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. Â 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.”