.
My gay brother is sitting on my couch as I type. Should I throw him out because I disapprove of his past lifestyle?
It's a bad idea to assume thing about Freepers. There are some who are vocal but most Freepers aren't mean. Or heartless. Or stupid.
Alan Keyes isn't worthy to shine Cheney's shoes.