I had someone else read this interview of me first. As she was reading, I kept asking her… “Am I going to be fired?” All in all, I think this is a very fair interview and I’m glad the blog got some ink from my “hometown” gay newspaper.
Out ‘Patriot’ Finds Conservative Audience – Philadelphia Gay News
-Bruce (GayPatriot) – firstname.lastname@example.org
For full text of story – click on “more”
Out ‘Patriot’ finds conservative audience
Is there room under the virtual rainbow flag for a gay conservative blogger like Bruce Carroll?
The founder of the year-old GayPatriot.net Web log would like to think so.
But over the past year since he’s launched his blog, Carroll has received a much warmer reception from straight conservatives than gays and lesbians.
“I haven’t received one negative e-mail from a conservative blogger,” Carroll said. “As a matter of fact, most of the support I’ve gotten has been from conservative blogs and not gay-specific blogs, which is consistent with my personal experience.
“I’ve been an openly gay Republican for the past 10 to 15 years. I get more hostility from gay liberals than conservative Republicans, and the experience on the blog has been exactly the same.”
Carroll, who lives in northern Virginia, is a founding member of the so-called “23 Percent Club” – a moniker he coined to represent the estimated percentage of gay and lesbian voters who supported President George W. Bush in the 2004 election.
Except for the name of the Philadelphia area native’s blog, though, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to distinguish it from other (straight) conservative sites.
One post urges the “president” to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of the slain solider who is staging a protest outside Bush’s Texas ranch; the punch line is that she should meet with Saddam Hussein. Another post recommends a column on the ’04 election from the right wing The Washington Times, while another urges Americans to “take back” the planned Sept. 11 memorial at Ground Zero.
A few posts reflect Carroll’s gay identity – including one comparing the experience of a Republican in Hollywood to the coming-out process – but the overall tone supports the blogger’s self-view as more than a “one issue” voter.
“I’m a contrarian by nature,” said Carroll, who works in the bio-tech industry. “I may be shrill at times in trying to make a point. I’m trying to make it obvious I’m challenging that conventional wisdom.”
Even though Carroll doesn’t identify with a Democratic-voting, Human Rights Campaign member, and contends the Log Cabin Republicans have steered off course, he doesn’t believe his beloved GOP is doing its best by gay people, either.
“I vote on a host of issues – I’m not a one-issue voter,” Carroll said. “I think there’s more to society than voting on abortion only or taxes only or what not.
“I grew up as a Republican. I believe my party advances policies that are supportive of a free enterprise system. I believe we need to be proactive on the war on terror.
“That’s my stance. Am I disappointed in my president [because of the Federal Marriage Amendment]? Absolutely. Am I disappointed in the rhetoric of the party on [gay] issues? Absolutely. That’s what Log Cabin’s role is.”
Nor does Carroll, who is moving with his partner to Charlotte, N.C., early next year, seem concerned that his current state’s Republican-controlled legislature passed one of the country’s most restrictive bans on same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships.
“I’m moving from Virginia to North Carolina for two reasons – the traffic has gotten phenomenally bad and my taxes are too high,” he said. “Those are two pretty good reasons to move, if I think there is a better environment for the family situation I have, whether it’s gay or straight, that’s the beauty of this country.
“If the taxes are lower in West Virginia, that’s an option I’ll look at. If the domestic-partner laws are better in Massachusetts, that’s an option I’ll look at.”
Even though universal marriage or domestic partner laws would eliminate that part of the decision on where to live, Carroll doesn’t believe the country is ready for same-sex marriage.
“It feeds into our culture, which is instant gratification,” he said. “It’s naive to think we can change laws before we change minds first.”
With that point, Carroll may have more in common with openly gay liberals like Barney Frank than he thinks.
Robert DiGiacomo is a Philadelphia-based writer. “Drag ‘Net” appears biweekly. Send comments to email@example.com; PGN Web site: www.epgn.com