In what could technically be considered a show of support for the gay community, Monroe County voters elected Mark Alverson as their new drain commissioner, the first openly gay man or woman to serve in the position.
“I didn’t know I was the first gay drain commissioner, but that’s pretty neat I guess,” said Alverson. “I mean, it’s not like I thought I wasn’t the first openly gay drain commissioner. It’s just not something I’d thought about.”
While county records across the state of Michigan do not mention the sexuality of most drain commissioners, local historian Marcel Winston assures reporters that Alverson’s election is indeed the first of its kind.
“Some speculate that Drain Commissioner Eugene Travis of Genesee County carried on a secret affair with the county treasurer in 1907, but most scholarly literature concludes that this was merely a rumor,” said Winston. “So, yes, Mark Alverson is the first gay drain commissioner that we know of.”
“Technically, Alverson is the first openly gay drain commissioner in the entire United States,” added Winston, “because Michigan is the only state where such a position exists at the county level.”
The election result comes as a surprise to many, given Monroe County’s large conservative Christian population. While many voters, such as Monroe resident Anne Burson, were not previously aware of Averson’s sexuality, most were still comfortable with him overseeing the county’s sewers and water treatment facilities.
“I don’t know what a drain commissioner does, but I can’t imagine it would entail anything that a gay man couldn’t handle,” said Burson. “I’m not even sure I filled out that part of the ballot, if we’re being honest here.”