At least one LGBTQ advocate has expressed dismay over the fact that failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton denied rumors of ever having a lesbian affair.
Earlier this week, shock jock Howard Stern pushed more than a few of Hillary’s buttons when he asked rather forthrightly on his radio show if the former first lady secretly swings for the other team.
“Well, contrary to what you might hear, I actually like men,” Hillary told Stern.
“Raise your right hand,” responded Stern. “You’ve never had a lesbian affair.”
“Never, never, never!” Clinton said as she began laughing. “Never even been tempted. I dated a lot of different people, and I liked a lot of them. I was pretty popular. I was OK popular … boys were not my problem.”
Speaking with NBC News, reporter Trish Bendix, a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and winner of the 2015 Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for excellence in LGBT media, said she did not appreciate how lesbianism came across as salacious. She took particular issue with Hillary’s use of the word “tempted.”
“It’s so frustrating when public figures like Hillary feel the need to dispel lesbian rumors in a way that equates lesbianism or queerness with salaciousness, and that’s ultimately what I dislike about the way she phrased it,” Bendix said.
“I think there’s a way to refute untrue ideas about one’s own identity without saying something damaging to others,” Bendix said.
As noted by Fox News, Gabriel Hays of Media Research Center mocked the idea of Hillary getting scolded for not being “woke enough” when talking about her sexuality.
“Tsk tsk, Hillary. The former presidential candidate is taking heat for her response to old rumors about her being a lesbian,” Hays wrote. “And while we’re not bashing her for her sexuality, it’s a hilarious predicament for the woman who fancies herself a de facto leader of the Left.”
Hillary Clinton’s interview with Howard Stern has indeed sparked rumors over whether or not she plans to jump into the 2020 presidential race while the water is still warm and the supposedly top-tier candidates flounder. In fact, earlier this year, Howard Stern openly stated that Hillary made a mistake by not joining his show during the 2016 election, arguing it would have made her more relatable.
“I thought that if I did an interview with Hillary, … she would reach a new audience,” Stern told Stephen Colbert this past May.
Stern noted his potential listenership of 66 million people and how the election had hinged on less than 80,000 votes across Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — states where his show is popular.
“What if Hillary had come on and, forget politics for a second, but what if we could have talked about her humanity, why she got into public service?” Stern wondered aloud.
“Here is a woman who dedicated her whole life to public service,” Stern continued. “What was her life like as a little girl growing up? What was her romance with Bill Clinton? What was she thinking when she was secretary of state? What was she thinking when she was the first lady? Was she saying to herself, ‘I wish I could be president,’ or was she satisfied with that? There were a million questions I could have asked her that I think would have humanized her.”