The H-Word

I’m pro-gay.   Yup, pro-gay marriage, pro-gays adopting children, pro-classification of violent crimes against gay people because they are gay as hate crimes.  What can I say?  I just don’t see how gay people are a vital threat to the United States in any capacity whatsoever, even the institution of marriage.  Especially the institution of marriage.

You want to know what is a threat to the institution of marriage?  Divorce.  But I digress.

It’s no secret, I’ve not liked the entire Larry Craig scandal from the very beginning, and when Craig finally announced his retirement, my opinion was simply, ‘good, maybe we can talk about something else now.’

Curiously, my disdain wasn’t because of the hypocrisy, nor because of the sheer mass of coverage in comparison to the relative vapidity of the story.  It was in truth because I don’t like where this takes the homosexual debate.

I didn’t like how the debate could be so easily tied to the homosexuality, and I didn’t like the idea that Craig was getting ousted because he had just been outted.  The entire episode made what is already a difficult situation so much more tricky to navigate.

But as blogger Mike Rogers seeks to point out, the argument surround Craig and those of his ilk has nothing to do with homosexuality, and everything to do with hypocrisy.

Rogers, sitting on a club chair in his Northwest Washington apartment, is basking in the attention. For three years now, he’s been a feared one-man machine, “outing,” he says, nearly three dozen senior political and congressional staffers, White House aides and, most damagingly, Congress members on his blog. On Capitol Hill, a typical phone call from Rogers — “Are you gay?” he’d ask — is “a call from Satan himself,” says a former high-ranking congressional staffer whose name is on the list.

Rogers reasons that there’s justice behind his tactics — “odious,” “outrageous” and “over-the-line” as they might seem to his detractors.

In Rogers’s mind, if you’re against gay rights in your public life and you live a secret homosexual life, all bets are off.

That’s what really gets me about Craig et al.  This hypocritical legislating against their own biology, seeming to punish an entire national community for what they themselves seem unable to come to grips with.

And it leaves me spinning, part of me wanting to pat the guy on the back and say, “Look, you’re gay.  It’s alright.  Just come to grips with it, man,” while the other part of me just wants to call him and others like him an asshole and just be done with it.

I’m torn.  Torn between wanting to believe that closeted homosexuals in government who are trying to strip other homosexuals of rights are merely just failing to cope with their own orientation and lashing out as a result, and the idea that they are simply falling into a vortex of homophobic zeitgeist in order to attain, and maintain power.

I’m also torn over culpability.  Part of me wants to believe that they bought it on themselves; feeding the anti-homosexual sentiment in this country for their own gain and ultimately to their own hindrance, while at the same time, isn’t society responsible as well?

The propensity of homosexual congressmen in the closet to legislate against homosexuality seems at once a construct of our homophobic society, one in which they feel that they can not be who they are, and therefore must lead this double existence.

And I most definitely fail to see the humor in the phrase, “I have a wide stance.”  I just think it sad.

And that’s how I see Larry Craig.  Just a sad little man who’s done more damage in this world than good.

Nor am I convinced that Mike Rogers is necessarily a do-gooder.  I admire his propensity for vigilante-like outing of hypocritical legislators, but at the same time, doesn’t his fear mongering contribute?  In any other context, wouldn’t we call it black mail?  “You legislate one way, or I’m going to expose you.”

I don’t know the answers here, but I know that one thing Larry Craig’s disgraceful outing has done has shown how not to conduct this debate.  Before us is a serious issue.  A large number of Americans are not being treated with the fairness that they deserve, and I’m loathe to find that debate centered around the misshaps of a senator in a public restroom that have turned into late night talk show fodder.

We can do better than that.

5 Responses to “The H-Word”

  1. Frank Hagan says:

    Why do we assume Craig is gay? If a homosexual man gets oral sex from a female prostitute, is he suddenly straight? Are those heterosexual males who nevertheless molest boys gay, or straight?

    Craig may have a domination/forbidden fruit thing that gets satisfied by engaging in anonymous sex with men in public places, but it doesn’t make him anything like the gay people I know. I can’t imagine them (or my straight friends) doing this kind of thing. Besides, all this time I thought “two taps” meant “pass the sports section”.

  2. First, molestation of young children is something totally difference. Best as I know, assuming we ignore whatever NAMBLA profers as truth, molestation of children is more often than not a mental illness that arises typically from sexual abuse during childhood. This is kind of an offshoot from how our brains are wired, really. When we undergo a significant level of trauma at a young age, we tend to internalize it, and that internalization does strange things. We seek out comfort in replicating the act either as the victim or the aggressor.

    Molesting children is, therefore, not necessarily a trait one is born with, but instead aberrant (sp?) behavior that is programmed at an early age.

    Current thinking among the scientific community leans, instead, that homosexuality is something one is born with, and there has even been some significant findings regarding this in the wild as well.

    To be completely truthful, I do feel that sexual orientation is not classified merely as homosexual and heterosexual, but actually spans a wide and inclusive spectrum of behaviors. So, while most people typically only feel sexual desire for the opposite sex, you will find an almost gaussian curve in this effect where as you diverge further from the apex you will find people who are more ammenable to the same sex, but to varying degrees.

    Craig’s behavior, assuming that the circumstancial evidence does in fact stack up to reality and not just an unfortunate change of unlucky incidents, is in my mind more in line with the behavior of someone who recognizes something in themselves, but through a lack of understanding, or possibly through a cultural upbringing that declares that thing as a negative, is engaged in an episode of self loathing. This happens with a lot of things, from overweight people who don’t know how to or seem unable to slim down, to people who find themselves academically stifled. We all have things about us that we don’t like, and all too often, instead of understanding that we are all unique humans who aren’t meant to fit a mold but instead are part of a mixed society that is made better for our diversity, we find ourselves divergent and therefore bad.

    You seek to externalize that negative trait about yourself and act outwardly hostile towards it in order to pay a kind of internal pennance for having that trait yourself.

    Unless Craig comes out and says it, we can’t know 100% positively that he is in fact gay, but that would be my take on the entire thing.

  3. Sarafenix says:

    What brings people like Craig to the position he is in now is the same thing that causes the suicide rate among teen gays, lesbians, etc. to be one of the most tragic statistics of this country. When this self hatred as a youth doesn’t lead to death, it most often leads to homophobic, closeted, self hating adults who become gay bashers and self righteous purveyors of hatred.

  4. Okay, so there was a quicker way to say all that.


  5. Frank Hagan says:

    Well, my concern is that we automatically classify someone as “gay” who has engaged in something that the great majority of people would never do … anonymous sex in a public place. There may be another need that leads someone like Craig to surf restrooms. We agree there is another need that leads pedophiles to seek out children that is separate and distinct from their normal sexual preference, and that the desire to molest … like the desire to seek out strangers for sex in a public restroom … is not a desire most people have.

    So perhaps Craig is gay, and pretending to be straight the other 90% of the time, living in a long term relationship with a woman, fathering children, etc. Or perhaps, like the old concept of one drop of negro blood making you black, we are categorizing every deviant as gay because of 1/10th of his sexual encounters.

    I know I could not switch genders and “perform” with a member of a gender I’m not attracted to, so the concept of being able to complete the sexual act against orientation is foreign to me. And to most of the people I know, on both sides of the gay/straight barrier. I guess neither side wants to claim the bi-sexuals.


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