I Am a Gay Republican

Let me be clear about something: I’m not defending my party’s stance on gay rights. We’re definitely behind the times on this one, but I truly believe that with a hearty push from some of our less-stodgy members, we can move this party forward into the 20th century. It’s just a matter of asking people whether their prejudices are more important to them than accepting everyone without judgment. As a gay Republican, I believe that it is my responsibility not to let my belief that I should be treated just the same as other minorities and women stop me from supporting the party that has destroyed the national economy and fought the President every step of the way as he tries to rebuild this great nation. I refuse to be a one-issue voter. Sometimes, being hated, feared, and discriminated against just for being who you are is the price you have to pay for standing up for your ideals.

In case any of you were wondering, yes, I would take a job writing for The Onion if they offered me one.

I haven’t been following the news quite as closely these past few days. I have, however, gathered that a certain Republican Congressman said something so over the line that even other Republicans are trying to distance themselves from him. This is not surprising. The Republicans are getting increasingly desperate. Ricky Gervais had a pretty good routine about the way that homophobes get increasingly self-contradictory as we move closer to full legal equality for gay people. To save you the trouble of watching the clip below, I’ll summarize: it used to be that being gay was evil because it led to decadence and sin. Now, it’s evil because we don’t want our children to see how boring homosexuals are. They’re not sure why it’s wrong to treat gay people like human beings, but they’re completely sure that it is. Well, that’s nice to know. It’s kind of like Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate. Their fiscal policies are diametrically opposed, but now, they’re bending over backwards to argue that they actually agree on lots of key issues. “Vote for us,” they say. “Not because we have any sort of positive vision for the country, rather because, well, do you really want the bla–er, the Dem–er, the man who has failed to show the proper leadership running things?”

I’m not sure I could ever stake my entire future on the hope that people won’t wake up to the emptiness of my message. All the Republicans have right now is prejudice. They don’t stand for anything, and they’re banking on the sad truth that many Americans are either scared old white people or dependent on scared old white people for their livelihood. That needs to change. It is changing, but Republicans will stop at literally nothing to hold back the floodgates a little bit longer. Mike Turzai, the majority leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, has admitted that the state’s new voter registration law is nothing more than an attempt to swing the state for Mitt Romney in November. Mitch McConnell has explicitly stated that all he cares about is making Barack Obama a one-term president. I guess the real question is: what do you love more, your country or your prejudices? For some people, the answer is obvious, but for others, it’s less so. Glenn Greenwald, a writer I admire even as I roll my eyes at his purism, had to move to Brazil to be with his partner. If they’d been able to get married, that wouldn’t have happened. But, you know, gay marriage can’t be made legal. For the sake of the children.

As those of you who care about the entertainment industry will know, a lot of celebrities have been coming out of the closet lately. Athletes, however, remain a fairly secretive bunch. Are there any out gay men in the MLB or NFL? A Google search turns up only former athletes. Of the 12,000 or so athletes who competed in the London Olympics, only 20 or so are openly gay. (How I hate the phrase “openly gay”. I’m openly white, but no one ever says so.) Of those twenty-plus, only three are men, and of those men, two are equestrians. (“Equestrian”, to borrow a line from Lewis Black, is the gayest word in the English language. Brokeback Mountain should have been called Two Equestrians.) That leaves Matthew Mitcham, the Australian diver who came from behind to win gold in Beijing and serves as an inspiration to many just by being so goddamn adorable.

I went to an all-boys Catholic school. Most of the guys I knew there were definitely not homophobes, and in classroom discussions about homosexuality and religion, several students said that they didn’t think it would be a big deal for an out gay guy to go to our school. But who would it have been? One student a few years ahead of me was a rowing champion who went to Harvard, but once his “secret” became known outside of the crew team, it was all anybody talked about. I think that’s what holds so many guys back. They don’t want to be labeled. I know just how they feel. From what I’ve heard, things have changed in the few years since I went to school there. The guys who were so obviously gay that they didn’t even need to come out are now starting to come out. That’s progress, I guess. But for those of us who are straight-acting and not a part of the “scene”, there is much work to be done.

I think what I’m really trying to say is: Obama 2012!


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