At “breakout” session where James Vaughn who is the California Director for Log Cabin is speaking. He just noted that a survey he conducted for the group found that most members found it easier to come out as gay in Republican circles than they did coming out as Republican in gay circles. Reminds me of something I blogged on when we were over at blogspot. (Reposting that as first posted on October 24, 2004 below the “jump.”)
James also noted the difference between “rational and irrational” gay activists. The irrational ones won’t even give us the time of day as soon as they learn our partisan affiliation. Hmm. . . some who comment to this blog spend a good deal of their day, but devote no time trying to understand our ideas.
And he noted how many gay people affiliate with the Democratic people because they’re just following the crowd.
Seems that with the post I have re-posted below, this particular piece kind of has a theme, so will conclude it wondering why it is that some gay activists, while preaching tolerance, are so intolerant toward gay Republicans
GPW’s ongoing experiment — how conservatives react to gays/how gays react to conservatives
This past Thursday, I attended a networking event for gay and lesbian individuals in the entertainment industry. On Sunday, I attended a social event for conservatives in the entertainment industry.
Because the talk turned to politics at the former event, I had to choose to do as I have often done in the past and remain silent. Or, to speak my mind and risk alienating this crowd of Democratic partisans. Last Thursday, I chose to speak my mind. As soon as I did, I was bombarded with harangues and questions — how could I support a president who routinely attacks gay men and lesbians, who wants to prevent us from having any rights and wants to isolate us from the rest of society. I am certain they would have made such claims even had the president not supported the Federal Marriage Amendment.
It’s always amusing to see how many gay people make false assumptions about Republicans. In many cases, alas, they are helped by insensitive comments from GOP leaders. On Thursday, however, none could identify a single speech or comment the president made which denigrated gays.
This weekend, knowing I would be attending the conservative gathering on Sunday, I decided to engage in a little experiment — to compare how individuals in the conservative group reacted to my sexual orientation to how people in the gay group responded to my political affiliation. When I did come out to the Hollywood conservatives, all those with whom I talked accepted it without passing judgment. They just accepted it as one aspect of my character. Which is as it should be. This group warmly welcomed a speaker who identified himself as gay.
Living in Hollywood, I realize that many of conservatives will be socially liberal. So, as long as I’m out here, I cannot fully explore the differing attitudes within these various groups. In conduct a more complete experiment, I ask readers to write me (GayPatriotWest@aol.com), relating stories of their experiences coming out as gay in conservative and Republican circles — and as conservative or Republican is gay circles. (Please let me know if I may quote your e-mail on the blog.)
In the past, when I have come out to Republicans, I have learned that many had never met a gay person seeking a monogamous relationship (or who acknowledge being monogamous in an existing relationship). A number assumed all gays were sexually obsessed and obsessed with their mothers. Just as many gays make false assumptions about conservatives so too do conservatives make false assumptions about gays.
Not only that. Before I moved to LA, some conservative acquaintances distanced themselves from me upon learning I was gay.
Just as some gay acquaintances have distanced themselves from me upon learning I’m a Republican. One guy who once approached me because he found me attractive walked away when he learned I was Republican.
At this point in my experiment, it seems that the anti-Republican gays have been more overtly hostile than the anti-gay conservatives. I’m curious to see if others have had similar experiences.
I must caution, however, about the difficulty of making generalizations. Many gays, including a number of liberal partisans and activists for left-wing causes, have asked thoughtful questions about my political beliefs and shown respect for my ideas. Many have been eager to engage me in thoughtful discussion. In those cases, my political coming out has not changed their feelings for me. Indeed, in several cases, this coming out has strengthened our friendship. It allowed my friends to get to know me better — to see me as I truly am. And in seeing how I differ from the crowd, they can better recognize — and appreciate — my uniqueness.
I’m going to continue this experiment, keeping my eyes open, eager to learn how people react to someone who differs from the norm in their social situation. I will post my findings on this blog. And I encourage other gay conservatives to e-mail me and share their experiences.