Is White House LGBT Liasion Gautam Raghavan A “Twofer”?

Most of America was first exposed to the “twofer” phenomenon on 30 Rock, where writer James “Twofer” Spurlock (Keith Powell) was seen as a prize hire because he went to Harvard (brains!) and African-American (diversity!). Of course it’s been standard practice for years in Corporate America, which is eager to keep headcount down while still appeasing the p.c. crowd. How many Asian and Latina women do we see on the local news?

So when the White House formally announced yesterday that Gautam Raghavan was going to be the LGBT White House Liaison, presenting our issues to President Obama, our initial reaction was, “Is this a twofer?” After all, not only is Raghavan gay but he’s South Asian, a group seriously underrepresented when it comes to queer figureheads.

Is it a coincidence Raghavan is replacing Raul Alvillar, the out Latino who’d been serving as as the interim LGBT liaison? And, in a sense, isn’t Obama (a Harvard Law grad) our first twofer President?

We joked about Raghavan in September, when Metro Weekly broke the news of his impending appointment, but as White House liaison at the Department of Defense, he worked with the Administration on the repeal of DADT. “He was the point person in the Pentagon for many of us, and was able to juggle a number of competing constituencies … in an unbelievably competent manner and I think the results speak for themselves,” Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress told MW.

Still Raghavan’s status as a gay Indian-American shouldn’t be overlooked: If we want to bring the rest of America on the journey to full equality, we’re going to have to learn how to speak to conservative, religious and ethnic communities. And as a former director of the Indo-American Leadership Council, which raised beaucoup funds for the DNC, Raghavan has developed the tools we need to do that.

If only he’d gone to Harvard.


Image via the White House

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  • Politically Incorrect Thug

    Good for you, Mr. Avery, and your comment “If we want to bring America on the journey to full equality, we’re going to have to learn how to speak to conservative, religious, and ethnic communities.” So far, you seem to be the smartest guy in the room.

  • RickStrandlof

    “learn how to speak to conservative, religious…communities”

    The mere existence of GLBT Americans is an afront to these people.

    Their bigoted, hateful views of us range from at best that we are sick and disordered to wanting to see us imprisoned and killed.

    You cannot negotiate with those who would deny you your right to exist as you naturally are.

    Those that try are on a fool’s errand.

  • the crustybastard

    Obama’s appointed Ambassador to Gay America Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress approves of Obama’s new appointee? Oh, whoopdie-fuckin-doo!

    Why was Stachelberg involved DADT repeal? CAP isn’t a gay-rights organization. It isn’t a military organization either. Stachelberg doesn’t personally possess some great gay constituency. She once worked at HRC. BFD.

    Shouldn’t the Obama Administration have turned to a gay military organization like SLDN or SU for input on the issue, rather than a VP at a think tank operated by Clinton’s buddy John Podesta? I guess SLDN or SU probably would have insisted on a repeal law with, y’know…protections and recourse. That wouldn’t do. Stachelberg is an HRC-minted “we’ll salivate over any little thing no matter how insulting or shitty” incrementalist. That’s more Obama’s style.

    Stachelberg’s effusive endorsement tends to indicate the new “LGBT White House Liaison” may indeed aspire to be even less effective than his predecessors. That’s a big task.

  • Tom

    He is SOUTH ASIAN not SOUTHEAST Asian. South Asia= India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka…. Southeast Asia = Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia etc…

  • Michael [email protected]

    1. Of course, we aren’t in camps, but a Kapo is a Kapo is a Kapo—someone who works for the individual or institution that oppresses the same group of which he/she is a part. [SEE: Obama dismissal of marriage equality as being against God’s will;Obama refusal to order federal contractors to provide LGBT job protections; Obama convincing 9th Circuit military antigay discrimination is NOT unconstitutional; Obama continuing to fight ACLU class action suit on behalf of discharged gay troops cheated out of separation pay, etc., etc.]

    2. He’s actually a replacement for Brian Bond. While Bond was as modern a Kapo as one could imagine—helping sic the Secret Service on myself, Dan Choi, Miriam Ben-Shalom, and 10 others arrested at a White House DADT protest last November even though he KNEW it was going to be entirely peaceful and we had no intention of even stepping on White House grass let alone try to get any closer to the President—at least HE had gay advocacy credentials having headed the Victory Fund. Raghavan’s only credential for the job is that he kisses boys. [Is he even OUT to those in the Asian community to whom he’s whored for the DNC?] But, then, this job is actually NOT to advocate FOR LGBTs to the President but to advocate FOR THE PRESIDENT to LGBTs.

    3. As mentioned above, Raghavan was a part of the cabal led in part by former HRC political whore Lucretia Stachelberg who stabbed gay and lesbian service members in the back by agreeing to the Pentagon’s demand that the original repeal bill be gutted, thus, leaving them with the power to do exactly what they ARE doing now—discriminating against gays IN the military by denying them the same protections and benefits blacks, women, et al., have—AND leaving them legally open TO BRING BACK A BAN ANYTIME THEY—or a Santorum, Perry, Bachman, Whomever—want without Congressional approval.

  • eagledancer

    Just in case any of you are curious–those of us who are American Indian, (i.e., the landownwers of the United States–we’ve just been under military occupation of a hostile foreign force for much too long) prefer you use the term “Indic” when referring to the lovely people of India.

    Btw, a standard joke for us: “Thank God Columbus was looking for India, rather than Turkey.”

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