What LGBT Ontarian isn't hailing Kathleen Wynne's victory in the provincial Liberal leadership race? This is an important moment for queers everywhere: an out gay woman is now premier designate.
So I'm proud, but also wary. While the idea that a mainstream party can choose a lesbian to stand up to the Tories' neo-con barrage thrills, I fear that progressives will confuse gayness with good politics. Being out of the closet doesn't mean you're in the right place politically. Just remember that Jamie Watt was a trusted adviser to Mike Harris.
Doubtless there are those who will gravitate to the Liberals because they're afraid that if Wynne loses in the next election, her gayness will be blamed for the defeat and we'll never see another LGBT party leader again. Don't buy into that game.
Wynne was impressive at her party's convention. She was open, refreshingly authentic and totally herself.
But she's a Liberal all the way, a member of Dalton McGinty's inner circle, and carries with her all the Grits' baggage. Some of it's good - she helped bring in all-day kindergarten - but a lot of it isn't.
Wynne was, in fact, an essential part of the government that gave us the Ornge air ambulance scandal, sold the gas plant for political gain, pumped the nuclear sector and ushered in austerity.
While she's reported to have been unhappy with some of these policies that landed the Liberals in such deep trouble, she wasn't exactly open about her concerns. So it's hard to know what she really thinks. At times she owns the agenda, but at others she disowns it - when she needs to.
That's typical of the classic Liberal strategy - be all things to all people, and shift your ground when the opportunity arises.
If Wynne wants to wrench the Grits leftward - and I believe she's inclined to do so - who will she tap to bring the party along? Check out her caucus. After Eric Hoskins and Glen Murray, the strong progressive factor peters out considerably. Gerard Kennedy, note, does not have a seat.
So keep the focus less on Wynne's sexual orientation (is it a coincidence that she most often refers to herself as a gay woman and not a lesbian?) and more on what the Liberal leader does about poverty, collective bargaining rights, taxing the wealthy, green energy and transit.
As it stands, I would no more vote for Wynne only because she's gay than I would have voted for Alison Redford in Alberta because she's a woman.