On Tuesday, conservative rag The Federalist—a website perhaps best known for its endorsement of statutory rape and its former use of a “Black Crime” tag—published an opinion blog by a gay guy named Chad Felix Greene titled “The Stigma Against My Conservative Politics Is Worse Than The Stigma Of Being Gay.”
That’s good news, right?! I mean, in a utopian society, nobody would much care who other people prefer to fuck or fall in love with, but everyone would care deeply about the laws and policies that actually impact the world. So our hypothetical utopian folks wouldn’t bat an eye at two men sharing a kiss, but would likely get pretty pissed if someone came around advocating the use of tear gas against people in need, or death for sick people who don’t have the money to pay for treatment, or killing machines for everybody—all of which are mainstream conservative points of view.
What I’m saying is, conservative politics should have more of a stigma than being queer, but apparently, my saying so hurts Greene’s feelings:
I often fantasized about breaking through the walls of prejudice and somehow speaking to the heart of someone who did not yet realize I was just a person like them.
Today I find myself in that same frame of mind and under the same weight of frustration and skepticism, but it’s not because I’m gay. Today I look out across the turbulent sea of political discourse and ask, “Why would anyone choose to be a conservative?” To be a conservative means to openly invite others’ hatred into your life and to lose your humanity in the eyes of strangers who view you exclusively through stereotypes and prejudices.
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Putting aside the obvious irony of Greene using a decently prominent platform to complain about his political marginalization in a country where a majority of the government is conservative, this is insufferable. It’s a cynical guy perverting an extremely valid “I shouldn’t have to justify my love to the world” take and twisting it into “I don’t like when people argue with me on the internet because I sympathize with a very successful accused sexual predator.” Look at this bullshit:
Just as I did not choose to be gay, I did not choose to be conservative. My political evolution happened over time as I came to realize that I valued truth and reason over narrative and emotion. I became an outspoken voice on the right because I felt I had no other choice than to speak up and shout the truth, despite overwhelming pressure from the media.
Normally, The Federalist farting out some jaw-droppingly stupid false equivalence is just another weekday, but conservative gays using their sexuality as a means to defend their abhorrent views have become more and more common as queers win more widespread acceptance. (Some possibly relevant personal background: I identified as a gay male during my teen years, but now I’m probably more like trans female or genderqueer or something more fun like that.) Opportunities that would have been previously unavailable for out gays in fields like business or politics are opening up like never before, giving LGBT people newfound power to create change within the systems that previously oppressed them. But wealthy and mostly white gay men have all too often been afforded the choice not just to shed the “oppressed” label, but to become oppressors themselves. Their sexuality, then, becomes a tool used to help uphold the anti-feminist, white supremacist, wealth-favoring status quo, and they need to fucking stop.
One of the first prominent right-wing fags whose sexuality was central to his scam was Milo Yiannopoulos. Remember this guy? He’s basically banned from the Internet and reportedly deep in debt at the moment. But back before we all blessedly forgot about him, Yiannopoulos used his relationship and later marriage to a man as a potent cover that allowed him to harass trans kids and do the “Feminism is cancer” meme.
A much more boring example of queer identity allowing other kinds of discrimination and harassment comes in the form of Barstool Sports writer “Gay Pat,” who gets performatively heated about the use of the word “faggot” in some dumb but pretty obviously not-homophobic jokes from seven years ago, but apparently doesn’t give two shits about his complicity in his boss’s ongoing harassment campaigns against women in sports media. “(Journalist Robert Silverman) has called us homophobic. Ask Gay Pat about that,” Barstool founder Dave Portnoy wrote this year after being asked for comment on a story by The Daily Beast. Traitorous queers like Pat are the people who help their buddies get away with heinous misdeeds—these awful men couldn’t possibly be bigoted in any way if one of their pals is a real live “gayball.”
Similarly, Greene appears to idolize wannabe right-wing power player Ben Shapiro—his ugly mug is the lead image on Greene’s Federalist blog for unclear reasons—who called the White House’s display of a rainbow flag in 2015 “a gross boot-on-the-throat display from an anti-religious leader” and once wrote that “those who do not believe that many homosexuals bear a particular animus for heterosexual marriage” do not “live in the real world.” When confronted with the seeming contradiction here, Greene responded with a blatant lie—unless he believes that a person’s words should not be considered when evaluating how they treat people.
None of these men have any real power; they are at best D-List reality show characters. But higher up in the establishment are gays who can do real damage. Perhaps the most prominent LGBT supporter of a president who is apparently down to watch the world die, enrich billionaires at the expense of working-class people, and unreservedly support alleged sexual predators is Peter Thiel, the modern-day Dracula whose impossibly deep pockets once destroyed Gawker Media (Deadspin’s former parent company). As a gay man, Thiel’s endorsement lends undeserved credibility to a vice president who has never been a friend to LGBT people, and a regime in general that supports, among other things, defining trans people out of existence. Here he is explaining himself in the New York Times:
“I think Trump is very good on gay rights,” Mr. Thiel says. “I don’t think he will reverse anything. I would obviously be concerned if I thought otherwise.”
I ask if he’s comfortable with the idea that Vice President-elect Mike Pence, regarded in the gay community as an unreconstructed homophobe, is a heartbeat away from the presidency.
“You know, maybe I should be worried but I’m not that worried about it,” he replies. “I don’t know. People know too many gay people. There are just all these ways I think stuff has just shifted. For speaking at the Republican convention, I got attacked way more by liberal gay people than by conservative Christian people.”
It doesn’t take a savvy politics knower to see what’s happening here. If you’re a rich guy whose politics align with the Republican Party’s goals, the conservative establishment will kindly overlook the fact that you enjoy sucking dick and enlist you as an ally. The kids who struggle to pay for hormones or can’t find a job that accepts them are left to deal with the consequences.
Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan’s famous “Conservative Case for Gay Marriage” now gives him free rein to write wobbly screeds against “political correctness” and boldly antiquated defenses of race science in New York Magazine. Gay Trump-supporting journalist Chadwick Moore appropriated the language of queerness to “come out” as a conservative, and then reportedly lied about getting kicked out of a Brooklyn bar because of his political beliefs— because this whole right-wing queer racket only works when people are convinced that you’re actually “oppressed.”
There’s also Brian Calle, the libertarian publisher of L.A. Weekly, whose name is practically synonymous with everything currently fucked in the news industry. In the process of turning one of the most respected alt-weeklies in the country into unwanted trash written by useless shills, Calle used his sexuality to bolster himself against critics—whom he had the gall to refer to as “bullies,” as if they were high-school jocks driving him toward suicide. Here he is leaning on his identity to justify his group’s malicious and incompetent managerial practices:
There’s been credible journalists ... who’ve said, ‘I can’t believe that this is an all-white, all-heterosexual group of men that bought the LA Weekly.’ That narrative is false. I’m half-Latino, I’m also gay so obviously we’re not all white, we’re not all heterosexual, one of our investors is African- American, one of our investors is Asian- American.
It’s unclear which “credible journalists” would have called LA Weekly’s ownership group “all-heterosexual,” since Calle is the paper’s most visible owner and his sexuality is a well-known fact. But it doesn’t really matter. This rich gay man’s newfound position of power lets him be either willfully or accidentally oblivious to any valid critiques; any discrimination he suffered in the past solidifies his role as “the good guy” when people fight against his damaging plans. Calle and others who do this could learn something from another conservative rich person in the LGBT umbrella—Caitlyn Jenner, who is a self-absorbed idiot but has at least made some sort of good-faith effort to listen to the queer left.
Honestly, I don’t blame most of the men I’ve mentioned for acting in their own personal self-interest. You do what you gotta do to make a living, I suppose, and a few more gays voting Republican won’t bring about the apocalypse any faster. Where these guys get really dangerous, however, is when we give them the microphone and the authority to tell us who we should and shouldn’t care about. “I’ve been discriminated against,” these gay male narratives tell you, “So believe me when I say that [women/immigrants/trannies/poor people] aren’t the real victims here.” If too many people believe those words, all of the fantastic, revolutionary ideals of freedom and empathy that formed the foundation of queer liberation will quickly fade away, and almost all of us will be worse off for it. I know it’s naive to think these dudes are ever going to shut the fuck up. But the least the rest of us could do is stop listening to them.