With the election of Mayor Lavelle and the re-election of Mayor Kleinschmidt, every news report I hear or read about them includes the terms "openly gay" or "openly lesbian." Having not gone through the experience of keeping key elements of myself private and then navigating the landscape of revealing these to family members, friends, coworkers and the like, I don't have the grounding necessary to comment. Nevertheless, the use of the word "openly" gives me some unease. It seems to suggest that the public still harkens back to some sort of unspoken compact with gay and lesbian polticians that the cost of being elected was silence.
As we in Chapel Hill and Carrboro strive to continue to lead in the progress toward a fairer and more tolerant society, maybe we can move from "openly gay mayor" and "openly lesbian mayor" to just "gay mayor" and "lesbian mayor". Then, who knows, maybe just "mayor."