Every now again, I come across a story which so astounds me, I’m speechless. And for those who know me well, it takes some doing to put me at a loss for words. But, this morning, when my friend Rick Sincere e-mailed me a link to his latest post, I was dumbfounded, in both the denotative and etymological sense of the word.
But, then again, given that it was the actions of gay left bloggers (and those who comment to their blogs — and sometimes even to this one) that rendered me speechless, perhaps I should have been less astounded, given their past actions and statements.
You see, these bloggers have worked themselves into a lather because an eighteen year-old conservative activist who works for the doomed presidential campaign of Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo happens to be gay. And they have determined not merely to out the teenager, but also to level the most vile insults on him.
While this story rendered me speechless (and perhaps accounted for my “brain cloud” during the better part of the day), it did spur Rick and the ever adorable Robbie to write some pretty good posts on the topic. Robbie notes how:
The gay blogosphere reacted with disdain, hatred, vitriol, and hundreds of vicious, borderline unhinged comments. From Dan Savage to Signorile to Joe.My.God, gays poured scorn, bile, and rage on an eighteen year-old fellow traveler. . . .
At what point does basic humanity take a back seat to political identity? While the justification of this mass out-pouring of hatred is (as ever) “the hypocrisy”, it is difficult not to note the deep and deeply unsettling hypocrisy laid bare in these putative guardians of the gay community.
In a prior post, Robbie had asked:
Do my fellow gays really believe this makes us look at all good? That picking on a teenager with the kind of hatred and venom of Signorile and his followers is the path to acceptance and admiration?
Meanwhile, Rick wonders:
You would think that none of these people had never gone through the anxious, raucous, frightening, unpredictable process of coming out. . . . It wasn’t that long ago that most of us — liberal and conservative alike — were facing the daunting prospect of inching out of the closet. . . .
Have any of these gloaters thought about the personal consequences for Tyler Whitney, the consequences that any one of us might have faced had we come out to the wrong person or at the wrong time? How will it affect his relationship with his parents, his grandparents — or even, perhaps, with his boyfriend (if he has one)? Could he be disowned, disinherited, sent to an ex-gay treatment facility where he would be scarred by psychotherapeutic quacks?
Rick also records some of the insults leveled on the teenager. Some of their vile and hateful remarks make some of the comments on this blog seem pale in comparison. Why do these people hate so? Why must they so denigrate a very young man with political views different from their own?
I can’t really improve on what Robbie and Rick have to say, so just recommend you read their posts (here, here and here), but will conclude this post by asking: What does this accomplish?. It seems that all these people are just looking for more means to express their hatred of Republicans. Or it is that they simply refuse to understand that a gay young man, a teenager, could have different political opinions than they? Or are they acting out some other kind of rage?
I don’t really know why they’re doing what they’re doing, so I’ll just go back to my primary question and ask again (in astonishment, curiosity and befuddlement) — What does it accomplish to out this young man? What does it accomplish?