Monday, September 03, 2007

Larry the Construction Guy

Hello everyone!

I couldn't resist devoting a blog posting to Idaho Senator Larry Craig. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about--those of you who have been waiting at your computer logged on to this site for the latest in news while simultaneously avoiding every other news outlet: I am impressed (and a bit creeped out). So to get yourself caught up, go here, then go here, then go here, then go here, then go here, and finally go here. If you want to be lazy, just read the headlines. I'm not going to recap the entire thing because I'm lazy, too.

As the millions all three of my readers probably know, I lived in Idaho for many years, much of my family still lives there, and I pretty much consider it my home state, even though it's a really strange place. However, it had been a while since Ruby Ridge, Aryan Nations, Richard Butler, and the Lily Pad Soup Incident, as well as a slew of others, so I guess we were due. In fact, things had gotten so good that recently a bunch of mainstream newspapers and magazines were gushing over good old Sandpoint, Idaho. But leave it to an Idaho Republican (sorry to be redundant) to restore Idaho's bad name! At least the focus is now on the whole state instead of just the northern part.

Here's my take: Larry Craig is a full-on closet case. The guy is queerer than a three dollar bill. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that. I bring this up not to make fun of him nor to make fun of gay people, but to point out what happens to a society that ostracizes a certain segment of its population.

I feel bad for the guy. Here's the thing, if he would have come out of the closet, it would have been all over for him. Had he been Senator of, say, Vermont or Massachusetts, he probably would be okay. He might lose a small percentage of the vote because of his sexuality, but it probably wouldn't make much of a difference.

But in Idaho, there's no way in hell he'd get reelected after coming out, not in his lifetime, probably not in 100 years. Larry Craig could be running against a guy who wants nuclear war with China and Russia, wants to dump toxic waste directly into our drinking water supply, plans to raise income tax to 98%, and promises to bring child slave labor back to this country, and the voters of Idaho would say, "That's a tough choice. But Craig's a homo, so I better vote for the other guy. Besides, my kids could use a job."

So poor old Larry had to stay in the closet. Worse, he tried to repress his feelings. He even seemed to have fallen for the whole "sexuality is a choice" line of BS.

I remember when I chose to be straight. I was about 14 and had already gotten my curlies, so I figured it was time to make my choice. Up until then, I wasn't attracted to either girls or boys. I wasn't really sure what to choose so I decided to flip a coin: heads for boys and tails for girls. Well, wouldn't you know it, it was tails! The next day when I went to school, I suddenly found myself attracted to girls! And it's a good thing the coin didn't come up heads! Had that happened, I wouldn't have been able to get married to someone I was attracted to. I might even have gotten the crap beaten out of me or been killed for flirting with someone I was attracted to. I guess I made the "right" choice!

Whatever.

But since Larry tried to repress his feelings, and since that obviously doesn't work, he had to go "underground" and have anonymous sex with random partners in public restrooms across the country. Now I know that he only plead guilty once, and I have no proof that this happened more often. But according to the police report, Larry was quite brash and arrogant in that restroom in Minnesota, and he didn't have any of the nervousness or discontent of someone trying something new. I think it's a safe bet he's done this many times before.

In this bigoted nation of ours, it's often difficult for a gay person to be accepted, whether it's in politics or in business or within some families or social circles, etc. That's exactly why so many stay in the closet. It's easier to suppress one's feelings than to run the risk of being an outcast.

But there's a vicious cycle here. Shame and guilt go hand-in-hand with being in the closet, and that leads to self-loathing. When the self-loathing is combined with the power that comes from the positions they hold, these people act out their suppressed feelings in twisted ways: a Senator propositions men for dirty public restroom sex, a Reverend hires gay prostitutes, or even worse, a Congressman sexually harasses underage boys. Then the general public yells a collective "Ewww!" or "Disgusting!" and thinks all gay people are propositioning each other in public restrooms, hiring prostitutes, and chasing boys. Of course, that stigma leads to less gay people coming out of the closet. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The irony, of course, is that the "disgust" is what often leads to gay people to be closeted and self-loathing, and thus engage in "disgusting" acts.

Why can't more politicians and preachers (sorry to be redundant) learn from those in the music industry? Think of all the musicians who came out and still managed to sell records. They were probably much happier after the fact, too. Take Liberace:

I remember how shocked we were to find out he was gay.

And then there's Freddie Mercury:

Who knew this sparkly frontman for a band named "Queen" would turn out to be a queen?

Don't forget Elton John:

Get back, Honky Cat! The Bitch is Back!

There's always everyone's favorite Heavy Metal headbanger, Rob Halford:

Nope, nothing gay looking about him.

And let's not forget the Village People:


On second thought, how did anybody think these guys were not gay?

So Larry Craig, if you're reading this (I'm sure he is), take my advice: embrace who you are and come on out. You may not be able to be Senator anymore, but I hear the Village People are a construction worker short of a reunion tour.

Rob

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