[Ed. – Soooo … vote for her?]
Hillary Clinton’s sense of style has been criticized for as long as she has been on the national political scene. One of the uglier forms this mockery has taken, most often in barbed private jokes and comments but occasionally openly by anti-gay activists, has been the “rumors” of secret lesbianism, supposedly evidenced by her pantsuits and her (actually not always full-throated) support of gay rights. Suggestions that Hillary Clinton is or might be a lesbian rightly belong where I first heard them: in the hallways of a middle school, coming out the mouths of homophobic pre-teens. Still, if Clinton were a lesbian, I’d be proud to claim her fashion sense. Clinton embodies something many lesbians accomplish effortlessly: She dresses in a way that does not cater to, or even consider, the male gaze. Clinton has never sought to make herself a sexual object to please straight men, even when such men have mocked and insulted her for having the temerity not to.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t look like every lesbian, of course, because there’s no one lesbian style. In addition to many who “look straight,” or straight-ish, a huge variety of styles are recognizably queer but don’t look remotely like Clinton’s pantsuits. Asymmetrical haircuts, combat boots, or menswear on women are all arguably queerer than a simple women’s pantsuit and hair that falls just above the shoulder. (That Clinton’s style looks queer at all shows how small the box is for straight women who don’t want to be labeled gay.)