I’m kind of upset and disappointed I have to defend a person I’m not fond of. In truth, I’m not defending him but all of our right to privacy and decency. This post came about after the recent resignation of Rep. Aaron Schock, over alleged misuse of taxpayer funds. For me, that is enough in terms of losing respect for a person, and shows his lack of morality. However, the gay community has decided to take it further, and attempt to out him over the many photos of the former House representative being shirtless everywhere. The fact we want to claim him as one of our own baffles the mind to begin with; but this is a man who has stated he is not gay. Of course many have said the same thing to be found a liar through scandal or a decision to free themselves of the weight being closeted can be; but Aaron Schock has not and our insistent that he is troubles me.
A friend of mine on Facebook gave me the phrase “Queer McCarthyism” after posting this Washington Post article to his newsfeed. The conversation got very interesting in the comment section with few understanding the damaging effect calling out suspected gay men has on them and our own community. The main defense in behaving in this manner was Aaron Schock’s anti-gay record. The idea is if he is gay, he is being a hypocrite and self hating. To that I agree but currently we have no facts to support his hypocrisy, and pretty much are on this McCarthy-en like witch hunt as we have often done to our enemies and allies alike.
I don’t know the man and don’t really care if he is gay. If he is, I wont be sleeping with him, or having drinks at the local gay bar. If he is not, which at this point is the only certainty we have, I still wont be sleeping with him or having drinks at the local gay bar. This is an effort to undermine him and, I understand the tactic, but it really undermines us as well. We are now the bullies, and I would think we have experienced enough bullying for many lifetimes. The idea that we as gay men, many of who had to hide our sexuality as youths all the while being accused of it daily, would grow up to contribute to the same behavior is disheartening to say the least. Can it really be that important to any of us if he is gay? He actually might be and could continue to vote (if he gets back into any kind of office again) against equal rights for gays. It is his right to do as he will, the same right we want for ourselves; but how can anyone think hypocrisy isn’t an attribute we could assign to what we are doing here?
When I’m with my friend, yes we size of the hot merchandise and attempt to figure out who is gay. We might even decide to take a chance and ask them; but never do we call someone a liar if they say they are not. He could have a purse, be wearing a power bottom shirt, and been on Grindr all day; in our mind yeah we would be saying he is lying but what good really is it to call this closeted man out? His harm is to him alone, and I understand most will say former Rep. Schock is harming us all by his vote and alleged closeted ways, but his votes are in the past as is his career at this point. I’m just trying to see the good in acting as hateful and hurtful as him. If you want to be upset with anyone, be upset with those that put him and other anti-gay politicians in office. Then be upset if you didn’t vote, or aren’t writing your elected officials urging them to do more.
We talk about how dirty politics are; how we want change and less attack ads but we have no problem engaging when it suits our needs. Hypocrisy is a word that fits us all very nicely; and I for one would prefer to correct my behavior in this matter. I would love more out gay men in positions of power. I do not want the corrupt ones like Rep. Schock so lets keep him playing for team hetero. But seriously his sexuality doesn’t affect the issue as you might think. So he looks bad; his votes counted. The damage he wanted to do is done and the current damage is only to each person’s own conscious. I’m not one for name calling, and outing someone. I’m pretty disappointed.
In the end, I have much more to do than deal with who is or isn’t gay. I have zero time for retaliation as it hurts me more than it hurts that person. This is a personal decision I made to focus on what I can change and not what I can’t. If calling him out makes you feel better, I would take a look as to why you need that kind of emotional relief. If you are okay with wasting your limited thoughts and emotions on someone you don’t respect than have at it.
I have better things to do.