Imagine, if you will, a piece on gay activists where the writer interviewed only Gary Bauer, James Dobson, Paul Cameron, Lou Sheldon and their associated social conservative ilk. Perhaps, such a thing has already been done. If it were, the mainstream media would have dismissed it (as well they should).
This week, through Log Cabin, we learned of a similar piece in Out magazine where the author contacts those opposed to the subject of his piece and one openly gay journalist. Let us hope the mainstream media treat this as they would a piece on gays featuring such anti-gay activists. For “reporter” Charles Kaiser is little different from a social conservative cheerleader for such divisive figures as Dobson, Sheldon and Cameron choosing only to interview figures antagonistic toward his subject.
Having read the piece, I am amazed at little its author actually knows about gay Republicans (kind of like Dobson and gay people). He devotes a good chunk of his article to Terry Dolan, the one-time head of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) by day and supposedly notorious leather queen by night. Dolan died over two decades ago, just over six years before Log Cabin set up its national office in Washington and years before Republican Congressmen Jim Kolbe continued to win reelection in Arizona even after coming out as gay.
Given the fact that Dolan died when Reagan was president, you’d think he’d hold less interest to a reporter covering gay Republicans in 2008 than an openly gay Republican Congressman who chaired a House subcommittee in the current Bush Administration. But, Kolbe gets nary a mention in this article while Kaiser quotes a “Democratic political consultant” for an anecdote about Dolan.
That consultant wasn’t the only Democrat Kaiser contacted for his piece on gay Republicans. He also quotes openly gay Democratic Congressman Barney Frank.
To be sure, Kaiser doesn’t limit himself to talking to Democrats. He devotes the last quarter of his piece to comments from an interview with Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas, “a 27-year-old native of the Bay Area who came out in high school at 17.” Vargas told Kaiser “If you come out on the Hill and you’re a Republican, you lose power.” Yet, he fails to provide a single example.
Robert L. Traynham, Communications Director for then-Republican Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, kept his job when he was “outed” as gay. That’s just one of many examples of GOP staffers keeping their jobs even when their conservative bosses learn of their sexuality. Yes, there are a few examples of gay GOP staffers losing their jobs because of their sexuality, but they’re far more of such staffers keeping them in similar circumstances.
The real question is: why didn’t Kaiser talk to them? Why didn’t he track down the dismissed staffers? Or ask the gay GOP staffers about their situation? Or talk to any gay Republicans. Log Cabin even has a staffer,Communications Director Scott Tucker, whose job includes handling such queries. That writer could have just checked their website. Or done a google search to find gay Republicans, say “gay Republicans” blog.
So many ways today to find gay Republicans and talk to them, especially today with this thing they call the Internet. Or maybe Kaiser still focusing on the politics of the 1980s doesn’t know of modern means of information gathering.
It seems, however, he’s not really interested in learning what gay Republicans have to say. It might upset his current view of people like us. You see, literary gays don’t deign talk to Republicans, least of all gay ones. Even when they write about them. What else explains the portrayal of the gay Republican in The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green?
Or the character in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. When I read Kushner’s plays, I found the gay Republican unlike any human being I had actually met–and I’ve met a lot of gay Republicans, even a few I’d classify as hypocrites. Had Kushner bothered to talk to actual gay Republicans as he researched his “fantasia”? For fantasia it was in having a fantastic and inaccurate view of gay Republicans.
If these gay scribes were interested in an accurate portrayal of gay Republicans, they would talk to actual gay Republicans before writing about them. The best that Kaiser does is talk to a gay reporter who himself wrote about and even dated gay Republicans.
For these leftist scribes, their narrative is more important than the facts. The very opening blurb of Kaiser’s piece tips us off to their narrative on gay Republicans: “exposing an ancient hypocrisy at the heart of the GOP.” So fascinated are they by some ancient legend, they neglect present-day reality.
Alas that for all too many members of our community, the gay media narrative passes for actual reporting. No wonder so many gay people have such a negative view of gay Republicans. Kudos to Log Cabin and Chris Crain for challenging that.