Aug. 9, 2022

NEVER ASK QUESTIONS---YOU CAN'T ANSWER.

In 1984--- determined to save my dying home town, Pine Bluff, Arkansas---I formally announced as a candidate for Mayor. Between my ex-husband and his family AND-- the Clintons and the Democratic Party-- there were two team of spiteful haters— ALL determined to bring me down.

One of the nastiest, low-life “pranks” I was forced to endure, every single day, were the no-name calls to my campaign headquarters.  Whoever answered the phone was, most-often, asked to explain rumors---- I was a Lesbian.  There were no rumors.  It was merely a very-nasty political ploy to discredit me, destroy my reputation, and attack my character.

The day I stood on the steps of Pine Bluff’s Convention Center to announce I wasn’t a Lesbian-- was an extremely- stressful day. My parents were the only people standing with me.  My loyal volunteers and supporters stayed far away. To my knowledge no woman or, in fact-- any Miss Arkansas—in the history of Arkansas politics— had ever uttered the word “lesbian” in a press conference. I issued my statement—late morning—to only a few reporters.  But, by that evening, every radio and TV station in Arkansas carried the story as “Breaking News”-- at 6 p.m.

Several months later, I appeared on a local talk-radio show. The call-in lines were packed with people wanting to express themselves-- support my run for Mayor or--denounce me or-- challenge me—and all wanted to bombard me with questions and comments. I wasn’t surprised when one older-sounding woman called to shame me for having a press conference and for actually speaking the word---Lesbian---in public.

The elderly lady announced—quite proudly---that she had “reported my behavior” to the Miss Arkansas Pageant while suggesting the Pageant Committee take-back both my crown and my title. After sufficiently "beating-me-up" with harsh words and threats, the older woman seemed satisfied and was about to hang-up when--- she suddenly-remembered a question she needed to ask. I still remember her exact words: “Not that I really care but-- tell me—how in the world can two women, with the same body parts, have sex?!?!? How can the two of you ever-hope to have an ORGANISM?”

Trying to be respectful and not laugh--- I said:   “Ma’am, as I told you before, I am not a Lesbian. I have no idea how Lesbians perform sex but--now--- I'm curious. As a heterosexual, I understand having an ORGASM but never once—in all my life—have I ever-experienced an ORGANISM. Please tell me what I’ve been missing.”

The older woman screamed and slammed down the phone. The show host, overcome with laughter, quickly went to a commercial.

Sally Miller