Will Dan Savage Bring His Best Santorum to the US Capitol Steps?

I’m fairly certain I’m one of a handful of 44 year old people who still list their college internship on their resume. My six-month stint with then-Congressman Rick Santorum in 1991 has proved to be one of the most unintentionally fruitful items on my list of professional accomplishments.

Thanks to Santorum’s decision to run for President in 2016, it is the gift that keeps on giving. 2016 will make the 25th anniversary of my internship. And the 25th anniversary of my official internship photo.

Rick Santorum intership
My official internship photo from 1991, Capitol Hill.

 

 

When the Pittsburgh City Paper asked me to make a prediction about 2015, I came up with this:

Pittsburgh City Paper Santorum

I have this fun daydream of recreating this photo with Dan Savage in the role of Rick Santorum. I’m not sure anyone would actually find it interesting beyond me, but I love the fusion of the intern-who-turned-out-to-be-lesbian with the famous Savage-Santorum reference.  I tried to think of an angle where it could be a fundraiser for some worthwhile organization, but it is hard to imagine anyone would spend money for the image of me shaking hands with Dan Savage in a suit. What I would really love is a chance to talk with Dan about our shared experiences with the Santorum machine as two queer people. I don’t think we talk about these sorts of relationships often enough, the relationships we develop with our oppressors.

And, of course, I love the renewed interest in that little item on my resume. It inspired me to write a rebuttal piece a few weeks ago to an op/ed from a former Santorum staffer, a piece that received over 5k likes on FB and 400+ comments, most of which were positive.

We must resist not only the ridiculous idea of conscientious objection in the marketplace, but also hold fast against this artificial foundation for a political battle involving “religious liberty.” People of faith, especially Christians, are not being oppressed in Pennsylvania, not even a little bit. To suggest otherwise disregard the very real struggles people experience trying to raise their families, hold their jobs and live their lives when they encounter barriers such as racism or poverty or gender bias.

To be honest, I think Santorum’s campaign bodes poorly for Western PA, especially with regard to the religious liberty battle. I think it is going to do some real damage for my LGBTQ community here and I think we need to push back hard on all fronts. I’m not sure a Savage-Sue-Santorum Sweater Vest is a useful tool, but at least the momentary smile strengthens my resolve to keep pushing.

Resist.

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