One of the most telling aspect of the left-wing prejudice against conservatives and Republicans is how people who have never been to a meeting of a Republican committee, club or auxiliary or rarely associated with conservatives (if at all) will tell us just exactly what our party and our movement is all about. Matched up against their prejudices, our experiences count for nothing.
I can decide in order to have a story to tell that when I went to the Republican National Convention as a credentielled blogger, I’d come out as gay as often as possible in order to gage people’s reaction. It won’t matter that my sexual orientation barely elicited a raised eyebrow because, you see, well, Republicans hate gay people and would never allow a single one who openly professed his preference for his own sex within their midst, much less as a guest at their national convention. Heaven forfend! They’re just so bigotted, intolerant and all around not nice. And they have bad hair too!
For ten of the last fifteen years, I have been out a a gay man in Republican circles and yes, I have encountered some of my fellow partisans less than pleased with my orientation, with at least one, scratch that, with just one wondering if I were aware of Exodus Ministries (or some similar outfit). Another woman once cut short a conversation upon learning I was a homosexual (she couldn’t bring herself to speak the word, “gay”), but was remarkably polite in doing so. Contrast that with the rudeness of the gays who learned I was Republican.
On the whole, I have found my partisan peers remarkably welcoming, even those who have religious objections to expressions of homosexuality. Yet, our experiences notwithstanding, our liberal friends know better just how our party should treat us. Responding to my post on the Golden Age for gays while Bush was in the White House, a reader guaranteed me
that if you went to a TRUE conservative (read: Christian Right Republican) meeting and self-identified as a Gay Conservative Republican, they would ride your ass out of the building on a rail faster than you could say “Log Cabin Republican.”
Well, I just returned from such a meeting where I was one of the two featured speakers. They let me speak. They didn’t even interrupt me. After they talk, they peppered me with questions. Guess they had to because the person designated to bring the rail either forgot to bring it or didn’t show up.
Perhaps by our reader’s definition, this wasn’t a TRUE conservative meeting so maybe the designated rail-bringer can be forgiven for not keeping with party custom. These rail-bringers do have a bad habit of skipping town whenever I decide to attend a Republican or conservative gathering. And some of those gatherings have even included prominent evangelicals. There have even been Mormons (yes, Mormons!) in attendance at some.
It’s not just me. I’ve talked to other gay Republican friends who’ve had the same experience. Readers have e-mailed us to report somethingsimilar. When they go to GOP meetings and happen to mention their sexual orientation, the rail-bringer is nowhere to be found. No rail. These gay Republicans remained in the building.
But, those are just our experiences. Our liberal readers know that at most such gatherings, the rails are standing at the ready. And people like us ridden out before they can say Jack Robinson.