Closet Tolerants

My column on the private warmth and openness to immigrants (even illegal ones) and gay and transgendered people by Bush and Cheney can be read here. Here's another example: Condi Rice. Like her boss, the president, Rice has demonstrated in private great acceptance of transgendered people. Money quote from a NYT Magazine interview with Joan Roughgarden, a formidable biologist:

Deborah Solomon: Your name used to be Jonathan, and you were a male professor until about six years ago.

Joan Roughgarden: When you first come out as a transgendered person, you spend your first year in absolute euphoria. Then reality sets in, and you have to make a life and deal with the stigma.

DS: At that time, Condoleezza Rice was the provost at Stanford. Did you have a chance to meet her?

JR: Yes. She was wonderful. In 1998, I went to see her and brought a letter saying that I was transgendered and about to transition. I requested the opportunity to remain on the faculty. As she read through the letter, she looked up at me and said decisively, "Yes, you may remain at Stanford."
She was so sweet. I had enclosed with the letter some photographs of how I would be appearing in several weeks. She looked at them and said, "Oh, you're a beautiful woman." I think Condoleezza Rice is a person of incredible depth, intelligence and humanity.

I second that on Condi. I think she's a great human being and an increasingly effective secretary of state. If you haven't read Roughgarden's astonishing book on widespread homosexuality in the animal kingdom, "Evolution's Rainbow," you should.