Friday, February 23, 2007


The friend who gave me the book from my last post outed me to someone the other night. I could have hit him.

Sure he was shitfaced, and sure it was only to a bartender, but that doesn't excuse what Nick (as I'll call him) did.

Nick, an out gay man, told a bartender that I happen to love women just as much he did. Horrified, I was nonetheless grateful that only the bartender seemed to have heard. The next day, Nick leaves me a voicemail asking if i got home alright, and I leave a voicemail saying:
"yes, I got home fine. I need to mention something, though. If I get drunk and out myself, it's one thing, but, in the future I would prefer you didn't do it for me."
The only thing that has kept me from actually hitting Nick is his follow-up text:
"Oh Shit! I'm sorry! I was a wreck last night and I didn't know I'd outed you. Not sure what I can do now other than apologize.
Contrition aside, one of the things we have talked about at length, is that I do not have to come out until I am ready. I have set a tentative coming-out schedule. Although he has expressed a bit of concern that my timetable is rather long, I still can't believe Nick attempted to speed things up for me.

I'm still pretty pissed.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Book I'm reading...

I have one out gay friend with whom I candidly discuss my orientation (incidentally, we do NOT discuss politics). He recently gave me the book The Best Little Boy In the World. It was originally published in 1973, and perhaps the first coming out memoir--certainly the most successful.

In the book, Andrew Tobias, writing under the pseudonym John Reid, explains what it was like for him to be in the closet and to finally come out. So far I have found his description of being in the closet to be spot on to my own. He also used achievement and prudishness to explain why he didn't have time for dates. He shared my terror that somehow someone might overhear my thoughts and figure it all out (irrational as that is). After college, Andrew Tobias became a workaholic to keep up the same charade. Then at age 23 (my age now) he came out for the first time. Though he didn't describe it in as great detail as he did the closet, he was surprised at how warm and supportive everyone was.

After he came out, however, he started to make up for lost time (although his prudishness endured a bit: he didn't like kissing or oral sex). And for a while became rather promiscuous. Is that typical? I have heard of several gay people talking about their "whore stage" right after coming out. A whore stage in the days before HIV was one thing, but now, one drink too many, one night with the wrong guy, and you have ruined, not to mention shortened, your life. I still shudder in horror at the thought of STDs (my "abstinence-only" sex ed had some effect).

in 1998 Andrew Tobias wrote a sequel to this book, entitled The Best Little Boy in the World Grows Up. In the sequel Tobias details how he came to peace with his sexuality as well as the significant advances that GLBT people have made since his first book. I imagine that AIDS is discussed. What gives me pause, however, is that Tobias, who is treasurer for the DNC, lavishes praise on those whom he admires--such as the Clintons (ugh!). I worry that this second book might get too liberal and preachy. On the other hand, it may still be useful nonetheless, and, of course, I'll never know if I don't read it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I know it's cliche, but...

I love the musical Wicked, and I plan to see it on Broadway this summer (won't that be fun?!).

Defying Gravity is my favorite number with lines like,

Something has Changed within me
Somethinf is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game
Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instinct, close my eyes, and leap
It's time to try defying gravity,
I think I'll try defying gravity
I'm through accepting limits
'Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
What closeted gay Republican wouldn't find that inspiring?

I know, I know, my closet has glass doors.

Monday, February 12, 2007


My good friends at the Log Cabin Republicans have a short little memo, here, about why "gay Republican" isn't automatically an oxymoron.

The point that struck me the most is #3, which reads:
3. The party will change only from the inside. Pressure from the outside, from the far left won't work. The GOP must be transformed one person at a time, across America on the grassroots level by gay Republicans and their fair-minded allies. Across America, gay Republicans are shattering stereotypes and educating rank-and-file Republicans about the importance of fairness and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. This is the right path to progress.
I think all GLBT individuals would prefer a more inclusive GOP rather than the dichotomy we have now, but leaving the party and criticizing from the outside will only make the homophobic in the party even more resolute. If the GOP automatically makes the Gay = Democrat connection (as many in both parties do), GLBT individuals become an even more dangerous political enemy (the line of thinking goes like this: not only are they going to hell, they want to use our tax dollars to help get them there and take more with them). It's not until enough Republicans realizes that there ARE gay folks who believe in many (though admittedly not all) of the same things and can be allies, that we will start seeing real equality based on sexual orientation. Similarly, abandoning the party will only increase the proportion of the homophobic in the GOP, and making the fight for equality a party fight won't get us very far at all.

Also, I am feeling bold today. I haven't told anyone new--though mostly because no one has asked. We'll see how long this lasts.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I don't get it.

I went to a religious high school (I found the movie Saved! to be especially hilarious). Apart from the 'homosexuality is a choice' stuff, what struck me then, and even more so now, as confusing is what makes 'sexual sin' the worst kind of sin? Who was it who ranked the victimless sins (for example: gluttony, vanity, lust, sloth, envy) and using what criteria? Why are the sexual sins (under lust) the worst ones? How come we don't hear people say God hates the lazy, or those who get plastic surgery. Or why doesn't eating an extra piece of pizza endanger your salvation? For that matter what makes lust worse than some sins with victims: like being intolerant?

In other news, I found out that Marc Cherry, creator of Desperate Housewives, is one of us--i mean, of course, a Republican (everyone already knew he was gay). Maybe that's why the Republican Bree, who is based on Marc's own mother, is still somewhat sympathetic despite having had initial problems with her son's orientation. Look at the very end of this article. Fun!

Brothers & Sisters

I really like the show Brothers & Sisters on ABC, largely because Kitty Walker, Calista Flockhart's character, is a Republican as well as being intelligent and lucid (unlike Boston Legal's Denny Crane, but that show is good enough I can forgive them).

The show is a drama so Kitty is not played for laughs, nor is she a bigoted reactionary a la Archie Bunker. The show has at times used her character to touch on certain issues, for instance the War in Iraq and the Federal Marriage Amendment, but not in a "we have to teach this unenlightened philistine about these issues" way. The show sometimes explores the sometimes rocky relationship Kitty has with her family, and especially her mother, who is an unabashed liberal. Although politics is not the primary source of tension that occasionally arises between them, it often serves as a detonator. Nonetheless, Kitty's positions are usually well reasoned, even if they are delivered in soundbites (for this she can be forgiven, as her occupation on the show was conservative talk show host, and now she is the public relations manager for a Republican senator).

Another big reason I like the show is because, in the broadest sense, it is about acceptance of the ones we love. The show began with the family having to deal with the death of William Walker, who it was then revealed was not exactly the man they thought he was. He had taken $15 Million from his company's pension fund, and he carried on a long term extra-marital affair. Nora, the mother, is well-meaning but very meddlesome. Justin, the youngest son, has a substance abuse problem stemming from his time in Afghanistan. Tommy was not made president of his father's company after the death of William, and recently learned he is sterile. Kevin who is gay has trouble maintaining a stable relationship, which he desperately wants. Sarah is trying to keep the business afloat and deal with her own family, which includes a diabetic daughter and a rebellious stepson. No matter how their problems interact and whatever tensions arise, each of them must learn that no one, especially our family, is perfect, but we can still love them. I like that.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

America's Lady Macbeth

I found a delightful British article about Hills [Clinton] from just after the State of the Union; you can read it here.

Here's a sample:

This little incident, the skilfully choreographed exploitation of a human tragedy, the cynically manipulated deployment of public sympathy in service of a personal political end, offered a timely insight into the character of the politician who this week launched the most anticipated presidential election campaign in modern history.

And a bit more sobering:

There are many reasons people think Mrs Clinton will not be elected president. She lacks warmth; she is too polarising a figure; the American people don’t want to relive the psychodrama of the eight years of the Clinton presidency.

But they all miss this essential counterpoint. As you consider her career this past 15 years or so in the public spotlight, it is impossible not to be struck, and even impressed, by the sheer ruthless, unapologetic, unshameable way in which she has pursued this ambition, and confirmed that there is literally nothing she will not do, say, think or feel to achieve it. Here, finally, is someone who has taken the black arts of the politician’s trade, the dissembling, the trimming, the pandering, all the way to their logical conclusion.

As much as I love to pick on Hills, she scares me. Sure, she voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, and in a move that seems utterly calculated to ride on Bush's (then) high approval ratings, appeared hawkish in the War on Terror. However, let us not forget her misguided (and shall I be so bold as to say, dangerous) socialized health care program, her voting against a $40 billion reduction in overall spending (despite her criticism of the current deficit), her voting in favor of raising the minimum wage (which only creates unemployment), her advocacy for the death tax. She seems intent on rebuilding the Soviet Union in this hemisphere.

I hope not see the name Clinton follow the name Bush in the list of presidents ever again; further, I hope that after the 2006 elections, the Republicans got kick in the pants they needed and the message that they ought to shape up. However, if this should come to pass, it would behoove us to remember that if we had never elected Carter, we never would have gotten Reagan.


For a little levity here are some of my favorite Late Night Jokes about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:

"Nancy Pelosi said today we've waited 200 years for this. 200 years? How many face lifts has this woman had?" --Jay Leno

"The new Speaker of the House is Nancy Pelosi. She had lunch today with President Bush, but the lunch honestly did not go well. She would not pass him anything he asked for." –David Letterman

"Nancy Pelosi, the likely Speaker of the House, had lunch at the White House Thursday with President Bush. Though, just to rub things in, she left early to have an abortion." --Amy Poehler

Friday, February 9, 2007

The other closet

Right now, I am not as closeted politically. I am pretty open about the fact that I am almost passionate about economic liberty (low taxes, free trade, deregulation, etc.) and that the private sector can almost always do a job better than government. But when asked, I almost never admit to voting for Republicans--I usually claim libertarian. This is largely for social expediency, something those of us in the closet do almost instinctively.

I do lament the fact that the religious right has come to dominate my party in recent years, and perhaps I am more closely aligned with libertarians than Republicans. However, I am enough of a realist to understand that the United States has a two party system, and that Republicans are, at least in rhetoric, far closer to my own political beliefs than are the Democrats. I do admire the tolerance rhetoric from the party of JFK, but even more so I fear the socialist dystopia that the likes of Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton will undoubtedly take us towards if given the opportunity.

The Log Cabin Republicans are precisely my kind of group, but unfortunately they are pariah amongst the very socially conservative members of the party and those who pander to them. To illustrate, the Summer Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor, I was interning in DC and attended a conference that was primarily about fiscal issues (which are my primary issues). Of course, some of the conversations turned to Arnold, and I heard several people say, "If you read about Arnold, he's pro-choice and pro-gay. He's not a Republican." At the time, I had not fully come out to myself (something that has happened only in about the last 6 months), but I naturally suspected, or rather feared, I might not be 100% straight. So such comments deeply affected me. I am fairly politically active, and the thought of constantly having to defend my Republican credentials distresses me.

On the bright side, there are a few openly gay Republicans who served in Congress (or were able to stay in Congress once they came out): Jim Kolbe represented Arizona's 8th District from 1985 until 2007 and came out in 1996, and David Dreier has represented California's 28th District since 1981 and was publicly outed in 2004, although his orientation had been an open secret in Washington and his home district for years. This gives me some hope should I want to run for office some day.

Aside: I am torn over the Mark Foley scandal. On the one hand, even if consensual, his conversations with a page were clearly inappropriate and an abuse of his position of power. On the other hand, the reaction from both sides bothered me (Republicans: "Oh no, He's gay!" Democrats: "Gay Republicans are such hypocrites").

Ups and Downs

This morning I was ready to tell the world that I am gay, and by this afternoon I was relieved I didn't have the chance. This cycle happens to me frequently, and I think the issue boils down to the fact that once I come out as gay, that's it. There's no turning back. I can't decide later that I preferred not being identified by my sexuality (a big issue for me). In fact, I cannot imagine something with more permanent consequences that finally identifying one's self as gay. A person can change his home, job, hairstyle, religion, political affiliation, even marital status, with relative ease, but coming out of the closet is not undone.

It's not that I am full of self loathing; I do not hate myself for being gay—in fact, other than my sexuality I am fairly self-assured. What worries me is that once I stop hiding it, the fact I am gay is all anyone will see. I do not want my sexuality to be a Cause Celeb for those who accept it, and even more so I do not want to be the target of homophobia for those who do not.

On the other hand, of course, finally being honest with myself and others could bring such relief. Intellectually I know it would be better to be out than in, but right now I lack the courage to stop lying about myself. I have a tall mountain to climb, and right now it's hard to see the how nice it will be on the other side.

In order to avoid becoming too brooding,here's a clip from one of my favorite American Dad moments—sure its full of stereotypes, but it still makes me laugh.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Here we go

In 2003, Kelsey Grammar guest hosted the Letterman show and in his opening monologue declared that he was coming out of the closet. After a dramatic pause Mr. Grammar announced, "Well, I'm a Republican." The former Frasier star commented that "when you're a Republican in Hollywood you feel lonely and isolated," before adding, "But don't feel bad. A group of us get together. and every once in a while we kidnap Michael Moore, give him a haircut and a decent change of clothes." Kelsey Grammar's quip has particular meaning for me.

Admittedly, I was raised as a Republican, but I am not a Republican simply because my parents are. I am a Republican because I actually do believe in what I consider the central tenants of the platform: limited government, the free market, personal responsibility, strong defense, and to a qualified extent, traditional family values. My favorite president is Ronald Reagan, and my favorite newspaper is The Wall Street Journal. I am pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-business. The only problem is that I am also pro-gay.

I am more than just pro-gay; I am gay. The spectrum of my political beliefs will not change simply because I am attracted to other men. I am not "out and proud," indeed, it was very difficult to write the last two sentences. I am sure I was finally able to do so because of the anonymity of the internet. Moreover, it is the fact that I am not yet out that will be the focus of my blog.

I hope that by writing my thoughts and reflections, it will help me come to terms with my identity. Right now it's difficult because those who share my politics may find it hard to accept my orientation, and those who share my orientation may find it hard to accept my politics. Hence my two closets. Once I do, if I do, come out of my sexual closet, I worry that I'll have to jump right into my political one. One day I'd like to be honest about who I am as a person, not just as a gay person or just as a Republican.