In this political season, Republicans and Democrats, right and left, and third party will become common words with which we are all familiar. But words we are not used to hearing in the same sentence are “lesbian,” “news” and “host.” Rachel Maddow has changed all of that.
Air America talk show host and political commentator Maddow always dreamed of having her own primetime show and now her dreams are coming true. In a MSNBC lineup that has been dominated by men including both Keith Olbermann and Dan Abrams, Maddow has been able to pave the way for women, and also the queer community, by becoming the first out lesbian to host a prime-time news show.
Maddow is not new to political commentary. One of her first jobs was when she hosted a radio show in Massachusetts and then she made the transition to Air America in May 2004. Since April, Maddow has been appearing here and there as a guest host on “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann and soon there after she became the official fill-in host for the show. And now we can expect to see Maddow host her own show on MSNBC on Sept. 8.
Maddow is able to truly combat the many voices of right-wing talk radio and FOX News to beat, but she is representing a great voice for progressivism in America. Thanks to Olbermann, we have been able to have our first true progressive on television and now, thanks to Maddow, we have another progressive in our corner.
Well, what does this mean for the LGBT community? Does it mean a lot for those in the LGBT community who isn’t involved in politics or could care less about the political process? I cannot speak for others in my community, but personally, not only have I followed Maddow for quite sometime, but Maddow has proven to be successful beyond other’s expectations of her. In a 2005 interview with Velvet Park magazine, she said that often times political figures such as Pat Buchannan see her as a novelty because of her sexuality. Maddow said she would be talking about various issues and he would try to relate it back to issues such as gay marriage. Maddow knows what it means to be pigeonholed and throughout her career she proven time and time again to stay true and hold tight in an often muddy field of political commentary.
Often times, when I have been involved in political activities in the past, people have seen my sexuality as demanding the issues I care about. In some minds, if you are gay, then you must only care about same-sex marriage or LGBT issues,when obviously all people, regardless of sexuality, care about a multitude of issues. So, I identify with Maddow on that level and she has proven to be a source of inspiration for me. I look forward to what she is able to bring the table as a host this Fall and I hope all, regardless of politic, will take notice of her as well.