Those were the words said by Jack Paar, the original host of NBC?s ?Tonight Show,? on March 7, 1960, the first night he came back on the air after nearly a month?s absence from the show. Paar had walked off the ?Tonight Show? set during its broadcast the month before due to a disagreement with the network?s censors.
Paar?s return and those infamous words are frequently mentioned by pop culture historians as one of the most memorable moments of live television. So I dedicate my return as ?GayPatriot? to the master of comebacks and timing?..Jack Paar.
From nearly the first day in September 2004 that I launched the GayPatriot blog, many fellow bloggers, readers of GayPatriot, Log Cabin Republican board members, and even the Gay Leftists have openly wondered about my identity. In fact, you may recall I was incorrectly ?outed? as Christian Grantham a few months ago.
Well, as part of my return to the blog I decided to come out of the blog-closet and reveal my identity as well as my background. I have never desired fame or fortune, just a creative outlet to share my views but I think it is time to be more candid as it may allow you to gain more perspective on my personal experiences and current view of our world.
You have been grumpy without your blog!
It is just about midnight on the West Coast as I begin a post I have long looked forward to writing. This will be my last post as a solitary blogger. THE GayPatriot, the man who founded this blog will be returning later this morning. It’ll be nice to have him back where he belongs.
GP founded this blog on September 4, 2004, vowing to “prove that gay conservatives exist, are relevant, and outspoken.” Four days later, I e-mailed him offering kudos for telling “LCR to stick it.” He wrote back. We exchanged e-mails and Instant Messages. Less than a month later, he invited me to join him here on the blog, a task I gladly undertook.
I appreciate what he had done in founding this blog, providing a voice in the blogosphere for gay conservatives, especially for those of us, who, despite our occasional differences with President Bush, supported his re-election. For the nearly six months that he and I blogged together, our styles complemented each other. I’m glad he’s back to take up the work he began last fall and to balance once again my more philosophical posts with the wit and punch of his prose.
But, more than anything, I appreciated his inviting me to join this blog. Since he left, an average of just under 500 people visited this blog per day. While that represents fewer readers than we had when he and I were posting together, to me, someone who has longed to share his views since he first learned to speak, that’s a lot of people eager to read my writing–even if some of them expect to disagree with me. Just a few hours ago, I received an e-mail from a reader who thought I was doing a great job even though he is frequently at odds with me.
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Just returned from the Hollywood Congress of Republicans dinner and had a great time. I sat next to the wise and witty columnist Bridget Johnson and got the chance to hobnob with my pal and fellow blogger Dirty Harry (who blogs at Jackson’s Junction), finally meeting his lovely wife. Actress Cheryl Felicia Rhoads spoke to the crowd and shared anecdotes of growing up Republican and coming out (as a Republican) in Hollywood.
Aware that many Republicans in the entertainment industry are afraid to come out because they fear it might jeopardize their careers in a business dominated by liberal Democrats, she said, “Just be who you are because that’s what you have to bring to the table.” Sound advice for a Republican in a “blue” area as it is for a gay person in straight society.
Her words struck a chord with me. Until just about a year ago, I had pretty much kept quiet about my politics since moving here in 1999. And yet, since I have come out as a Republican, I have felt more alive than I did in those years when I was in the political closet. More opportunities have opened up for me. A Republican screenwriter has become a fan of my work. When I wrote to some blogger back east, he invited me onto this blog where I have found a few more fans. Thanks, readers!!
So, I have learned from personal experience how right Cheryl is. By being true to myself, by being open about my love for movies and mythology as well as my interest in politics and commitment to conservative principles, I have realized that I do indeed having something to bring to the table, something that I had once hesitated to reveal as it set me apart from so many others in this town. Perhaps it is because I am so “set apart” that I have something unique to say.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
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