Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Re: Kyle's Angry Rant

I'm kinda sick about talking about this Larry Craig stuff, but I have one thing thats really bothering me, that I had to get off my chest.

Of course we all wanna point and laugh when some GOP anti-gay politician turns out to be... surprise, gay! It's funny, ironic, and points to the incredible hypocrisy that has come to engulf this whole "culture war." And it doesn't hurt that it seems to happen every other week- Mark Foley, that state legislator in Florida, now this.

But does it bother anyone else that we, as liberals, are jumping all over someone because he's... gay? Doesn't that seem inherently wrong to anyone else? I totally see Kyle's point about the example he sets, and how much he sets back our movement for LGBT equality. But can't we show him the same understanding that we show the rest of the community who struggles so deeply to keep their identity private? As we all acknowledge, people don't stay in the closet (or use secret foot-tapping codes in the bathroom) for fun- its an inevitable response to the homophobic culture in which we still live. Why don't we recognize Craig as another sad victim of this culture, having to live a public lie his entire life? As good as it may feel to drag him through the mud, and air his entire sexuality for the public to see, shouldn't we, as liberals, hold ourselves to a higher standard, and be a little more understanding?


Taylor Kayatta said...

I blame the media. But also America, who love to watch/read about stories involving strange gay behaviour. It's easier to see gays as some weird subculture who have sex in airport bathrooms than accept that they are just as normal as anyone else, they just prefer their own gender. In defense of people talking about this, though, I think part of it is the nation's obsession with SEX in general, whether or not it is gay sex. Either way, yeah, I agree with Gabe.

BruinKid said...

A big part of the story that gets lost in the media is that Craig committed and already pleaded guilty to a crime. I've seen the right-wing already try and bring up Gerry Studds and Barney Frank in all this, without realizing that what they did were not CRIMES. Unethical, yes, for which they were reprimanded by the House. But not criminal. And that goes to Craig's character.

And I think goldberry said it best in a message to Republicans:

In the whole scheme of things, Larry Craig's indiscretion is a minor blip on the radar screen. Most likely, he was blackmailed by the likes of Rove and Cheney to do what he was told or they would unleash righteous fury on him from the religious among you. He'd never work in DC again 'cos Republicans hate gay people. The response from you guys is always so predictable so Larry fell into line. Larry has never been one of you. Larry was a slave to the GOP machine.

Now do you understand why it's so important for people to embrace who they are? To not keep secrets that others can exploit for their own good? To mind your own business and stay out of other people's bedrooms so you can focus on whether they'd be good public servants?

No, of course not. You're "Republicans".

That word is going to be the new "liberal" in the next generation. Enjoy your exile. Consider it your rebuilding years.

Kyle said...

Well speaking as a gay person, though not speaking for gay people, I can say that I'm torn on this. On the one hand, I understand what anguish he must feel (though to be fair, he may just be bi and not fully gay, though I doubt it). But on the other hand, we are all responsible for our own actions.

If he is gay, he betrayed the gay community by supporting laws and politicians that vilify us all. He came to a crossroads at one point in his life, at several points. He could either take the path of the dignified oppressed, or the tormented oppressor. He chose the latter, and insodoing, has made the lives of millions of gay Americans miserable. That's why gay people are jumping all over it - because he betrayed us all.

Now, does that mean that we should be denigrating him? Well I suppose that depends. Political humor is often shady and related to the unfortunate events of others (indeed, no one batted an eye when McCain's campaign went belly-up and we all laughed at his misfortune). That's just part of our society.

We shouldn't hold it against Craig for going into a public restroom to act on an engrained orientation. We SHOULD, however, hold it against him for helping contribute to that problem which led him to his actions. So, in a longwinded way, the road that Senator Craig took decades ago has come back to haunt him. And now, he must live with the consequences of his decision.

Kyle said...

My last comment got cut off a little short. In essence, the last paragraph meant to say that she shouldn't hold it against him for having the impulse to act out in a seedy way, but we should hold it against him for going through it.