Did Mark Reed, the Dallas businessman and National Equality March executive committee member, accidentally reveal former co-organizer Robin McGehee is divorcing her wife?
McGehee jumped into the national spotlight last year, when she was booted off the PTA board of her then-5-year-old son’s Sebastian’s Catholic school for being a gay. From there, she quickly worked her way up the ranks of California’s elite activist squad, leading Fresno’s Meet In The Middle summit before joining Kip Williams as a co-director of Cleve Jones’ march. (Both McGehee and Williams have since left NEM and parent group Equality Across America.)
But for someone who made a name for herself as a leading activist from California — and by default involved her marriage to wife Kathy Adams in championing gay rights — her split is one of those Rosie-Kelli incidents: a private matter that will get caught up in the gay marriage fracas, because aren’t these folks supposed to be pillars of gay America?
We’d been hearing rumors of McGehee’s split from wife Kathy for some time now, but it was comments from Mark Reed (last seen in a swear-filled screaming match with Queer LiberAction) to the Dallas Voice, reflecting on the National Equality March, that made the news public. Reed writes: “Probably the most memorable moment for me was while boarding the airplane back to Dallas, I received a call from Stacey Simmons, a person whom I worked closely with on Facebook and Twitter promoting the march. She is Robin McGehee’s girlfriend and they had a message on their hotel room phone from a teenager from Toronto. The message was similar to one Harvey Milk received a day after being elected from a kid from Altoona, Pa. The caller wanted to thank Robin for all her efforts for organizing the march and how he now had hope for things to be different and society to change. After three suicide attempts, he’s no longer trying to take his life. Milk’s famous quote was, ‘You have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right.’ This march gave him hope!”
Do we really care whether McGehee and Kathy split? Or whether they’re headed for divorce? Not on its face; McGehee might be a public gay rights figure now, but her personal life isn’t of much interest. Unless, of course, it accidentally becomes a talking point for gay marriage opponents, who can point to McGehee’s relationship as evidence of gays’ instability. And they will.
(We reached out to McGehee to confirm things, and hope she’s doing well.)
UPDATE: McGehee tells us: “Yes, the price of discrimination and the activism to combat it has definitely taken a toll on my family.”