Jerame Davis, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats, has high hopes for November.
“I think after the Olympics are over and when the conventions kick off and people really start tuning in in earnest, I think the more people get to know Mitt Romney, the more people are going to get turned off,” he says. “He can’t hold a consistent position on any issue.”
Davis — his first name is pronounced “Jeremy,” says, “That’s very troubling, especially for the LGBT community.”
But haven’t Obama’s views — such as his recent change of position on same-sex marriage — changed perhaps even more starkly?
“Any politician will have some inconsistencies,” Davis says. “With Romney, he’s just craven. It’s totally for political gain without any sort of conviction. There’s nothing driving him except his desire for public office.”
Davis and his partner of 14 years, blogger Bil Browning of Bilerico, moved to Washington two years ago for Davis to accept a position — though not the one he’s in now — with the Stonewall Democrats. He’d been active with the group in his native Indiana where he worked for years as a political and IT consultant, and says when the opportunity became available to work in D.C., he couldn’t resist.
“The intersection of politics and LGBT organizing is really kind of perfect for me,” he says. “To merge those both into the activism I do is a super bonus.”
Davis, 37, has an 18-year-old daughter, Paige, born when he was just 18, who lives with her mother in Indiana, though she lived with he and Browning for eight years.
Davis lives in Adams Morgan and enjoys reading, tinkering with technology and playing video games in his free time.
“There’s something about blowing up virtual bad guys that calms my nerves,” he says.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I came out at 21. The hardest person to tell was my daughter’s mother, but not for the reason you might think. A few years prior, just before my daughter was born, she had been the first person in my life to question my sexuality and I didn’t want to have to admit she had been right. She still claims she has better gaydar than me.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
As a geek, I have to say Alan Turing. Without Turing to break the German codes, the outcome of WWII could have been a lot different. Despite this fact, he was prosecuted for his homosexuality and chemically castrated by the British government he had served faithfully all his life. Only this year has parliament introduced a bill to pardon Turing and finally restore honor to his name.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I really don’t go out much, but I prefer JR.’s or the Eagle over Town or Cobalt. You can usually find me at 9:30 club when Blowoff is in town.
Describe your dream wedding.
Simple. Low-key. I think anniversaries are far more important than weddings.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Equal and free access to the Internet. Some folks call this net neutrality, but it’s more than just that single issue. Corporations are finding ways to circumvent existing law while still pressing hard in Congress for the right to completely lock out competing content providers.
What historical outcome would you change?
The 2000 election. Our economy, our foreign policy and so many other things would be radically different if we could wipe the slate clean from the George W. Bush presidency.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
I’m 37 years old. There have been way too many to name just one. Even in the context of strictly LGBT pop culture moments, how do you pick just one?
On what do you insist?
Honesty. It’s the basis for any relationship with another person.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Against All Odds”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Let’s hope it never does. What a terrible idea.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
As an atheist firmly grounded in scientific learning and reasoning, I don’t believe there is anything beyond the physical world, but I am willing to be proven wrong.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
As a current “LGBT movement leader,” I think I’ll skip this question for now.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
A lot of things. Hot coals actually aren’t that big a deal.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
The meme that all trans people are crazy is probably the most insidious because it’s as pervasive in the LGBT community as it is outside it.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Milk.” We don’t know enough of our history and Harvey’s legacy is something every person in America should know.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
The position of the toilet seat. Is it really so much work to move it into the position you need when you use the bathroom?
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Nothing. Glory and accolades are great, but they aren’t what drive me.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That being out and proud would change my life in such a positive and profound way.
Washington was always in my top five cities to live in after escaping the Midwest, but it was taking a job at National Stonewall Democrats that finally brought me to our nation’s capital.