I just got back a few hours ago from the Claremont Institute‘s Churchill Dinner honoring the wise and witty Mark Steyn. As advertised in my post on the topic, it was indeed a chance to “mix and mingle with thoughtful conservatives from the Southland.”
I met a reader of this blog who had driven up from Orange County to attend the shindig. Together, we approached Mr. Steyn who was as witty in person as he is in his columns and engaging and down to earth as well. I was delighted to learn that he was familiar with this blog. And he wasn’t the only conservative “hero” of the blogosophere familiar with GayPatriot. John Hinderaker of Powerline came up to me to say how much he liked our work. His wife Loree is also a fan!
Not only did I enjoy meeting the Hinderakers (including their daughter who while not a fan of my work is a fan of the work of one of my friends), but I also ran into the man who immediately preceded me (years ago) as state chairman of the Massachusetts College Republicans.
I was delighted that they put me at a table with other Bear-Flag bloggers. The excellence of our conversation was a sign of the caliber of this league. I was joined by Greg of PrestoPundit, Joy (AKA Little Miss Attila), Kevin of SoCalPundit, Greg of FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog, Matt who blogs at Claremont’s Local Liberty Blog, and a different Matt who posts at FlashReport Blog as well as John of Write Enough.
In comments to this post, critics suggested that we really don’t identify as gay while a critic on another post called us fans of Roy Cohn. Tonight, though mingling with conservatives, I was very much out as a gay man (just as Bruce was out at the OSM (Pajamas Media) Launch). When I introduced myself as a blogger, I had to name this blog and thus identify as gay . I caught a couple raised eyebrows, but most people there didn’t seem to mind. A man in from Chicago for the event was curious to learn more about gay conservatives.
Once again, a more cordial reception in conservative circles when I am “out” as a gay man than that I receive in gay circles when I indicate my conservative/Republican leanings.
Mark Steyn gave a great speech, using humor to accent some of his points. I took notes and may comment on this at a later time. But, for now, I’ll just close by noting how much I enjoyed the event, how wonderful it was to be around intelligent and open-minded conservatives and engage them in serious discussion of politics, policy, the arts, history, culture and blogging.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com