Michael Hamar

Bob McDonnell's Transgender Former Brother-in-Law Speaks Out Against Him

Filed By Michael Hamar | April 22, 2010 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: anti-gay bigotry, Bob McDonnell, employment discrimination, Equality Virginia, hypocritical motherfuckers, transgender

I had heard rumors during last year's campaign that Bob "Taliban Bob" McDonnell had a transgender relative, but was never able to confirm it and, therefore, never wrote about it.

Well, yesterday at an Equality Virginia organized protest, McDonnell's former brother-in-law, who is transgender, was one of several speakers at a rally outside the Capitol pushing for a state law to provide protections for workers based on sexual orientation. According to a source at EV, McDonnell and his staff were caught blind sided by Robyn Deane's decision to go public.

Obviously, McDonnell's close observation and experience of what LGBT citizens go through - Deane was married to Maureen McDonnell's sister for 17 years - makes his extreme callousness towards gay Virginians all the more reprehensible. Both the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Washington Post are reporting on this development. Here are highlights from the Post story:

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's former brother-in-law, who is transgendered, was one of several speakers at a rally outside the Capitol today pushing for a state law to provide protections for workers based on sexual orientation.

Robyn Deane said she decided to go public today to offer her former brother-in-law help in coming around on his views on gay rights issues. "I believe Bob is in a unique position,'' she said in an interview. "I want to help him." Deane, 55, of Richmond, was married to First Lady Maureen McDonnell's younger sister, Ellen, for 17 years. The couple divorced 1999 and has three children, ages 26, 22 and 19.

They urged legislators to "Don't Hate/Legislate," asking that lawmakers change write legal protections for gay residents into state code. Some held signs that read "Equality is Good."

As the Times Dispatch notes, yesterday was apparently the first time Deane publicly mentioned her tie to the state's first family in a political forum. One has to wonder what McDonnell did to keep Deane out of public view during the campaign last year. Obviously, the wingnuts might not have been too happy about the story.

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SkepticalCidada | April 22, 2010 7:49 PM

Cheers for Robyn!!

hmmm...Talabaptist Bob's story gets more interesting with each passing week.

I don't live in Virginia. I am not current on what the Va. governor is advocating. But what I saw in the video was not Robyn speaking against her ex brother in law but rather Robyn offering to help the governor to grasp what its all about. I thought Robyn did an admirable job of taking the high road.

It's kind of disturbing the way she's constantly emphasized as McDonnell's "former brother-in-law."

But I'm glad she's speaking out.

I mean, who could not like a person named Robyn, eh? ;)

I was born and reared in Virginia. I have lived in NY for many years and frequently visit family in Virginia.

Lately, I've felt less than comfortable there and have cut back on my trips to the Commonwealth, what with the hostile environment brought on by the election of "Taliban Bob" and his sidekick, Comrade Cucinello.

I think it's safe to say that McDonnell can forget any thoughts of a career in national politics he may have been entertaining.

A friend saved me some less-than-favorable commentaries and news clippings from local papers in the Tidewater area that suggest residents are less than pleased with being the brunt of late night comedians who regularly trash these idiots who have taken control in Richmond.

I received an e-mail this morning from GayRVA.com - http://gayrva.com/ - about this story and a "tip" sent to Bilerico on Thursday morning - which was lost in the flood of messages.

While I had already picked up the video clip via Towleroad on Wednseday evening and posted about it early yesterday morning on Michael-in-Norfolk (http://michael-in-norfolk.blogspot.com/2010/04/bob-mcdonnells-transgender-former.html), I did want to thank Kevin for thinking of Bilerico. Also, I wanted to share with readers that to make sure tips do not get lost in the shuffle, send your message directly to an individual contributor who preferably is NOT on the editorial team since they receive such a high volume of e-mails.

On Virginia related matters, sent the tips to me and I will be notified by relay to my personal e-mail and get to see them much more promptly.

Sadly, the guy got pissed that his video went viral without anyone linking to him, so he set it to private. What a douche.

Lynn Miller | April 24, 2010 9:21 PM

Bil, the video has been re-posted, but with a GayrVA.com stamp now appearing in the footage. Here is the new link:

Man! I've been a Virginian since the 1630's (ok...just my DNA)....and I had no idea. Thanks for this info. Our gov is a small brained, right winged, hate filled jerk...but I had no idea why he was so enraged... Anyway, it is humiliating that Virginians voted him into office, though I must say that the Democrats had a poor alternative (though I did vote for him).

Paige Listerud | April 23, 2010 5:59 PM

As Virginia goes, so goes the nation! I hope every right wing, anti-LGBT candidate out there gets outed or has an LGBT relative that steps up to the podium and stands up for equality. A thousand thanks to Robyn for helping to lead the way.

Robyn's awesome. These people always have LGBT people in the family, don't they?

Also, great video. What was that URL in the bottom right? I'll read that site every day!

Robyn Deane | April 29, 2010 7:08 AM


I signed on to say "Thank you!!" to everyone that went before me, paving an easier road to travel than was available long ago when I first realized who I was. Now, it's becoming difficult to imagine a world where such uplifting support wouldn't be available!! Sometimes, I think, we overlook just how far we've come...doesn't mean the job is done; just that we've made quite a bit of progress!!

Again, Thank you all very much and I remain committed (Oh my, the sense of humor just jumped into hyper-drive!!) ...to our cause, that is, until the questions change from "Who do they think they are?" to "What were we all thinkng?" If it takes being "in it" for the long-haul to get to that point, then I'm in it for the long-haul!!

Warmest regards,

Robyn Deane