• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    Beneath the blue sky

    The comments section is still going on this piece on IGF, which was given the promising headline “Gay. And Republican. And Not Confused.” There are good arguments for gay Republicans to make: it’s easier to change social conservatives’ minds about gay issues by working alongside them rather than as adversaries, being in the DNC’s pocket just gives the Dems a dependable voting bloc without having to deliver in hard policy terms, and politics is always about making trade-offs among competing political principles, among others.

    Writer Alex Knepper does touch on those things, but unfortunately, he can’t help taking the martyred-gay-conservative tack, which is possibly the single best way to ensure that independents and doubting lefties stay far, far away from the GOP. You, dear reader, may never think about anything but your sexuality, but know ye that Alex Knepper is more complex than you can hope to imagine. (And forget that throwaway final paragraph, which is misdirection at its most disingenuous–no one starts every sentence with “I believe” this and “I realize” that out of humility):

    I believe that the gay subculture is destructive. I am not completely sure why a person should be “proud” of his sexuality, which is not an accomplishment. I am confused by the discord between a group of people who insist that they’re just like everyone else on one hand and then on the other refuse to assimilate into mainstream society.

    I am unable to relate to the faction of gay men who revolve their lives around their sexuality: their neighborhood is gay, their friends are gay, their music and movies are gay, their academic interests are gay, the stores that they frequent are gay — their lives are gay. I am not interested, though, in living my life as a gay man, but simply as a man. I envision a future in which a person’s sexual orientation will be an afterthought. I do not in any way whatsoever see the Democratic Party furthering that.

    I have been discriminated against more by Democrats than by Republicans. I have been shunned and mocked by Democrats, many of whom will not accept me as a gay man unless I fit into their neatly packaged view of what a gay man is “supposed” to be. I have yet to encounter, on the other hand, a Republican who has rejected my presence in the party, shunned me on a personal level or refused to engage me on the issues.

    Well, no, being homosexual isn’t an accomplishment, but then, neither is being left-handed or Italian. People express pride in all kinds of characteristics they came to through inheritance or circumstance, and we normally understand them to mean that they’re proud to identify with the people with the same raw materials who use them for good rather than ill. Of course, if you wander around gay groups looking for people to feel superior to, you’ll find a way. But you can deplore much that’s done under the banner of gay pride without dismissing the entire “gay subculture” as worthless and self-destructive. IGF, which is providing Knepper with a broader audience than his college newspaper, is a gay institution.

    The commenters are accusing one another of being snippy at the expense of substance, but for the most part, they largely strike me as sticking pretty closely to one major issue: how do you make compromises without being a patsy? (There’s also some back-and-forth about actual policy, but it’s the usual snowball fight rather than a debate.)

    Leave a Reply