Being Gay and Conservative

Late last year, I posted a vidblog entitled “gay hypocrisy.” Here it is for anyone who missed it:

One of the things I mention is the fact that I’ve been called a “deviant” by the gay community for my political views. The same group of people who decry as hatemongering Christians who call homosexuality “deviance” have taken the title and bestowed it upon those like me who espouse conservative politics. I don’t understand how any group can demand tolerance for their way of life and yet refuse to offer it–then turn around and attack anyone in their numbers who disagrees.

Condoleeza Rice and Michael Steele have both been labeled “Uncle Toms” by black liberals for being Republicans. Rice was labeled the “house nigga” by loony liberal cartoonist Ted Rall, a man who belongs to a party that demands abject humiliation for any white person caught using the N word (Dog the Bounty Hunter comes to mind). There’s hypocrisy everywhere, but I least understand it coming from my own community.

I refer to it as “my” community because, whether we agree and get along or not, we’re all gay. I’m not necessarily butch, but I’m not exactly femme, either. I can’t hide the fact that I’m a lesbian. Whenever the gay community takes any action, like it or not, we’re all seen as taking part in it. The whole “Day Without a Gay” thing? Everyone, and I do mean everyone in my office asked my why I hadn’t called in gay. I finally had to put up a sign over my desk saying, “I did not call in gay because I care about keeping my job!” In the same light, when the protests began in which gay people held signs saying “stop the Christian Taliban,” some of my Christian friends assumed that I agreed. I didn’t appreciate that, and I let them know it.

But what I appreciate even less is the gay community’s stunning about-face when it comes to my politics. When I realized I was gay, it was a major struggle for me. A lot of the readers here had supportive parents. I didn’t, and it still affects me. I nearly ate a bullet while I fought with myself over my sexual orientation. When I finally came to a place where I accepted that part of myself, the gay community was so happy. My gay friends would announce it in the bar and people would buy me shots to celebrate. It all stopped the minute I began admitting that I was still a believing social conservative.

The community that celebrated my coming-out suddenly turned colder than a polar bear’s backside. I still don’t understand how some of you can eviscerate your own simply for disagreeing. Don’t hand me that “Republicans hate us all” BS, either–the numbers showed that probably as many Democrats as Republicans voted for Prop 8 in California. As Steve has pointed out before, anti-gay sentiment is not a party problem; it’s a people problem. The refusal to accept homosexuals on completely equal footing as we see it knows no boundary, age, class or political ideal. Some of my black coworkers who voted for Obama have said before that they think it would be against the laws of nature to allow gay marriage. On the flip side, I have Republican friends who think gay marriage isn’t a big deal and voted against Prop 102 here in Arizona.

If you’re going to refuse to accept us and work with us, you’re going to have to come up with a better excuse than that. I have seen far more hatred from fellow gays and lesbians for being conservative than I have from conservatives for being gay. I can’t stress that enough, because there’s something seriously wrong with a community that can’t give as much as it expects to receive. We’re not your enemy. Believe it or not, we share some of the same ideals. We just have different opinions on the vehicle that should take us to where we want to go.

I’m tired of being dumped on because I won’t toe the party line. You’ll never wear me down to liberalsim any more than I’ll ever talk you into conservatism. It is beyond hypocrisy to demand tolerance and yet refuse to give it. I’d say it’s bordering on hatred. Back when America was still just 13 colonies, before we declared independence from England, people fled Europe en masse because of religious persecution. Certain denominations of Christianity that the main Protestant church didn’t agree with experienced persecution on an intense level. After surviving Roman and Jewish persecution after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the church became the pursecutor. Once in America, those who fled religious persecution for their freedom did the exact same thing: they became the persecutors. Those who differed with the local churches were jailed, tortured and executed. When they couldn’t be captured, church authorities did all they could to gag the dissenters.

We–the gay community–are exhibiting the same behavior. The only difference now is that the law forbids torturing and killing those we disagree with. Being gay and conservative is enough to make one a pariah because nobody is willing to calm down long enough to have a civilized conversation. It will, I promise you, lead to our demise. Think hard before you write us off as self-loathing closet cases. Give us a chance and it’s likely you’d well be surprised.

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34 thoughts on “Being Gay and Conservative

  1. I hadn’t seen your youtube videos, I especially love the gun one (with the little notes, they cracked me up, and yes I love the hat!)

    I can only imagine that being a gay conservative can be terribly isolating. My brother is gay and very liberal of course (I actually found this site trying to prove to him that gay conservatives actually exist!) Your paragraph about struggling with your sexual orientation and your family, only to have the gay community turn its back on you for continuing to be a conservative broke my heart. I wish things hadn’t been so painful for you, but I just want to say I really admire you. You’re passionate and even more importantly, compassionate.

    Of course I can’t pretend to know what it’s all been like for you, but I can empathize to an extent. My husband and I converted to the Catholic Church together and I’m orthodox and so I accept the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, but I was openly bisexual in my younger years, and besides my husband, the only other person I’ve ever truly loved was a woman (my ex-girlfriend). Becoming Catholic (and conservative, I was very liberal at one time, too) didn’t make that part of me go away. I doubt that anyone I know in my personal life could understand that.

    Anyway, great post.

  2. “and so I accept the Church’s teaching on homosexuality”

    What is that teaching? That Steve will burn?

  3. Actually Anonymous- Steve won’t burn.

    See, with God’s Grace we can all sin and still go to heaven. I believe that Katie was referring to the fact that many protestant religions and Catholics believe homosexuality to be a sin. The thing is though, all sin is sin as seen through God’s eyes. Being a homosexual is the same as telling a white lie.

    Mass murders could be found inside the pearly gates if they are to accept God’s gift of grace.

  4. Catholics (I am one) do not believe that gays are going to hell because they are gay.

    Recently I heard a bishop describe it this way, “Sex outside of marriage is a sin. For any sexual orientation.”

    I wish I could remember the bishop’s name or where I saw that (I know it was on a news program somewhere). But anyway, it’s interesting that he was comparing homosexual intercourse with straight out-of-wedlock intercourse.

    It’s much different than the hellfire and brimstone of the past. And when you consider that the church is well aware that although chastity is to be desired and worked for in unmarried folk, it’s not necessarily the norm – the homosexual comparison is definitely a downgrade of past reactions.

    Anyway, I do not agree with my church in all things. I have a daughter who is a lesbian and could care less what her orientation is (in fact, it was a bit of a relief to realize that we don’t have to worry about teen pregnancy).

    I forward some of the things Mel writes to my daughter – who is a natural conservative in so many ways (unlike me!) but feels pressured to conform to the “gay normal”. I’m so glad there are people like Mel out there to be a role model for kids looking for something other than San Francisco to emulate.

    And thank you, Mel, for sharing your stories.

  5. ^^^ dissertation on Catholic beliefs on homosexuality for Anonymous, btw

    Thanks again, Mel.

  6. Katie, I’m glad you found us!

    Anonymous, you just proved my point: you assumed that someone’s stated spiritual belief meant they saw something only one way because you’ve likely spent very little time actually talking to someone who believes as a Catholic or Protestant Christian. It proves just how little the gay community really understands conservatives.

    Jen, You put it perfectly.

    AFW, I’m glad I’m of help because you’re right – San Francisco isn’t the best role model for gay youth. That bishop you quoted also put it into a context that’s a lot easier to understand.

  7. “What is that teaching? That Steve will burn?”

    Not really, Anon.

    But I guarantee, you’re going to. 😉

  8. Yes anon, Steve and only Steve is going to burn in Hell! Mel and Philip, won’t though. /sarcasm

    No, I accept the teaching that marriage is a Sacrament that exists between one man and one woman, and that that marriage unifies the souls of those people in a reflection of God and His perfect nature. That’s MY belief that shapes MY life, which means I won’t be marrying a woman (assuming my marriage to my husband ever ends). There are sex acts (whether they’re between people of the opposite sex OR the same sex) that are sinful. The Church considers homosexuality to be a call to celibacy, and there are gay Catholics who live their lives that way. There are also gay Catholics who don’t. It is NOT my place to judge their Salvation, and I won’t. Catholics don’t believe that we have assurance of Salvation OR of damnation. God alone decides that. The Church and her teachings are there to guide us, but anyone who says they know for sure where anyone else is going to end up is wrong. The Church also clearly teaches that homosexuals are every bit as deserving of respect and dignity as heterosexuals, and that homosexuality is inborn and can’t be undone, unlike some Protestant sects (think of the “ex-gay” type thing).

    I accept the Church’s teaching, but I also struggle with it. My brother is gay, my mom is a lesbian, and I’m acutely aware of the possibility of one (or more) of my children being gay. From a strictly religious point of view, I want my children to be faithful Catholics, so I hope if any of them are gay, they’ll accept a life of celibacy. But no matter what they do, they will have my unconditional love and support, and I’ll put my faith in God’s love, because He alone knows us totally and completely.

    I also believe gay couples have a right as Americans to have government recognized unions, which is not strictly in line with the Church from what I understand, and puts me in a difficult position if I ever have to vote with regards to that. Personally, I’m in favor of having generic civil unions for ALL people and leaving questions of marriage to the individuals’ place of worship. I don’t believe the government has the right to define marriage in anyway (so no, I don’t support a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage), at most I think it should be left to the individual states to decide.

    Life isn’t black and white. God knows that better than any of us do.

  9. I thought long and hard before posting this comment. I almost think I should make this a new post because it invites some interesting discussion. I’m not sure how Mel and Steve feel about this because we haven’t ever discussed it in-depth amongst ourselves.

    But – I’m going to go pet the large elephant sitting in the middle of the room.

    I was raised a strict Southern Baptist in the former hometown of GW Bush and in the first county in the state of Texas to go Republican in a national election post-Reconstruction (Eisenhower in 1952). I figured out that I was gay in high school and embraced the fact a couple of years later in college. Being gay changed some things in my life, but not my core convictions.

    Rectifying my political beliefs with my sexual orientation was the easy part. As I have stated numerous times, being gay has very little or no bearing on my views concerning abortion, guns, the economy, welfare, etc. I was advising my parents on how to vote in the GOP primaries (de facto general elections where I lived) when I was in grade school. The conflict between being gay and being Republican/conservative never weighed heavily on me, frankly.

    Reconciling my sexuality with my religious convictions took a little more time. But I got there eventually. Southern Baptists consider themselves “non-creedal,” but the Baptist World Alliance embraced the Apostles’ Creed in 1905, and the Southern Baptists continue to embrace this truth by name and/or by their doctrinal statements. This creed summed it up for me.

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    the Maker of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

    Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
    born of the virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, dead, and buried;

    He descended into hell.

    The third day He arose again from the dead;

    He ascended into heaven,
    and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
    from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Ghost;
    the holy catholic church;
    the communion of saints;
    the forgiveness of sins;
    the resurrection of the body;
    and the life everlasting.

    Amen.

    That creed and Biblical assurances that we are saved by grace through faith and belief in Christ is good enough for me. I found my salvation in 1986. No church, denomination or clergyman can take that from me.

    I am not a Southern Baptist now, but I believe in an great majority of the evangelical Christian orthodoxy in terms of social and religious issues. One of my very few deviations from that orthodoxy is in terms of marriage.

    I didn’t choose to be gay. Had I the choice – I would have chosen otherwise. No easy way to say that, but it’s true. But I am at peace with how things have turned out. And I fail to see how God would turn His back on His child. I can guarantee you that He never has before. He’s always been there for me.

    Marriage is a union of two souls. I find the concept of civil unions and even civil marriages (sorry to offend anyone) to be more of an affront to Christian teachings than a blessed, church-sanctioned union of two persons regardless of their gender. I don’t believe for one moment that a person in a same-sex relationship will burn in hell anymore than I believe that people who eat shellfish and pork or women who cut their hair will suffer God’s wrath. Go check your Bible. It’s there.

    The difference here is that the social definition of marriage does not afford me a legal opportunity to consumate any relationship I might have. So the concept that I must remain celibate because gay sexual relationships occur outside of “marriage” is an ideologically flawed affront to those of us who are capable of feeling true, spiritual and physical love for another person of the same sex.

    I find the whole marriage debate to be hypocritical. And, though I respect Katie to the hilt, I find demands that I remain celibate to be outrageous.

    I’m not here to advocate sleeping around. That does not gel with Christian orthodoxy regardless of the partners involved. Katie was brave in acknowledging her past. And I will not claim to have been an angel either. I am not here to preach to anyone. I have no right.

    I AM here to say that this issue really illustrates to me the hypocrisy involved in denying me the right to marry the person of my choosing.

    I’m a gay, Christian conservative. And I’m ok.

  10. “I didn’t choose to be gay. Had I the choice – I would have chosen otherwise.”

    A wise statement that could change a great many perspectives in the church. If only our community were willing to shut up long enough to try. I spent a little bit of time in the ministry, and those folks are easier to talk to than anyone realizes.

    “I’m a gay, Christian conservative. And I’m ok.”

    Amen, brother.

  11. I genuinely appreciate and respect your comment Philip. I can’t really think of anything to add but I didn’t want to say nothing.

  12. Here I go shooting my conservative mouth off.

    According to the 2008 World Almanac, California has a popluation of 36,000,000. I rounded down to make the math easier.

    Let’s assume 10% of the population is lesbian/gay. That produces 3,600,000 lesbians/gays. Yes we can debate how accurate that 10% number is. But for now, let’s take it as accurate.

    When same sex marriage was legalized here, 36,000 same sex people got married. This produces 18,000 couples. That’s right; 18,000.

    So, if we divide the number of couples into the number of lesbians/gays we have 1% of the California lesbian/gay population in legal marriage.

    Doesn’t it stand to reason we’d see a higher percentage? All of those couples who have been together for decades. They’ve been denied the right to marry. Then we all get the right to marry. So, one would expect a massive tidal wave of couples getting married.

    I wonder if these couples would describe themselves as liberal or conservative? Marriage seems like a conservative thing to do vs. shacking up.

    Right now it looks like this same sex marriage fight is being waged by people who have no intention of getting marriage and it provides marriage to a segment of people they despise (conservative gays).

    Anyway…there sure has been a lot of hatred and intolerance over something that only 1% of the gay community uses. Makes me wonder how important coupledom and long term relationships are to my community. Don’t you think if you fight for a right you should use it once you get it?

  13. I hear you Mel! Some of the things liberals post in the comment section of my blog reflect the same sentiments you have received. How can you be Christian when God hates you? How can you support the GOP when they don’t care about you? I don’t know if you listen to Glenn Beck, but Friday a girl called into his show that was a gay conservative and it was a great discussion. It once again served as a reminder that I’m not alone. If you go Glenn’s site at glennbeck.com you can find the transcript there.

  14. John, nobody believes any more that 10% percent of the population is gay. It’s very convenient that you now want to take it as “accurate”.

    What percentage of the straight population marry over a period of a few months, counting children? How many straight couples got married over the same period of time that these 18,000 couples married? Was it 18,000 times 50 (taking 2% to be the gay population), or 9,000,000? I don’t think so. You’re being ridiculous. Conservatives are ridiculous.

  15. Arturo, only a closed-minded liberal could take what John said to mean that he believed that 10% mark was “accurate.” His exact words were thus:

    “Yes we can debate how accurate that 10% number is. But for now, let’s take it as accurate.”

    YOU are the one being ridiculous. It never ceases to amaze me how a liberal is so good at twisting someone’s words.

  16. I remember reading somewhere that there are about 2 million marriages in the US in a year. Less than 10% of the US population lives in California, so there are less than 200,000 marriages in California in a full year, let us say 180,000, ten times more than the number of gay marriages in half the time. With gays being 2% of the population that means that for every one straight marriage there were about 10 gay marriages from May to November.

  17. mel, you’re being ridiculous. John said “for now, take it as accurate”. It is not accurate now, and it was not accurate yesterday when gays wanted to overstate the number.

  18. No, I’m not. Everyone here understood perfectly well that he was using that number merely for the sake of argument. You’re the only one claiming that he was trying to pass it off as solid fact.

    So, I’m curious now as to the misdirection of your comments…you say conservatives are ridiculous, meaning you’re a liberal. Then you turn around and say “gays wanted to overstate the number,” leaving one to wonder what exactly you mean. Are you an anti-gay liberal? You’re not making much sense to us here.

  19. Yes, you are. John said the number was accurate and used it to support his conservative nonsense.

    Is it “anti-gay” to insist on getting the facts right? Well, that’s anti-gay of you.

  20. John did NOT say the number was accurate. He used it for the sake of argument.

    Let me make this really simple, so you might be able to get past your wannabe Nelson Muntz moment:

    10% is a much easier number to work with than the actual accurate number. For the purposes of an example, it produces nice, round numbers that are easily added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided. Since the number is most likely overstated, it also proves the original point because the small numbers that were the result of the example are even smaller in real life.

    Nuance is a difficult thing, I know. And math is hard. I’ve heard that schools are not covering estimation and rounding anymore. Luckily we home-school, so my kids know how to do that.

  21. AFW, I think we have our new Noonan. Arturo is right, everyone else is wrong, no matter what.

    Arturo, when you make comments about “gays insisting on overstating numbers,” it infers that you disagree with their arguments. Unless you’re talking about us, in which case I need to remind you that not everyone here is gay.

  22. “Let’s assume 10% of the population is lesbian/gay. That produces 3,600,000 lesbians/gays. Yes we can debate how accurate that 10% number is. But for now, let’s take it as accurate.”

    That’s my exact quote Arturo and I admitted there it was a debatable number.

    If the actual number of lesbians and gays is lower, then that improves the marriage rate.

  23. “What percentage of the straight population marry over a period of a few months, counting children? How many straight couples got married over the same period of time that these 18,000 couples married? Was it 18,000 times 50 (taking 2% to be the gay population), or 9,000,000? I don’t think so. You’re being ridiculous. Conservatives are ridiculous.”

    You are comparing apples to oranges here. Straight people have always been able to marry. All they have to do other than finding someone to marry is wait until they are old enough to marry.

    Same sex couples were not able to marry until Spring of last year. I would imagine there was an enormous backlog of same sex couples looking to marry. But, only 18,000 couples did. I was expecting a much higher number.

  24. 18,000 is a very high number. It would be about ten times more than straight marriages if gays and straights equalled in number in the population. Now, I’m not saying gays are more inclined to want to marry by their nature of being gay. We get a very high number of gay marriages in such a short time because, as you say, they couldn’t marry before. But also, you cannot compare because straights have grown up believing that it’s the natural thing for them to do. Gays have grown up made to think they wouldn’t. Yet, so many did.

  25. As a straight, married conservative, I’m sorry that some people treat the gay community so harshly. I don’t understand the hate projected at you. Great site, great people here, keep it up. We`re in your corner.

  26. Maybe she can explain why ten gay marriages per one straight marriage is too few gay marriages.

  27. Fine, but can someone make sense of John’s argument that ten gay marriages per one straight marriage is too few gay marriages?

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