Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Washington Post today has a profile of Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema in the style section of the newspaper, Kyrsten Sinema: A success story like nobody else’s (excerpt):
Sinema likes to crack herself her up. She likes to crack everyone
else up, too, even though this last tendency — the aspirationally
comedic — is forever getting her in trouble.
“I think there’s this
pressure to get rid of the fun that makes us human,” Sinema says a few
minutes later. “It hasn’t worked on me.”
Sinema is a bracingly
unfiltered talker, a precocious achiever, a high-energy persuader, an
adjunct professor, a lawyer, a marathon runner, a lover of designer
clothes. She is a holder of many, many degrees — this she’s happy to
tell you in a humble-braggy sort of way. And she can be a lot of fun to
hang out with, a rambling, kind of kooky monologist who can pivot from
whimsical and wacky to substantive and earnest without a pause.
Sinema is also — and it irks her to no end that this is such an object
of fascination — an openly bisexual woman. And not just any openly
bisexual woman, but the first openly bisexual person to be elected to
Congress, an undoubtedly historic figure whose very presence on Capitol
Hill could serve as an inspiration when she is sworn in Thursday and
joins six openly gay and lesbian members in the most demographically
diverse Congress in U.S. history.
In an era when gay men and
lesbians getting elected to public office is trending from “oh, wow” to
almost ho-hum, it’s a real bummer for this 36-year-old Arizona Democrat
that news reports around the world have distilled her to a single
distinguishing characteristic based on her sexual orientation (although
Sinema has been open about her sexuality for years and welcomed the
endorsement and financial support of gay rights groups). And when Sinema
is bothered, she isn’t that fun-loving, self-deprecating, laugh riot
with the quirky ways. She can turn lecturing, hectoring, defensive,
accusatory, pouty and curiously repetitive. Even a softball question
about how her sexual orientation has informed her thinking about public
policy — she was, after all, the architect of a successful campaign to
block a same-sex marriage ban in Arizona — peeves her.
have a story to tell,” she snaps. “I don’t think this is relevant or
significant. I’m confused when these questions come up.”
What’s curious about Sinema’s pique is that it only extends the conversation. She just keeps talking and talking and talking . . . and talking.
“I’m not a pioneer. I’m just a regular person who works hard. Nor am I a poster child. I’m not forging away or pioneering . . . .”
* * *
Sinema does have another story to tell and it’s a terrific story. It
often gets reduced to a simple Point A to Point B construct: Little girl
grows up poor, becomes big success. But it’s more nuanced than that.
Continue reading Kyrsten Sinema: A success story like nobody else’s.