by Leah Waldron
This week, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll was accused of having a lesbian affair with a Governor’s office staffer. A witness, Methodist Episcopal minister Carletha Cole, claims that she walked into Carroll’s government office and saw her “in a compromising position” with the staffer. But Carroll, flustered by the lesbian accusations, told the press that she couldn’t possibly be a lesbian because “usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that.”
As expected, the “oh no, she didn’t!” outcry has been pretty loud. Florida’s Democratic Party requested that Carroll apologize for insulting the state’s already-dwindling intelligence. The HuffPo created a Twitter photo contest with the hash tag #ThisIsWhatALesbianLooksLike, prompting hundreds of entries. On Carroll’s official government Facebook page (it’s public, by the way), angry citizens insulted her motives, her I.Q., and in one odd comment, the credenza in her profile photo. One online commenter said lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes should play Carroll in the made-for-TV-movie (how awesome would that be?)
Don’t get me wrong; the married mother of three and former Navy captain (nothing lesbian about that…) was perfectly within her rights to defend her heterosexuality, which was called into question by the strange and—let’s face it–baseless allegation. But to use her “straight” looks as proof is insulting, especially to feminine black women who happen to be lesbians. And, not to mention, Florida.
But Carroll’s faulty lesbo logic aside, what about the other, more serious offenses that she’s been accused of? A woman has said—in a sworn oath, no less—that Carroll 1) had sex with a government staffer; and 2) had sex in a government office, while on the clock. Notice that Carroll didn’t defend those serious allegations, but her own heterosexuality. It would have made more sense if she said, “People who look like me don’t have sex in government offices with co-workers.” And you know what? She’d be absolutely right. Just look at her.
She’s no Bill Clinton.
In fact, has anyone checked if any female politician—lesbian or not—has ever been caught having sex in her government office? The whole idea is almost too crazy to believe. And speaking of crazy, the witness who broke the story (the wayward Methodist Episcopal minister, Carletha Cole), is on trial for illegally taping a conversation in the Governor’s office and selling the tape to a journalist. The story about Carroll’s lesbian love affair was released as part of her court testimony. The witness’ credibility and motives are certainly questionable, but instead of calling the witness an opportunistic loon, Carroll said: “but I don’t look like a lesbian!”
And now, with that pointless and misdirected defense, she looks like a closeted lesbian AND a bigot AND guilty.
As one Facebook commenter succinctly posted, “u better get a attorney lol.”