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Is Janet Napolitano gay?

Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the government was taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to the rupture of BP's oil well off the coast of Louisiana.

Every time Janet Napolitano makes the news and Americans see their Homeland Security Secretary, millions of them ask, Is that chick a lesbian?. Does it matter whether she is or not? To us it doesn't, but it's a fun question to bat around.

What does Ms. Napolitano say about the matter? She states she is not gay and is just a straight, single workaholic. Asked by the New York Times magazine, Ms. Napolitani freplied, I just happen not to be married. [See coming out as a lesbian later in life.]

Janet Napolitano and Barack Obama

Janet Napolitano. Go to Katie Couric

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano. Coming Out

Now we see the pattern. In many people's eyes, a single, hardworking, unattractive woman may as well wear as big sign round her neck saying, I am a lesbian or I'm so butch and ugly, I must be a dyke.

Unlike former vp hopeful Sarah Palin, Janet Napolitano has not won any beauty contests. Like many single, prominent women who are challenged in the looks department, Napolitano has faced accusations from the likes of Rush Limbaugh that she is a lesbian.

Janet Napolitano, or Manet as she's called by her Republican critics in Arizona, first caught our eye when she, just like her New Mexico governor colleague Bill Richardson, ticked off the Clintons by endorsing Obama.

Since that endorsement, Napolitano campaigned tirelessly for Obama. Along with Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius she has been invaluable to Obama for the knowledge she brings of reaching out to voters in red states.

Napolitano and Obama bonded well. After Obama's election victory she joined his transition team. Most pundits expected she'd get a cabinet post, with attorney general being the job they thought she'd get, though she was thought equally suited to head homeland security or education.

As governor of a border state, she has excellent credentials on immigration and security, even though Republican critics say she learned her lessons a little too late. And gaffes over airport security have put Napolitano under the spotlight.

Last Christmas, a young Nigerian man tried to blow up a plane as it approached for landing at the Detroit Airport, which was followed by confused and confusing statements from Ms. Napolitano.

Ms. Napolitano has had to suffer the same rumors that have dogged Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. To this day, many Americans are convinced Ms. Rice is a lesbian, though she was less challenged in the looks arena than Ms. Napolitano.

Ms. Napolitano's sexual orientation, whether it is, gay straight, bi or aven (i.e. lacking in sex drive), is her own business and has no bearing whatsoever on her ability to do the job of heading the homeland security department.

By the way, the most vocal defender of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in President Obama's cabinet is Hillary Clinton, who has openly stated: I am proud that I hired a National Director of LGBT Outreach within a month of announcing my candidacy for President and to have openly gay and lesbian staffers serving at all levels of my campaign... I am proud to have a National LGBT Steering Committee of over 130 that includes openly LGBT elected officials, Board members and opinion leaders... I am proud to have marched in Gay Pride parades as both First Lady and as Senator and to have spoken in front of so many LGBT audiences.

As the oil spill lurks off the coast of Lousiana, threatening the coastlines of that state, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, Ms. Napolitano will have her hands full, not only dealing with the real issues, but fielding the inevitable question: Is Janet Napolitano gay?

We don't know, and it's none of our business, which should be the response of every American

GO TO: Coming out as a lesbian later in life.

By Athina Simonidou