First, let me offer my sincere congratulations to Annise Parker, the newly-elected Mayor of Houston, Texas. What made Parker's victory a national story is the fact that she is openly gay. Personally, one's sexual orientation isn't my business, but I felt I had to comment on a potential downside to Parker's victory.
Whenever you're the first or the most prominent member of a minority to do something, there is increased scrutiny and heightened expectations. Some people thrive on this kind of challenge, while others flounder. Whether Parker sinks or swims in her new position will be interesting to see, and I do hope she succeeds for no other reason than to help break down another barrier that separates straights from gays.
Where things can go horribly wrong for Parker is if she uses her sexual orientation as a prism through which to administer to the citizens of Houston. As a member of a minority that has had its share of controversy and discrimination, Parker may be tempted to "even the score" now that she has the power to do it. If she does, it will drive a wedge between the gay and straight communities in Houston, and possibly nationwide. Parker has to realize that she's not the openly gay Mayor of Houston, but simply the Mayor of Houston. If she does, it will truly be a victory for the gay rights movement. If not, it could be a Pyrrhic victory at best.