Wednesday, August 29, 2007

De river in Africa...

Mark Foley, right up until October 2006: 'I am not gay.'

Republican senator and outspoken anti-gay marriage, anti-same-sex couple rights advocate Larry Craig, August 2007: 'I am not gay.'

Give it time. Foley, Hayes and Callea all got there in the end.

We've covered the sensitivities around outing or not outing. But this guy ain't no Anthony Callea. If it's true - and let's face it, 'ooh, I just had a twitchy foot going into that public toilet!' defence is equally as lame as 'I should not have pleaded guilty' - Craig will win his coveted spot in the Hypocritical Right-Wing Closeted Fag Hall of Shame.

But as always, Craig is but a sad, pathetic symptom, not necessarily a cause, of a much broader problem.

Here's an example of a typical right-wing response to anti-gay closet politicians - in the US, invariably Republicans - being outed:
Unlike Liberals, I do not believe that being gay and Republican is a crime. In fact, I don’t think it is a crime to be gay with any political persuasion. Those on the Left obviously disagree since they are obsessed with “outing” people.
Wrong. 'The Left' - or indeed, most self-respecting out and proud fags and dykes, left, right or split - are concerned (not obsessed) with hypocrisy and exposing those who wish to legislate one agenda for us, and dictate a different personal agenda for themselves.

Being gay and Republican is certainly not a crime - the hotness of some Log Cabin Republicans is - but let's not be naive about why so many Republicans (and Laborites or more likely Liberals here in Australia) choose to stay in the closet. They do so because the strongest anti-queer element invariably comes from the Right. Those who seek to deny same-sex couples fundamental civil rights or even recriminalise homosexuality are most always from the Right/conservative spectrum.

Sure, the far-left has its homophobes too - Castro springs to mind - but in the mainstream middle of Western, secular politics - the US, Australia, UK, Europe etc - you don't need to swing too far right before you find the folk hell-bent on keeping down the fags. Cases. In. Point.

The proof's also in the pudding when you think about MPs here in Oz. Out pollies: Bob Brown, Penny Wong, Penny Sharpe (NSW), John Hyde (WA), Ian Hunter (SA), Andrew Barr (ACT), formerly Brian Grieg. Political parties: Labor, Green, Democrats.

'Out' pollies in the Liberal Party (bearing in mind one had little choice in the matter): Andrew Olexander, Mark Brindal. And look how well that turned out for both of them.

I'm not suggesting the Labor or Green pollies have an easy time of it - I know Labor and its union affiliates have homophobes who would put their Liberal equivalents in the shade - but overall they do have an easier time of it. They can at least win preselection without first having to hide their homo lovers or, worse, fabricate a 'happy family' complete with accessorising children.

It comes back to what I think of as the gentlemen's cigar room syndrome, whereby closet cases will do whatever the can to get into that room and then keep lying to stay in there, until such a point that they may well come to believe they genuinely don't deserve to be both happy and openly gay.

Although men like Foley and Craig are symptoms, through this process they also become part of the cause. The message such men send out to young, struggling same-sex attracted guys - stay closeted, repressed your inherent nature, live a lie through yourself and your family - is totally unacceptable. That's why they must be outed - for their own sake as much as everybody else's.

This is completely different from being openly gay and also choosing to be politically conservative. I deeply pity men like Christopher Pearson, David Flint, even Alan Jones, but I have a modicum of respect that they were able to get into the room without lying. During my friendship with Mark Brindal, I saw the difficulties he endured living his double life prior to being officially outed, but I admired his attempts to champion same-sex law reforms - right up to launching a failed civil unions bill in SA - from his virtually impossible position.

It's not these men who should be our focus; it's the hypocritical liars who need to be exposed. And this should be a process of liberation for them, not punishment.

Labels: , ,


At 29/8/07 6:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam there are way more examples of this than you would believe.

Try Googling "Glenn Murphy" (National Leader of Young Republican Federation) and "oral sex". Or for a real laugh try Googling "Bob Allen" (Republican from Florida) and "black man". I would post links to the articles but my computer is acting up.

Also its worth wandering over to The Daily Show website and watching some of the vids they have regarding the Bob Allen scandal. Type in "Allen's Alibis" to the search engine. Classic! Chris

At 29/8/07 8:28 pm, Blogger non-Blondie said...

It's quite worrying that they feel the need to lie and continue lying to keep their popularity with the voters.
It's terrible that in most cases they would lose votes or get dumped by their parties for being outed. It's just sad that they can't seem to accept themselves, and even after the stories and the scandal they continue to deny who they are.
It's a psychological phenomenon that people would rather lie than appear to be inconsistant in their actions and views. So if they started out their political career (or any career) believing they were straight, and later realise they are not they would rather deny it and lie about it than just be honest and admit a change in views. If however they have always known they are gay and have instead lied about it to further their career, they are letting themselves and their followers down. And they are letting down the gay movement, as they are continuing the idea that being gay is bad and something to hide.


Post a Comment

<< Home