Many of us, including yours truly, often challenge our liberal friends’ comments and links on Facebook, generally engaging in intelligent exchanges, but sometimes in exchanges of insults. In a handful of cases, we suddenly find a partisan adversary has silently “de-friended” us, other times we finds ourselves subject to a barrage of insults accusing us of narrow-mindedness, self-hatred or even racism.
The other day, a gay conservative lamented on Facebook that it had . . .
Been a rough year with politics! Lost friends of 20 years and more because of Obama. Went from everybody liked being around me to the outcast with very few gay friends. Attacks have been very personal. Kinda blue here.
And he’s not the only one — as indicated by the comment thread. One man reported that a friend had told him he “deserved [his] heart attack for opposing Obamacare.” Another wrote that at a gay and lesbian film festival (not in LA), he and his partner sponsor:
People will be openly hostile to me and my partner (we’re both conservative). Very few are what I would even call tolerant. I continue to be a sponsor of the film festival because it is my last remaining tie to the gay commnunity. Without it, I have ZERO contact with the gay “community” – and my circle of gay friends is only a few. When I was a lib I had literally dozens of gay friends and was quite known in the gay community at the time.
Interesting that with a few notable exceptions, I have had almost the exact opposite experience at Outfest, the gay and lesbian film festival here in LA. Most folk there continue to treat me with respect even after learning of my political leanings.
Another participant in the thread had not been so fortunate. Three “so-called good friends” of another gay man told him “they could not be friends [because of his] dislike of B.O.” From their attitude, he gleaned “they were not true friends, because all of my true friends, while we do not agree politically, we accept it, and move on” — which is what most of us experience.
What is sad and disturbing about all this is the extent to which some gay and lesbian activists (and individuals) have so politicized their identity that toeing the left-wing line becomes for them part of what it means to be gay.
But, we do learn from this. And through it, we come to appreciate the real meaning of friendship. The narrow attitudes of these ex-friends helps us realize that in a pinch we couldn’t count on them. If they would abandon us over political differences, what other trivial matters might cause a rupture in the relationship?
As we express disbelief as their shallowness, we grow to appreciate even more those liberal friends who enjoy badgering us about our politics, but continue to support us in other endeavors and stand by us in times of great need.