Thursday, June 14, 2007

Conservatively Coming Out

So, apparently an 18-year old staffer for Republican Presidential long shot Tom Tancredo is coming out. I'm not really sure why this is big enough news to blog about, but it's all over the place, so I figured I should give my take on the issue.

First of all, I have to agree with Matt that this kid hasn't been outed by anyone--he came out on his own--and that we should just give him a break. Coming out's not easy, especially for folks running in conservative circles and working for anti-gay politicians. The glee some people seem to take in his "outing" is just odd to me. Offering to help if he needs it sounds like a better response.

Second of all, since when is the coming out of an 18-year old big news, no matter who he is?

Third of all, since when are conservatives not allowed to come out? Sure, I've got some questions about how he plans to handle some of the more anti-gay issues of his boss and cohorts (and himself previously), but we should be happy when people like him come out and embrace it--not relish in the irony.

Fourth of all--18? Man, apparently I'm not working hard enough. I want to be worthy of all of this blogoshpere madness too!

1 Comments:

At 24/6/07 6:20 PM, Blogger PSUdain said...

The issue isn't so much whether or not it was an "outing", but the rancorous and venomous way that these people went after him, posting his phone number, his parents' phone number, urging people to harass him, all of that. As a conservative (a la Barry Goldwater) gay guy, who is also just recently (within the last 6 months) out, and who has a leadership position, I could kind of relate. By which I mean that I could imagine this happening to me. I can't believe that it would have been helpful nor a chance to "redeem myself". It would have scared me. (And frankly, I don't need to be redeemed, with respect to my politics.)

And then to attack him for things that he did in the past, probably before he came to terms with himself, is just ludicrous. He was already coming out to friends, now; he was going to a conservative/libertarian gay pride event in D.C. This didn't force his hand at anything, and it seems to me just a transparently political move. Something along the lines of, "How dare he be gay and not toe our defined line?" We don't even know what positions he holds right now on pertinent issues, but frankly it doesn't matter. You don't treat other people like that. Particularly when you should know better, having gone through something similar.

This thing reflects poorly on the community in general. It's this sort of visceral backlash that's kept me away from campus LGBTA meetings so far. I'm going through he coming out process once as gay; I'm not going to a new place and hiding my conservatism, only to have to come out about that sometime to another group of people.

 

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