gays on high

Should Guido Westerwelle Make His Sexuality a Big Part of His Diplomacy?


If Hillary Clinton were an out lesbian (pipe down!), you’d have some idea about what it’s like for Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s incoming foreign minister. Not even on the clock yet, some folks already have job propositions for him: Tour the world’s most homophobic nations (Iran, Jamaica, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe) and, with Germany having your back, demand these countries open their arms to a gay.

It’s doubtful Westerwelle would immediately make his sexuality a pressing issue on the world stage (like Obama and his race), but by merely sitting down with President Robert Mugabe’s minions, Westerwelle by default would open a dialogue about tolerance inside a country that feeds off homophobia. Then, rinse and repeat on a world tour.

Then again, there is the possibility (and precedent) for Westerwelle to march with his head held high, regularly including the plight of oppressed LGBTs in his foreign outreach. After all, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and Condoleezza Rice all made womanhood and sexual discrimination central to their diplomatic campaigns, notes Newsweek‘s James Kirchick, especially in countries where women’s rights are dismal to non-existent.

So why not have Westerwelle use his sexuality to waltz into Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s borders and, after discussing some nuclear things, address the nation’s sanctioned hate toward LGBTs.

And who better to speak on the subject than a gay man who lives in a country that, just a couple generations ago, was calling for the mass murder of all queers?