Before I start this article, I just want to say that I don’t know whether or not Aaron Schock is gay, straight, or into penguins, but recent reports have led me to write this piece. Schock, a Republican Congressman from Illinois, was pretty much outed by gay journalist Itay Hod yesterday in a lengthy Facebook piece that asked whether it was appropriate to out gay and lesbian politicians who support anti-gay legislation. In fact, the journalist wrote about how Schock was caught in the shower with his roommate, frequented gay bars, and was pretty much known as gay to everyone in D.C. Yet, he voted against such legislation as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, a federal hate crimes bill, and other legislation that is beneficial to the gay community.
While Schock would not be the first gay politician to rail against gay rights, his story is a great opportunity to bring up something that I feel doesn’t get the attention it deserves. I’m talking about self-hating gays, and, for that matter, self-hating Republicans. After all, gay Republicans are ridiculed by both the gay community and the Republican community, and a revolution is going to be needed to allow gay Republicans to feel accepted in this world. Schock is a perfect example of this no win situation that I am referencing. If he is gay, he probably would face ridicule from his fellow GOP members for being gay, but he would also face ridicule from the gay community for being a Republican. Therefore, it’s much easier to hide one of the aspects of his life in order to feel like he fits in one group that he is associated with than to be open and honest about who he is and face rejection by both the groups of which he is affiliated.
Some may blame Schock completely for his hypocrisy, but I say that everyone anti-gay Republican and every anti-Republican GLBT person is also to blame. They keep promoting this idea that gay Republicans are some kind of freaks who don’t deserve respect, but that is not a reality. In fact, there are many GLBT Republicans that I know that stand up for equality (just look at all those who are against government being in Americans’ lives) while also standing up for conservative principles. These people are living their lives honestly and openly, and they are getting flack from both sides for it. Nevertheless, the flack their getting is probably the same reason that Aaron Schock and others remain in the closet.
I do see hope though. There are many young people, even Republicans, who are starting to support gay marriage. In fact, all but one of the members in my local College Republicans support marriage equality, and they give me hope that our party will be more accepting of GLBT people in the future. If they are any indication, I feel that the future will be a place where people like Schock (if he is gay) can come out, support their communities, and not have one iota of fear about losing their positions within the GOP. It will be hard work to get to that point, but I know that we, as modern conservatives, can get to that point with hard work and strong voices that stand up to intolerance of any kind.
Oh, and in the meantime, gay conservatives should stop with the self hate and be open and honest about who they are so neither side of haters wins. Just saying.
May God Bless America,
The Generation X Conservative