Friday, October 06, 2006


Out of The Closet And Into The Right Wing?

I’ve been reading Dan Savage for quite a long time—when I remember to go to his web-site, because Bend’s alternative (kind of) weekly paper doesn’t carry him. I think it’s too bad, he’s a lot more accurate in his information than any of the hokey new-age astrology columns that pop up in almost every “alternative weekly.”

Savage accurately targets the function of closeted gay people in the Republican scheme of things: conservative and quiet, so orderly and considerate...The right wing really doesn’t mind homosexuals, as long as they do whatever it is they do in the dark, and dress nicely. What interests me is how long the hidden homosexuals can keep their sexuality from popping out, as it were, in inappropriate places. I think it’s based on internalized shame and self-hatred. The more you hate yourself, the better you can bury your libido. Up to a point: then all hell is going to happen, because sooner or later the control will give away like a dam on an overfilled reservoir.

Looks like Foley had the good sense to see the big cracks in his facade and just decided to bug out. It may have saved his life. (My ex-brother-in-law used to tell the story of a dentist in his home town, always clean and neat and locked-down, who came home from work one day, stood on his front lawn, took off all his clothes and folded them neatly in a pile, and then put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.)

Foley & Me
How Mark Foley Did Everything Right

You know how after each Bush-administration scandal—male prostitutes running
amuck in the White House, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.," domestic
spying—you sit there thinking, "Shit, if Clinton had done that he'd be

I felt something similar this week listening to Republicans attempt to
excuse or minimize the Mark Foley scandal. When White House spokesman and
former Fox News hack Tony Snow dismissed the conversations as "naughty
e-mails," or when Matt Drudge called the teenage boys "beasts" and accused
them of egging Foley on, I sat there thinking. "Shit, if I had done what
Foley did, I'd be in prison!"

I don't have any pages at "Savage Love" headquarters, but I do have access
to plenty of teenagers—more than Mark Foley has in his wildest dreams. And
while Foley manipulated teenagers into conversing with him about sex
(telling them they're hot, pumping them for info about how they masturbate),
the teenagers who write me already have sex on their minds.

Most of the mail from teenagers is straightforward: They send questions
about birth control or kinks or relationships. But some gay teenagers,
having seen one extremely flattering press photo of me (I wish I looked like
the picture on my Wikipedia page), send offers, along with pictures or links
to MySpace pages.

And what do I do with these e-mails? I delete them. Responding—to say
nothing of taking any of these kids up on their offers (offers most would
surely withdraw when they saw me in person)—wouldn't be right. Because the
last thing gay teenage boys need in their lives, in my opinion, are gay
middle-aged men.

I have to admit to having been tempted—some of these guys are hot and, like
Foley's pages, above the age of consent. But it would be professional and
personal suicide for me to respond to these e-mails. Imagine the shitstorm
if a parent found flirtatious e-mails from the middle-aged, openly-gay
author of American's sleaziest sex-advice column on their kid's computer.
And I'm just paranoid enough to suspect that some of these
e-mails—particularly the ones from very young boys who attach photos that
look a little pornified—are set-ups. Ruining Rick Santorum's good name
hasn't exactly endeared me to the knuckle-draggers on the far right. I
wouldn't want to engage in a flirtatious chat with a gay teenager and then
have to read the transcripts at

But if someone turned up e-mails or IM chats in which I asked a kid to
measure his cock for me—or asked him for details about his masturbation
habits, or whether I made him horny, or if he just came—I don't think Dennis
Hastert, Tony Snow, Matt Drudge, and Rush Limbaugh would launch a cover-up
to protect my skanky ass or, failing that, rush to my defense, pointing out
that it was just, you know, a few naughty e-mails or the fault of some
dirty-minded teenage beasts. They would call for my head.

So why would they bend over forward to accommodate Foley?

Because, in their eyes, Mark Foley was doing everything right. The religious
conservatives in the GOP's base don't seriously believe that gay men can
become straight. (Wanna stop a straight person from making the ex-gay
argument? Ask him if he'd let his daughter marry one.) What they believe
in—what they demand—are closeted homos, homos like Mark Foley, a single man
who refused to answer direct questions about his sexual orientation. (Has
any straight man ever refused to reveal his sexual orientation?) The
religious conservatives in the GOP's base want all gays to be like Mark:
deny who we are, live our lives alone, refuse to answer any questions about
our sexuality. To them, Mark Foley was a good, closeted homo, deserving of
every consideration.

The GOP was willing to cover for Foley because Foley, by being closeted,
covered for them for years. So what if closet cases act out in sexually
inappropriate ways? A few raped altar boys and skeeved-out pages are a price
the gay-haters are only too willing to pay if it means fewer out homos.

Hugo and the gang had won the battle.-...-Will you join us?-...Hugo said: "Alright".

Surp(rice) us.
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