October 20, 2006

Should Gay Rand epublicans Be Outed?

In the wake of the Foley scandal, that has become one of the hot button questions in politics and the GLBT community these days.

Blogger Ann Althouse offers her opinion:

"Honestly, I think these creepy, gleeful efforts at outing will only make social conservatives more conservative, and they will continue to look to the Republican party to serve their needs."

These is also a spirited conversation on this topic in the comment section (270 comments at this posting).

Andrew Sullivan shares a similar opinion on the topic.

"Look: I loathe the closet. I despise the hypocrisy in the Republican party. But a witch-hunt is a witch-hunt. If the gay left thinks it will advance gay dignity by using tactics that depend on homophobia to work, that violate privacy, that demonizes gay people, then all I can say is: they are wrong."

Michael Reagan goes on the counter attack:

"Mike Rogers is a scandalmonger who calls himself a "Gay activist blogger" devoted to "outing" alleged closet-gay Republicans."

"He's outing all of these targets, not caring who he hurts, simply because they don't agree with the radical gay agenda. There is no outrage from the Democrats or the media that there is somebody out there punishing conservatives who don't agree with the liberal gay agenda. "

Here's my take:

As a rule, I'm not in favor of outing myself. I've learned how traumatic an experience it can be and don't think anyone else should make that decision for someone unless there are serious mitigating circumstances.

I do belive, however, that a closeted gay person actively working to restrict the rights of other GLBT people makes them fair game to being outed. It's one thing for a person to have their own issues with self-loathing and inability to accept themselves, it's quite another for them to direct that energy into harming others by working to shape public policy.

Since integrity and motivation are often questioned by people on different sides of an issue, in my view the notion of if any Republicans or their staffers in Congress (the party that has tried to make discrimination against GLBT people part of the U. S. Constitution) are closeted gay people belongs on the table.

If they are lying about that, what else are they lying about?

I'd appreciate your thoughts on an issue that is colored in shades of grey.


  1. Boy, that's a tough one. On the one hand, if someone wants to stay in the closet and isn't comfortable being out, who am I to out them. It's their life and their choice and if that's what they've chosen, fine with me.

    However, when you work for a political party that has demonized anyone who identifies as gay, lesbian or transgender and you yourself are gay, lesbian or transgender, well, shame on you and you're fair game.

    How someone could identify as GLBT and still support, yet alone work for some of these people (Rick Santorum comes to mind) is beyond me. I just don't understand what these people are thinkng. How can they support policies that go against their own self-interest? How can they pander to the lowest common denominator just to get some tax cuts is beyond me, so the hell with them, out 'em all.

    That's all I gotta say about that.

  2. If you want to have a private life, then stay a private person.

    Work to destroy people, and they will work to destroy you.

  3. Outing is wrong. I came close to accidentally outing a friend whom I thought WAS out and it nearly destroyed our friendship. She was only "selectively out," as so many GLB persons are and was in danger of losing her job. I had forgotten this basic lesson and I spent years trying to make up for it.

  4. It seems to me that the issue is not outing Gay people, but outing hypocrites! There's a big difference! As long as Gay sociopaths (people who lack a conscience when hurting other people) are allowed to act unfettered by the mistaken notion held by some that "outing" is a bad thing (with its underlying assumption that there is something wrong with being Gay), they will continue to sacrifice LGBT people on the altar of their own greed and self-serving ambitions. It is only when they are outed as the hypocrites they are, and, hence, the sociopaths they are, that their effect in fomenting hatred against LGBT people will be diminished, if not eradiacated.