Staten Island Assemblyman’s Partner Not Free to Be

TitoneStaten Island’s newly-elected assemblyman Matthew Titone told the New York Post that he doesn’t plan on being a “one-issue lawmaker”. In other words, he doesn’t want the fact that he’s openly gay to make people think that’s why he’s in office. In fact, he says, those who elected him can see beyond that: “People realize I’m not that two-dimensional. I have passionate concerns that are relevant to all people…People on Staten Island vote conservative, but that doesn’t mean they are prejudiced or biased. It’s not an issue.”

Except for, perhaps, some in the construction industry. Titone’s partner of 10 years is a construction worker who has come out to friends and family, but not on the job, for fear of not getting any assignments. Said Titone: “It’s a hard balancing act. In that field there is prejudice, bias – ignorance, really.”

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  1. RP says

    My partner works manual labor for his family business. I flip houses (although primarily I am a full-time student). Homophobia on the site has never been an issue for either of us… and we live in VA.

    I know each person’s life experience is different, and coming out is a personal journey… but really?!

    I honestly don’t think people in that industry care anymore especially when they have to often deal with gay suppliers, architects, customers, landscapers, designers, et cetera. The whole “homophobic” blue collar brute construction worker is just a stereotype; one I haven’t had much contact with (if anything I get more flack for being a liberal vegetarian than anything else). Perhaps I am just lucky or naive.

    But whatever… to each, their own.

  2. Jon says

    This story has nothing to do with how his partner chooses to live his life. That is his partner’s personal decision and none of our business.

    Matthew is a public figure with public responsibilities. His service goes way beyond “our” agenda. He is a public servant to people who elected him into office.

  3. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    I deal with the “construction”-types on a regular basis in residential construction, and my experience over 20-years has been that the worse homophobic behavior is at the supervisory and middle management-level, not necessarily the guys swinging hammers and saws. It’s the “guys in the trailer” who make the “fag”-jokes and make you watch your step, back and casual conversation. It’s especially-obvious when they rag on the sales and marketing people…who are their rivals for both money and promotions in today’s development companies. They’ll slander any guy who works in the sales trailer as a latent or overt “fag”…especially just after the sales guy’s left the trailer after a meeting over some construction screw-up. It’s the trailer-guys who still have the dirty pin-up girl calendars from suppliers and the potty-mouths. In-part, I suspect it’s because the trailer is the only safe and productive places left in corporate development firms for these Neanderthals…

    I know I’ve lost business opportunities due to guys with that mindset…and I suspect the only time that I ever got fired that it wasn’t for the politically- and legally-safe reason they claimed. I just couldn’t prove it. It wasn’t worth a long drawn-out battle with upper management…with whom I got along with excellently…over my closet-homophobe department chief who was behind my ouster.

  4. Jack! says

    Ted b., I’m sorry to hear that.

    Matthew is in a tighter position than I thought. I think he will try to vote on as many bills for equality as possible. I hope he doesn’t throw gay people under the bus to pacify the voters.

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