Hey Big Daddy,
As an ambitious Assembly staffer, I've been dating a senior staffer in
another office for about a month. He's charming and treats me well. He's
also promised to help me with a promotion, or even a job in the Senate. I
just heard from a good friend that he saw my "boyfriend" at a well-known gay
bar in mid-town. Big Daddy, I don't want to be anybody's beard, but I kind
of like him and really want help moving up the ladder. What do I do?
– Capitol Climber
This doesn't sound like much of a problem to Big Daddy. You enjoy the senior
staffer's company, you're having fun, he's not hitting on you night and day
and, barring a major surprise, he likely will help you up the career ladder.
Enjoy this as a pleasant platonic relationship, part of the necessary
networking you have to do in the Capitol to advance your career. It could be
much worse: You could be forced to date a superior who threatens to fire you
unless you hop in the sack. This happened all the time when Big Daddy was
speaker, but not so much now.
But you should be careful not to jump to conclusions. Straight men often
hang out in gay bars. It's kind of like Gov. Schwarzenegger spending the
Martin Luther King Holiday with a bunch of labor activists in San Francisco:
Just because he's in the room doesn't mean he's on the team (and in both
instances, odds are good that Willie Brown is involved.)
In this age of gender-bending metrosexuality, one should not make too much
out of where a man takes his drink. Just because you drink at Spataro
doesn't make you a Capitol player. And just because you have a couple of
pops at Head Hunters doesn't mean you are one.
I'm actually much more concerned with the prospect that your senior staffer
might maneuver you into the Senate. This is truly frightening to Big Daddy,
who viewed the Senate as a necessary evil. It's true that the Senate is not
quite the rest home it once was, but the Assembly is still where the action
is. The Assembly wages political warfare, the Senate wages interminable
debates. The Senate is prissy, the Assembly rocks. The Assembly is at 78
rpm, the Senate is at 33 l/3. If your staffer is really headed for the
Senate, you'll be lucky if he goes out at all.