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Convention Retrospective of a gay Republican Blogger

It is perhaps ironic that I waited until the last minute to decide to attend an event which could turn out to be one of the most seminal of my life.  Note, I say, “could.”

I met so many good people, spent time with a number of old friends and finally got to experience a national convention something I have wanted to do for decades.

When I wasn’t watching the various speeches on the floor, I spent the week attending gay luncheons and social gatherings as well as hanging out with right-of-center bloggers.  I was delighted to be on the same side as the Log Cabin folks this time and pleased to finally meeting so many bloggers whom, as I noted before, I had only known as pixels on a screen.

One guest at Tuesday’s luncheon where Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon announced the McCain endorsement remarked later how enthusiastically I had applauded.  I replied I wanted to show my support of that decision.  I strive to be honest when evaluating Log Cabin, criticizing them when they are too harsh in criticizing Republicans Republicans or too soft in distancing themselves from the left-leaning gay groups.  Or when they too readily embrace the statist policies of those groups.

I’d rather be praising them, particularly because their new leadership has shown a greater readiness to engage their gay conservative critics.   It’s not just President Patrick Sammon.  Communications Director Scott Tucker, Vice President John Sinovic and Director of Programs & Policy Jimmy la Salvia have all shown a willingness to listen even when we take issue with their statements and policies.

It was not always easy to present myself to others as a gay blogger so that I could better gauge the participants’ reaction to a gay Republican in their midst (as I had hoped to do when I set off for St. Paul).  When I did, no one expressed any open hostility.  But, there were times when it was awkward to try to insert my sexuality into a conversation without seeming like I was advertising my difference.

When I spoke to a number of prominent Republicans who showed up for interviews at Pajamas TV, I couldn’t always readily raise the issue.  For example when participating in a conversation which included former Senator George Allen (R-VA), I mentioned the name of the blog; the Virginian seemed to raise an eyebrow, but said nothing.

I did identify the blog name when I introduced myself to every blogger I met, including some social conservatives (and self-identified evangelical Christians).  All were courteous, respectful.  Not a single one said anything offensive or which could be remotely construed as anti-gay.  Each continued the conversation.  Nearly all of them had heard of GayPatriot.

I am really going to miss these people.  Almost every blogger I met, particularly those associated with Pajamas, was intelligent, engaging, each offering an unique perspective.  Clearly, these guys and gals think for themselves and are as capable conversationalists as they are bloggers.  When I was around them, I felt like I was right where I belonged.  I’m really going to miss them, but at least I’ll have their blogs to read.

And that is some comfort. More than just some.

UPDATE: From the comments. Albert Schwartz writes: “For hyphenated Americans, Gay-Americans, African-Americans, Irish-Americans, etc., which party you support seems to depend on which side of the hyphen you place the emphasis.

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28 Comments

  1. Good on you! I am delighted you had such a rewarding experience.

    Comment by heliotrope — September 6, 2008 @ 10:06 pm - September 6, 2008

  2. I have always had a better time with most conservatives when they find out I am gay… It is the gay world that has troubles with my conservative views.

    I am glad you experienced it in the grand scale :)

    Comment by Colocelt — September 6, 2008 @ 11:01 pm - September 6, 2008

  3. When I did, no one expressed any open hostility. But, there were times when it was awkward to try to insert my sexuality into a conversation without seeming like I was advertising my difference.

    Reminds me of a column by Peggy Noonan a few years back in which she was recounting a story in which some guy announced to her, during the course of their conversation, that he was gay. Her immediate reaction was, to paraphrase, what the hell has that got to do with anything and why are you telling me this.

    Comment by American Elephant — September 7, 2008 @ 8:58 am - September 7, 2008

  4. It’s cool that you had a great experience at the convention. One question – Log Cabin is wrong when they don’t bend over for the Repub leadership no matter what and wrong when they don’t screech mindlessly at the left because they don’t do the same. So, they’re great when they agree with you but when they don’t they’re evil. The best the they ever did was refuse to endorse Bush the second time and they made a mistake to endorse McCain this time. Staying in the party to help change things about it is a great thing. Endorsing those whose words and actions are hostile towards you is insanity and will not only do nothing to change a thing in the party but will negatively impact LGBT people throughout the country. I fully acknowledge that there are many issues, not just ours, that a candidate should stand for in order to receive an endorsement. But if the only way to gain acceptance is by following the crowd then it’s a farce. One only needs to look back at the reactions to LCR last election to realize that the “love” of the party is very conditional.

    Comment by Dave — September 7, 2008 @ 11:08 am - September 7, 2008

  5. B Hussien Obama admits he’s a Muslim

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zQK_EhDhZQ

    Comment by Vince P — September 7, 2008 @ 11:30 am - September 7, 2008

  6. #2 – Same with me. I find more acceptance as a gay man by the GOP versus being a Republican at my local gay bar.

    Shows you who the “tolerant” ones really are.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — September 7, 2008 @ 1:42 pm - September 7, 2008

  7. AE, I remember that column! And totally get her point! And she’s spot on (as is most often the case).

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — September 7, 2008 @ 1:45 pm - September 7, 2008

  8. I was there as a volunteer for LCR and our events. For me it was a great experience. My political experience is limited to being a voter, a PCO (we are a caucus state) and as an LCRW member. Only once at our civicfest booth did someone tell us we were going to burn in hell, otherwise everyone was very friendly and always said they were glad we had a presence there.

    There will always be non Republican gays who will trash us. Most of the time I chalk up it to the selfishness of the LGBT community-everything is always about them. Their rights over all is their mantra. I want to continue to be seen and heard in the GOP, only by being on the inside can we get the Republican party to change. It may be at a glacial pace but it will happen.

    Comment by LCRW — September 7, 2008 @ 2:27 pm - September 7, 2008

  9. [...] Convention Retrospective of a gay Republican Blogger [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » The Amazing Diversity of the Rightosphere — September 7, 2008 @ 7:43 pm - September 7, 2008

  10. Endorsing those whose words and actions are hostile towards you is insanity and will not only do nothing to change a thing in the party but will negatively impact LGBT people throughout the country.

    Except when gay Democrats do it, of course, at which point it’s “pro-gay” and “gay-supportive”.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 8, 2008 @ 12:01 am - September 8, 2008

  11. For hyphenated Americans, Gay-Americans, African-Americans, Irish-Americans, etc., which party you support seems to depend on which side of the hyphen you place the emphasis.

    Comment by Albert Schwartz — September 8, 2008 @ 5:28 am - September 8, 2008

  12. GPW, I have great respect for Noonan, most of the time — except when it comes to Bush, where she seems to be suffering much the same batshit-crazy, boil the bunny and pour acid on the car scorned lover syndrome as Sullivan.

    NDT, Define hostile.

    Comment by American Elephant — September 8, 2008 @ 9:37 am - September 8, 2008

  13. Call me crazy but I’m into the don’t ask don’t tell frame of mind. I don’t need to know you’re gay to decide whether I like you or not or want to get to know you or not. I’ve been around gay activists who forced it on me; and those who saw it as just a part of themselves. One of my best friends is a transgender who allowed me to love without having to endorse their situation. It worked out well for both of us. Not without it’s painful moments, but years later, we are still close friends who care deeply for one another.

    Comment by Terri — September 8, 2008 @ 12:26 pm - September 8, 2008

  14. Major Kudos to this blog! Just found this through a link from Powerline which was link from the comment section of the Star Tribune. I’ve been an LCR member (watching from afar) since before the 2004 election. It’s very nice, as a gay conservative man, to find others like me who list ‘gay’ as part of them and not the whole. I’ve called into the Jason Lewis radio show, in the Twin Cities, a couple of times as well, to talk about the need to change the way America views gay men and women, and allow them the same tax breaks versus pushing our government to ‘accept’ us…I truly believe that Americans at their core don’t have issue with us, but do take issue in the way our co-patriots zealously provoke and demand our government to ‘see’ them. Personally I don’t think it’s government’s place to tell me I’m okay!!

    Jeff (with emphasis on the -AMERICAN)

    Comment by Jeff Fenner — September 8, 2008 @ 12:53 pm - September 8, 2008

  15. I appreciate you as a conservative, and am entirely uninterested in what you do in your sex life. You seem surprised that fellow conservatives would be so “tolerant”, which surprises me. I also object, as a conservative, to the attempt to divide conservatives into groups, like “social” conservatives. To me, anyone who wants to bring the govt into social engineering is not a conservative. Period.

    Comment by robert108 — September 8, 2008 @ 1:06 pm - September 8, 2008

  16. I attended the reception and screening of the American Carol in MN and talked to many delegates. We talked about conservative issues in politics and in several conversations on issues, my relationship was relevant and I disclosed it. Without exception the response was positive. It is much easier for Conservatives to accept a gay person than it is for gays to accept a conservative.

    Too bad I didn’t get to meet any of the bloggers that were there…maybe I need to be more out!?

    Comment by Tracy Coyle — September 8, 2008 @ 1:39 pm - September 8, 2008

  17. And Dan even got to meet the fetching Carlos on the RNC floor to boot.

    Lucky dog. ;-)

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — September 8, 2008 @ 4:25 pm - September 8, 2008

  18. NDT, Define hostile.

    Sorry. That first paragraph in my post should have been italicized; it’s a quote from Dave.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 8, 2008 @ 6:54 pm - September 8, 2008

  19. I’m not surprised you were met with tolerance and dare I say it, even acceptance from the republicans. In my experience most republicans are live and let live.

    Socially I don’t agree with the GOP but always vote that way because of my desire to have employment in the future. I hope that someday soon the GOP can break away from the religious communities that have attached themselves to the party. Not that I feel that religious people shouldn’t have representation but many of their beliefs aren’t supported by their congregations let alone people outside of it. I find it odd that many democratic politicians can attend christian churches but don’t have to reflect those beliefs in the politics.

    Not all republicans are bible thumping anti-gays. I for one fully support the gay community and find that sexual orientation should not matter when meeting and working with new people. Saying you can’t befriend someone because of sexual orientation is like saying you can’t befriend someone with blue eyes, completely ridiculous.

    I hope that sometime in the very near future the GOP will start supporting gay marriage. I feel that it is something that is long over due in this country. Denying a gay couple the same rights a straight couple has through marriage is crime and a severe inequality. As for the critics who use religion as a opposition of gay marriage, their is a little thing called separation of church and state. Legally being married wouldn’t make their crazy church have to marry anyone or recognize any union before their God. And soon most republicans will, if they already don’t, see this as well.

    And for the more socially conservative republicans who find sexual orientation to be a social issue that needs resolving, I hope they rethink what they believe. The U.S. has the highest divorce rate in the world. I think that is a true social issue. And so any couple who can get married and stay that way regardless of sexual orientation should have the support of society and will have mine.

    I can only encourage members of the gay community to become more involved in the GOP. The more they see your support, the sooner they will show their support for you. I’m sure you already have support from many republicans, they just might not have said it yet.

    Comment by straight support — September 8, 2008 @ 8:03 pm - September 8, 2008

  20. Awesome RNC recap:

    http://www.americablog.com/2008/09/triump-at-gop-convention.html

    Comment by Liberal Gay Patriot (Liberals Love America - the REAL America) — September 8, 2008 @ 9:24 pm - September 8, 2008

  21. I want to know who’s writing the parody posts.

    Dan,

    Belated thanks from the Ohio Hermit. It was very enjoyable having your POV from the floor and the rafters.

    Comment by The Livewire — September 8, 2008 @ 9:46 pm - September 8, 2008

  22. You are a person first. It really shouldn’t be a surprise.

    It is when people “role-play” (so that any rejection is to the role being played, rather than themselves,) that the people they meet have the perception of being rejected first; they will act accordingly.

    You will find that most people you meet have no problem with a covenant between two people of the same sex–with all of the legal ramifications being exactly the same. The matter of contention is the name of the covenant. Do not hijack the religious-based “name” for the covenant. To use the word “Marriage” for a civil covenant between members of the same sex–even though it is a traditional use of the word for a civil/legal covenant–is equivalent to a state-mandated change in religious doctrine.

    Regardless of intention, it is the establishment of a “State Religion”–a really big no-no.

    I honestly believe that a legal covenant between two people of the same sex would win by a landslide in each and every State. If one wishes to be “fair”: Remove the word “Marriage” from all of the documents involving the legal covenant between two people regardless of sex and place the word “Marriage” back in the religious bodies where it belongs.

    Of course, maybe I’m a bit off.

    I also wish it was not necessary for people to have living wills and trusts–and paperwork in their wallet and/or medic-alert bracelet with contact information in case of emergency. I do not want to be harangued (on my deathbed) by Christopher Hitchins for my beliefs, nor do I want to be tortured by a religious zealot because I may be insufficiently “saved” in their eyes. Or have vultures hovering about for monies which I may have. I don’t consider those evil things to be specific to any group of people.

    It is terrible when anything keeps comforting people/loved ones apart. (Twisted families, weird people, and weird nurses have screwed it up for everybody.)

    I had an acquaintance who was “the step-brother” of his love in the hospital to get around a twisted nurse. Other staff at the hospital weren’t a problem, nor in his case, were his family.

    Comment by Eric — September 9, 2008 @ 3:18 am - September 9, 2008

  23. “Fox news, you swing to the right more that Ann Coutier’s strap-on”

    Part Two:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eneq0jcMlTw

    LOL

    Comment by Liberal Gay Patriot (Liberals Love America - the REAL America) — September 9, 2008 @ 8:18 am - September 9, 2008

  24. Why is it Liberal posters who are ‘inclusive and tolerant’ always attack people based on sexual orientation, race, or creed?

    Comment by The Livewire — September 9, 2008 @ 1:27 pm - September 9, 2008

  25. Oh, quit being so sensitive. The dog in the video is called Triumph the INSULT Comedy Dog for goodness sake. Oof. It is true I suppose, many conservatives are humorless bores.

    … and, Ann Coulter invites ridicule – she is one of the most vile and hateful characters around along with that Malkin creature and the pathetic, closeted, Weiner guy.

    P.S. If I am attacking it will be obvious.

    Comment by Liberal Gay Patriot (Liberals Love America - the REAL America) — September 9, 2008 @ 8:52 pm - September 9, 2008

  26. This stuff about not being accepted by gays because you’re a Republican is crybaby whining. Get over it! Your are a Republican and they are Democrats! Shocking news: liberals don’t want to hang out with a Republican. Gee, most African-American Democrats aren’t keen on A-A Republicans. Shockingly, that’s the same for many white Democrats.

    It never surprises me what a bunch of cry-babies gay Republicans are. You’re so desperate for acceptance from Democrats and can only throw tantrums because they won’t accept your politics.

    Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other Republicans like you trash liberals as traitors and fiends, why the hell should liberals, gay or straight be nice to you?

    Get a life, you whiner! Your party used homophobia to win votes in 2004. Why would any sane gay person dismiss that from his/her reasoning?

    Comment by nick — September 14, 2008 @ 9:59 pm - September 14, 2008

  27. waaa! get a life!! waaaa

    How old are you moron?

    Comment by Vince P — September 15, 2008 @ 2:03 am - September 15, 2008

  28. [...] I often noted on this blog and elsewhere, “It’s easier to be gay among conservatives than it is to [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » (Some of) Our Critics & Their Imaginary Conservatives — February 19, 2009 @ 8:32 pm - February 19, 2009

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