Whatever Happened to the Gay Guy Who Worked for Santorum?

Robert Traynham. He was Santorum’s PR Director/Communications Director while Santorum was in the Senate. He was an openly gay, African-American man who worked for Rick Santorum. Then he got a fancy job in the D.C. (imagine) and is now teaching at George Mason, hosting a political talk show, making appearances on NPR and other swell stuff. Money will do that. Make you swallow your soul.

If you check out his website, Robert doesn’t mention Santorum. He does mention his affinity for British Royal history. Fortunately, I wrote over 16 blog posts in a two year time span with lots of links.

Ahem.

Here’s Robert’s take on his time in Congress.

“All politicians come to Washington with a set of values and a sense of purpose for what they hope to accomplish as an elected official,” says Traynham.  “The important question to ask them after a few years [in Washington] is whether they’ve stayed true to those values, or whether their moral compass has somehow changed along the way.  I admire those politicians who stick to their principles, regardless of party, and tend to raise my eyebrow at those who don’t.”

Raise his eyebrow? That’s stern stuff coming from a self-loathing homophobic gay man who turned his back on his entire community, both black and LGBT, to propel Santorum toward the friggin White House. Now, we all know Ricky won’t win, but God knows what else he’s gonna do and how much his gay-hate is going to fuel the people who beat the shit out of gay twentysomethings outside of bars and police officers who arrest transgender people and so forth.

Robert Traynham has made the world a little less safe for the millions of us who aren’t buffered by wealth, access and privilege as him. And he apparently doesn’t give a fuck now because he’s cushy and polished and has a whole new generation of British royals to read about.

If he were a decent person, he’d be speaking out for the LGBT community. He’d be outraged b/c his former boss thinks he should invalidate all same sex marriages.  Robert is referenced as a authoritative “black conservative” on a Tea Party site.

Where is his voice? Oh, here.

Now on the Roll Call with Robert Traynham profile, he lists his “life partner” Brent. Brent appears to be Brent Smith, who is up there on the seniority list at Citi. Hmmm.  Well, we all know how much Citi values average people. To be fair, Citigroup did earn a perfect score on the HRC Equality Index for 2011.

Here’s how Wikipedia sums it up (and you know that’s the truth!)

Personal Life
Traynham is very private about his personal life. He has described himself “as an out gay man”, but rarely does he talk about his love life. He is believed to be partnered to Brent Smith a high ranking official at Citigroup. He has also been rumored to have dated a very well known news official in New York. Traynham is often seen around Washington in the society pages, smoking a pipe in his front yard with the latest political story or at the Palm for lunch.

This reads like a really bad movie script.  His “love life” is private/personal. Apparently, he doesn’t think that applies to me. I’m really curious how a disabled African-American kid growing up in Philly in the 70’s and 80’s turned into this guy? This guy!

In September, he did an op/ed for the PhillyTrib.com website on the “bitter partisan divide.” Guess what analogy he used? Read on:

Sadly, both parties are to blame for this predicament. It reminds me of a bitter marriage dispute where both sides are entwined together because of family, finances and shared history, but the passion, admiration and mutual respect is gone.

Because of this, some broken marriages end up in divorce while others solider on because of unique circumstances that make divorce not an option. In these latter cases, the marriages either end up becoming more of an inconvenient reality, or sometimes both parties go to therapy and work it out and are better partners because of it.

My hope is that, for the sake of our unique history and culture, both political parties take the latter route — work out their differences and put the best interest of the country first. In other words, they go back to what we have always been taught: Treat people the same way in which you would want to be treated.

Really, Robert? Love that you don’t invoke the holy man/woman references, but use gender neutral pronouns to tell us how people repair broken marriages?

HOW WOULD YOU KNOW, GAY MAN? You can’t get married. You HELPED prevent the rest of us from ending up in therapy to save our relationships.  If we were Congress and the President in this analogy, there wouldn’t ever be a presidential speech before Congress because we’d be too busy pretending we were roommates with the British House of Lords and use Lincoln’s bedroom as a front. OK, that wasn’t a great extension of the analogy but you get my drift.

Let’s rewrite that …

Marriage flourishes where there is passion, admiration and mutual respect. When those are gone, people divorce, live in an unhappy marriage or do something to fix it. None of these things has anything to do with gender. Sorry I screwed that one up when I was on my way up the political ladder, but fortunately I have my pipe to give me solace while I contemplate how much I’m being screwed tax wise on my $500,000 home. To be fair, Citi probably screwed more of you than Santorum (ha, pun!) so why don’t you talk with Brent coz I must prepare for the Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth. She’s done so much for Pennsylvania.

That wasn’t a great rewrite, but I”m annoyed. His ongoing betrayal of the LGBTQ folks without power and access is downright shameful. Being privately gay must be nice.

As a refresher, here’s the post from blogactive.com where Mike Rogers exposed Traynham’s “privately gay” life and vividly captures the reasons why the LGBTQ community should care.

It does matter than rich gay men support Rick Santorum. It should scare the hell out of you, except you probably aren’t that shocked that rich people support fringers who propose to keep their cushy lives a little less infringed upon by the 99%.

Repeat after me. It should scare the hell out of you that rich gay men support … <insert name> (Darryl Metcalfe?)

UPDATE: Please don’t try to “out” someone using my comments section. If you have credible, documented information about anyone connected with Santorum, email me privately and be prepared to be identified. Otherwise, please don’t waste my time.

Comments

  1. BonnieHalfElven:

    Great article! Sharing!

  2. Brian:

    This guy is a shameless sellout and when he is on MSNBC or whatever, I immediately turn the channel.
    He is not credible but a mere despicable human being who really believes he is virtuous!

  3. Daniel:

    Superb article. I was stunned to see Traynham lie so shamelessly on Hardball. He worked directly under Santorum for years and yet said to Chris Matthews he didn’t know Santorum’s position on gays serving openly in the military. He’s worse than Ron Christie.

    • BonnieHalfElven:

      It’s amazing to me the “logic” people will use to justify the belief that people such as Santorum actually like them, when it’s really tolerance – and just barely.

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