I don’t remember when I first heard a gay leftist dismiss gay Republicans as self-loathing. It must have been about the time I first became active in Log Cabin when I lived in the Washington, D.C.-area in the mid-1990s. I do recall some activist badmouthing me for my allegedly hypocritical and closeted life about the same time I would be addressing a large public gathering of Northern Virginia Republicans as an openly gay man.
These angry critics don’t even consider the facts before leveling their accusations. When Bruce broke the news of Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon’s meeting with presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, we were subject yet again to the charge, with no less than a Professor of Psychology calling “self-loathing” any gay person who votes Republican. Seems like someone needs his head — and prejudices — examined.
I wonder if that professor ever met a gay Republican or even bothered to consider why someone might cast a ballot for a candidate (or party) he doesn’t support. He never explained why he finds us “self-loathing.” None of them do, but they hurl the insult so readily as if by rote. But, I digress.
Recently, on a date gone awry, I was exposed to real gay self-hatred. We had met for lunch at a public place, a more relaxed setting, I thought. A mid-day meeting would make clear this was about getting acquainted and not about getting laid.
While he was a nice enough guy, we really didn’t connect on a deep level and he kept insisting we return to my car so we could drive to some secluded place and “get it on.” I refused to even tell him where I parked. As we concluded our time together, I moved to give him a hug good-bye. He pushed me away, whispering “not in a public place.”
As i drove away, it struck me that there was an example of real gay self-hatred, someone eager to fill the gaps in a first meeting with sex, yet unwilling to acknowledge publicly the nature of his feelings for men.
Sometimes, I wonder if it’s more than that, that self-hatred is not just limited to people who would publicly deny their feelings. It also includes those who see their sex partners as nothing more that objects to help them fulfill their desires, refusing to look beyond the surface attraction to discover the human being beneath.
Real gay self-hatred is thus not being able to connect one’s deeper feelings to one’s identity as a human being.