Barney Frank charted path for other openly gay lawmakers

The Washington Post
December 4, 2012

The story of how Barney Frank became the nation’s first openly gay member of Congress pretty much begins with a double date on New Year’s Eve in Egypt in 1982. Frank traveled with Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), who was then a House colleague and not yet married. Carper had met two female flight attendants on the trip to Egypt and set up a double date with Frank. “It was clear that I was not nearly as interested as he was,” Frank said. “So he asked me the next morning whether, why I was not more forthcoming with the friend, and I told him.” He was gay, but not ready to be openly so. Frank (D-Mass.), who is retiring after more than three decades in Congress, is easily the nation’s most prominent gay politician and one who charted a path for others like him.