June 4, 2012

Polyamorous: Gossip and Intrigue in the New York Times

Pictured Left to right is Ellen Pao (The Wife), Buddy Fletcher (The Philanthropist), and Hobart Fowlkes, Jr. (The Mister-Ess).
Pictured (left to right) Ellen Pao (The Wife), Buddy Fletcher (The Philanthropist), Hobart Fowlkes (The Mister-Ess). Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher Jr. '87 received the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus' Civil Rights Award. 

The Wife, The Philanthropist, And The Mister-Ess


Did anyone read The New York Times this past weekend, and read the story about silicon valley, and the implications of the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers sexual harassment lawsuit that a partner in the firm, Ms. Ellen Pao, filed against her employer? I’m curious if your interest was piqued when you read about Ms. Pao’s husband, and his ex-boyfriend.

Ms. Pao is married to Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher, Jr., who has filed suit against the Dakota, the fabled upper west side building where Yoko Ono and John Lennon owned their home. He wanted to purchase a 5th apartment, and the board rejected his purchase, which is why he is suing the building.

The Times said before Mr. Fletcher married Ms. Pao, that he shared the Dakota residence with his long-term boyfriend, Hobart Fowlkes, Jr. Then they quoted Fowlkes “I must admit that I do not know Ellen as intimately as I obviously know Buddy. However, my interactions with Ellen have never been anything but positive.” Fowlkes is also the godfather to Pao and Fletcher’s child.

New York Magazine made note of the article too.
But the juiciest detail of all? Before marrying Pao and seeking that extra apartment, Fletcher shared the Dakota digs with his long-term boyfriend, Hobart Fowlkes Jr, a switcheroo that goes barely explored in the Times piece. By e-mail, Fowlkes, the godfather to Pao and Fletcher’s child, assured the paper of his closeness with the couple — and also, perhaps passive-aggressively, reminded Pao of just how close he is with one-half of it. “I must admit that I do not know Ellen as intimately as I obviously know Buddy. However, my interactions with Ellen have never been anything but positive.”
The Times fell down on the job here - and provided no other details. Fletcher’s Wikipedia entry says he was given the 2005 Harvard University Gay and Lesbian Caucus “Civil Rights Award.”

Are we supposed to be “modern,” and assume that two friends got married and had a child? Or is Buddy Fletcher bisexual? Or perhaps none of the above?

I know that it’s none of our business, but it’s intriguing nevertheless.

This juicy story could illustrate a vital point related to non-traditional marriages. I’ve long been of the opinion that we don’t have to use the paradigm of “traditional marriage,” and straight relationships, to develop and maintain a loving and supportive partnership. The LGBT community doesn’t need to emulate the straight community at all, and fashion “relationships” to look like theirs. We are all individuals, and should be free to be whoever and whatever suits us.

What makes me proud to be gay is the fact that we respect, embrace and honor diversity.

That’s something that our straight counterparts are just beginning to learn.

Having said that - my curiosity is still piqued! Roving eyes still wanna know.......


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