(Page 2 of 2)
And I still support political candidates who firmly believe in fiscal and social responsibility – i.e. conservatives. That has been the question I have received most frequently from even close friends when I have told them I am gay: "You're not going to vote the same way, are you?"
Of course I am. I realized I was gay; I didn't have my brain rewired. I continue to believe in a limited role for government. I continue to believe strongly in fiscal discipline. I continue to believe in federalism. I still continue to believe our national security policy should be both extremely muscular and extraordinarily humble. I continue to support the right to keep and bear arms.
None of that changes because of the people I can now admit I love.
And why should it? Changing my political ideology would be far more wrenching for me than asking a guy out on a date. I have spent a lot of years thinking about what I believe philosophically and why I believe it. I am not going to change that under any circumstances.
But I am not naïve. It will take some time for my ideological compatriots to get used to sharing the political spectrum with a guy who sometimes has to check with his boyfriend to see where their anniversary dinner is.
I am not going to abandon the people who have the same political beliefs that I do, and I hope they don't abandon me. I want to show them that people who have the romantic attraction I do aren't these strange terrible beings who have an agenda to destroy the country. I do not.
I, like them, just want to see the federal government stop spending so damn much money – and that view has nothing to do with being straight or gay.
[A close friend] is not sure being public about this is a good thing. He's right. I don't need to invite any attention into this area of my life. It could hurt with future job prospects. It will end any political viability I had. It might make adoption extraordinarily difficult.
Time will tell about the wisdom of making this declaration. Regardless, I am making it.
There is one specific reason, though, that I wanted to say something about this publicly. I can't get the suicides of Tyler Clementi and Jamey Rodemeyer out of my mind. Both were gay teens whose suicides seem to have stemmed from bullying rooted in their sexuality.
There is nothing I alone can do to stop young people like Clementi and Rodemeyer from becoming desperate because of their sexuality. But I can hold my head up aggressively and honestly in hopes that will make such a demeanor the norm. And I can show their bullies not everyone will cower.
In other words, if I can be a small part of the solution, sign me up.
It's ok. It gets better – especially after you gather the courage to tell your closest guy friends, “Dudes, I'm gay.”
In the wake of the Grenell affair, the friend writes, “I'm starting to wonder if – despite that fact that I agree with the [Republican] party on most issues, including being strongly pro-life – the GOP just doesn't want people like me.” He will not vote for Romney now. But “I won't vote for Obama, so for the first time in my life I won't vote for president. There is no one for me to support.”
A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where this article originally appeared.