Who Is #LadyGraham, and Why Do We Care?


Who Is #LadyGraham?

The sex lives of politicians are of infinite interest, mainly because we have an inborn fondness for scandal.   But let’s grant that U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is gay.  Nothing new here.  The political spectrum is dotted with figures who are either out of the closet or presumed gay, to say nothing of the lineup on CNN or a typical academic Arts and Science department.

What is new in the Graham story is that he has allegedly been having sex with a male pornstar.  Thomas Balcerski, the author of the Washington Post story, “#LadyGraham went viral — and not just because of Lindsey Graham’s politics,” attempts to deflect us in the direction of political bachelors — given that Balcerski has written a biography about two of them.  But this Washington Post story , since it appears in such a prominent venue, will cause scandal not because Graham is apparently a highly effeminate gay, but because he is paying a pornstar for sexual favors.

When Politicians Pay for Pornstar Sex

There is actually nothing out of the ordinary about pornstars tricking on the side.  Lots of porn models, male and female, make extra money by darting down to the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, or having agencies line up clients.  But for politicians to pay for pornstar sex goes somehow against the sensibilities of Middle America.  Look at the furor around Trump’s relations with Stormy Daniels.  If he’d had a relationship with Betty Lunchbucket, people would have shrugged.  But a pornstar!  Totally beyond the pale.

What we’re measuring here is Americans’ continued moralism about porn. This is not about whether or not stigma may still be attached to homosexuality as such, in some circles.  It is porn, not buggery, that is deemed filthy.

More About Graham to Come

We’re probably going to be hearing a lot more about this Graham story. This is partly because he has been so spectacularly hypocritical in his censure of gay marriage and the like.  However, on Twitter, the #LadyGraham or #LadyG thread contains allusions to a “series of male pornstars” and associated dévergondage. It will be interesting to watch the details about Lindsey Graham’s alleged sexual escapades arise in the mainstream media.

I view this with mixed feelings.  Finally, this Trumpian lickspittle is getting his just rewards!  But how to sink in the shiv without simultaneously appearing to stigmatize homosexuality?  This will be something of a trick.

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