Thursday, June 24, 2004


"Angry activists target closeted members, staffers with anti-gay records" reads the subheadline in an article about a recent return to the trend of outing politicians and their associates.

This is one of those issues that seems to pretty divisively segregate the gay community (hell, any community) into those who consider the practice vile and unjustifiable and those who support its use as an effective tool for social change. I count myself among the former for one simple reason: in speaking for another, one necessarily violates the will of another.

“If you’re gay and you support making sexual orientation a political weapon, then your sexual orientation is fair game, and you will be outed to the rafters,” [D.C. activist John] Aravosis said.

Alright, that sounds reasonable; an elected figure is to be held accountable for his actions, but accountable to whom? My initial thoughts led me to the decision that, in accordance with one's having been elected by a population, one is only accountable to the voting constituency represented. In addressing federal politicians, though, I have to enlarge this represented constituency to include all citizens whose lives are impacted by legislation in which one has a part, on the creative/initiative end of things as well as on the voting end. So, sure, I will agree with Aravosis on this: if you participate in the legislation, you make an issue of your own relationship with it.

Reading a little deeper, though, I was horrified, horrified by how flippantly another activist, Mike Rogers, is approching the ethical shitstorm that is the practice of outing.

Aravosis’s battle cry comes two weeks after another vocal activist, Mike Rogers, started phoning closeted gay aides at the offices of congressional members who backed the FMA. He began by urging them to come out in an effort to persuade their members to change their stance on the contentious amendment.

If they pledged to take a more personal role on gay rights, Rogers said, the conversation ended. If they didn’t, he placed calls to the chief of staff in that member’s office or to another senior aide.

“I asked them how their congressman could justify supporting the FMA knowing that his long-term aide was gay,” said Rogers, a former staff member of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. “Those in public positions who support homophobia or work for someone who supports homophobia can no longer secretly enjoy the protections the gay community has afforded them.”

Congressional aides? You're outing congressional aides? To their bosses? Darling, what legal priveledge are you claiming here that doesn't overlap into slander? And what is all this nonsense about "protections the gay community has afforded them?" We're a community? I certainly hope you mean communities, because, surely you've noticed, we haven't exactly unionized. Whatever the delineations are, we are unquestionably on opposing teams, and you're on the fucking lunatic one.

I would like to meet kind Mr. Rogers. I have words I would like to share with him in private, as I still understand what is implied by one maintaining an unquestionable right to privacy. In public, however, I still have plenty to offer him. Mr. Rogers, do you think that your overt threats to aides will actually positively benefit a social movement at large? Does blacklisting or extortion ever accomplish anything noble? By example, shall we revisit McCarthyism? Do you not recall that the Alien Registration Act was meant as nothing more than a tool to intimidate citizens (nationals and internationals) away from supporting the American Communist Party? Aside from soundly casting in ice and tar the rememberance of those active players involved in the shameful scenario, it led to virtually no change in the status of the ACP, which is still going strong today.

I mean, we're talking about sex here, about cocks and mouths and asses and pussies and the plethora of combinations possible therein. Culturally, when we can't even handle a semi-bare titty without flipping out and grossly enlarging indecency fines, how does one expect consilience from far more descriptive talk of sexuality, however subtly cloaked in societiquette. On a similar note, I would like to invite Mr. Rogers to the great state of Arkansas, where, and I can guarantee this, if you intentionally and proudly alerted someone's employer as to their sexuality, you would be soundly beaten and possibly robbed to fund the newly outed's search for new work.

Your worldview, Mr. Rogers, is an ignorant fantasy. You show no concern for the safety of the individuals whose lives you so enjoy altering, so I in turn will show no concern for yours. We are not friends. I hope that you will focus your efforts on understanding the very good reasons that still exist for staying in the closet, that throwing chum into a shark-infested pool is far from the ideal method of saving the drowning diver caught in the middle.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004


I've now mailed off my $300 deposit check for GWU (sorry, Tulane, I still love you too) and my certificates of agreement for two fantastically meager merit fellow- and scholarships. Here we go, boys and girls, here we go.

As anxious as I've been about all of this expensive change in the past couple of months, I'm actually totally fucking excited. I hate to sound banal or trite, but it's going to be a priveledge to finally live in, not just visit, a city where vegetarians and homos alike live out in the open. The thought of living within walking (or subway-ing!) distance of a full vegetarian restaurant, where nary a single item could dietarily trip me up, gives me goosebumps. Having more than three gay-friendly nightclubs in a city is a thought so alien that I can't even comprehend the possibilities. That there are bars in DC that specialize in specific fetishist trade ("what you want, bears? leather? kink? piss? what?") is hilarious... and hot. If anyone has a hot tip on housing in DC, though, definitely drop me a line toute de suite.

I'm extending a permanent open invitation to everyone to come and visit me (because I'll probably be too busy to do so once I move). Give me two weeks to gain some resident familiarity, then my floor/couch/whatever is yours for the sleeping on.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004


The first full day of summer is here, and it finds us in an unseasonably cool (read: comfortable) and rainy condition. I long for the sun, but I know what's coming so I suppose I can wait. Let us take the time to enjoy a day of non-assaulting humidity.

The neighborhood kids have begun their love affair with fireworks, and, sitting at the computer or drinking on the front porch I hear a constant cycle of scream, bang, louder scream surrounded by laughter. I'm amazed more of them don't die each year, but I suppose little black cats are more loud than they are powerful.

I know everyone buys firecrackers for independence day, but having spent nearly a quarter century with my birthday just a couple of days before that holiday has caused me to inextricably link the two. I hear a thousand tight explosions and I can't help but think of cake. I need to get some bottle rockets.

Note to my people: when are we going to Heber? We've only got a month or so left, ya know...


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