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?

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  • AlanInSLC

    He should do it ONLY if that is what he feels he should do. Sexuality is personal. It should remain personal unless you feel inclined to make it public on your own accord.

  • aaron

    “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?”


    An estimated 1.2 million men were homosexual in Germany in 1928 (6% of men over the age of 20). Between 1933-45, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, of which some 50,000 were officially sentenced. Most of these men served time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of those sentenced were incarcerated in concentration camps. It is unclear how many of the 5,000 to 15,000 eventually perished in the camps, but leading scholar Ruediger Lautman believes that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%. Homosexuals in the camps were treated in an unusually cruel manner by their captors, and were also persecuted by their fellow inmates. This was a factor in the high death rate for homosexuals, compared to other groups.

  • Kamikapse

    Wow… Queerty are quite a bunch of disgusting, delusional assholes.

    America is the last country to point at anyone else when it comes to the treatment of gay people.

  • Kamikapse

    … and I hope you do know that there are plenty of nuts on the far-right at this time in your “beautiful, free” country that wouldn’t mind similar stuff to happen.

  • Kurt

    Put Westerwelle in drag and you got Maggie Thatcher

  • faunce

    Interesting scenario when “the man” goes gay.

  • chris

    uuuuhhhh, you do realise that the American government, unlike Saudi Arabia; Iran; Jamaica and Zimbabwe doesn’t actually call for the deaths of gays and whether or not the public opinion is, America doesn’t criminilise homosexuality and America doesn’t execute people for being gay.
    Maybe you’re the one whose delusional.

  • Kamikapse

    @ Chris

    Right… too bad Queerty isn’t talking about Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jamaica or Zimbabwe in this article but Germany, which does neither of these things as well.

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