In my previous column, which AU Queers and Allies advocacy co-coordinator Matt Bulger compared to Mein Kampf after dismissing my points and calling me an “Uncle Tom,” I outlined why I, as a gay man, can feel at home in the Republican Party. I took great pains to drive home the point that I do not define myself by my sexuality and thus don’t begin examining each political candidate’s platform with my only thought in mind being, for example, “Okay, what does Mitt Romney think about my sexual orientation?” (Alright, maybe Mitt Romney was a bad example: it depends on which day you catch him on.)
The column was picked up by Andrew Sullivan, the Independent Gay Forum and other outlets around the country. While I received dozens of responses thanking me profusely for speaking out, I also was met with a flurry of replies from liberals explaining to me why I was wrong to not focus on gay-related issues, mostly by telling me how the Republican Party is terrible when it comes to gay-related issues.
And so it is. But while I am both gay and a supporter of gay marriage, I am also a capitalist, an American patriot, an opponent of cultural relativism and Islamofascism. These - ahem - chosen aspects of my life happen to mean a lot more to me than my attraction to men. I think that the ongoing battle against Islamists, whom I should note are not particularly keen on gay rights, deserves at least as much attention as whether two men can get married.
Yes, the Religious Right wants to box me into a corner and stigmatize my life through my sexuality. So do liberals! Jerry Falwell and Queers and Allies President John Marzabadi, who told me that “we’ve been oppressed for too long” for me to support the Republican Party, are but two sides of the same coin: both think of homosexuality as a pre-packaged political identity rather than a mere sexual orientation.
It is absolutely true that gays are being oppressed and victimized. And it’s not taking place in America. It’s taking place in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Somalia. I am inestimably lucky, as a gay man, to live in the West where I have the right to vote, exercise my freedoms of speech, press, (lack of) religious belief and have a chance to succeed on my own merits.
Maybe if the worldwide oppressors of gays were white Christians rather than Arab Muslims, the left would have an easier time working itself into a fit of moral indignation, but I suppose Arab trumps gay in the battle of the victim lobbies. But I digress ...
The denial of gay marriage is unfair and certainly misguided, but it hardly constitutes “oppression.” Personally, I don’t particularly care whether the federal government officially validates my existence, sexually or otherwise. I am proud of who I am because I have embraced meaningful virtues, act productively and utilize my natural talents. So at the risk of sounding like a Nazi, I will state up front that I’m not very good at feeling oppressed.
When a person removes his victim-tinted glasses, it’s rather amazing how the world around him changes. But to promote a perverse political ideology that flourishes by turning people into victims and dependents, it’s only too necessary to keep them on.