In a post last October, I wrote about one of the advantages we gay conservatives have in confronting the prejudices of some of our left-of-center peers:
. . . over time, the intolerance on the left makes us stronger. And helps us judge the character of our interlocutors. For while we often deal with liberal bigotry, we also frequently find open-minded “progressives” who in their interactions with us demonstrate an ability to rise above the prejudices of their peers.
If someone dismisses our political views as a mere product of what they contend are our own insecurities and animosities, then they are not likely to see us an individuals. Yet, if they respect us as individuals even while disagreeing with our politics, we know they are friends we can count on, those who do not let superficial differences get in the way of real friendship.
Now, I’ve made this argument before and do so again, largely because it seems every time I point out the prejudices certain gay liberals hold against conservative and their dubbing political difference as a manifestation of self-hatred or as some form of whining. Yet, it is hardly whining to identify and criticize the narrow attitudes of certain individuals.*
Yet, when we write about the hostility we face from some of our peers, our critics pull out their template of our victimhood even if it means ignoring the point of our post. For example, last month when I blogged about how Mito Aviles, a left-of-center gay man running for West Hollywood City Council treated me with dignity and respect even as he seemed incredulous at the notion of a gay conservative, a critic, within fifteen minutes of my posting the piece, chided me for “crying“. Another accused me of “playing into the whole ‘Victim Mentality’“.
In fact, I was making precisely the opposite point — that more often than not when we come out as conservative to our gay liberal friends, we frequently encounter some incredulity, but also understanding. And I had wanted to make clear that while many gay liberals are among the most intolerant people in America today, most are not, indeed some are among the most broad-minded.
Some, however, hold narrow views of conservatives at odds with our real concerns and expressed arguments.
And this brings me to the point of this post, why do people choose to attach their comments to our posts without first understanding our arguments. Why do they assume that pointing out the prejudice of our peers equals whining. Do they choose to remain ignorant of or indifferent to the narrow attitudes that exist on the left and in the gay community?
As, alas, prejudice against gays still persists in our culture, so too does prejudice against conservatives. And shouldn’t we strive to point out both forms of intolerance so we can better eradicate them?
*If that were whining, the entire enterprise of trying to change the minds of people ignorant of and hostile to the open expression of homosexuality would then be nothing more than one long and self-pitying plaint.