The day after the American election, my ex-boyfriend messaged me to confess that he had voted for Trump. Hillary Clinton, he thought, just wasn’t trustworthy enough, so instead he opted for a compulsive liar and megalomaniac. As a gay man, I was repulsed by the idea that someone I’d once shared a bed with could now be in bed with our oppressors.
Now, another gay man has decided to “come out” (his words) as a conservative, this time in a piece for the New York Post. Chadwick Moore is a 33-year-old journalist who wrote a fawning profile of the out alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos for Out, one of America’s premier gay men’s magazines.
Yiannopoulos’ Islamophobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism are well documented, and that an LGBT publication would give him “neutral” (as Moore claims) coverage rightfully angered many in the community. It was met with swift condemnation from within the community, with dozens of prominent LGBT journalists signing an open letter condemning the article and Out’s decision to publish.
Moore himself took a lot of flack for writing such a flattering piece of someone who has campaigned against gay marriage and is otherwise an equally deplorable human being. He was attacked on Twitter, but to his surprise, it did not end there. “Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my long time mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was ‘irresponsible’ and ‘dangerous’. A dozen or so people unfriended me,” he whinges. He lost his best friend. People in gay bars wouldn’t talk to him. A guy he chatted up called him a Nazi.
Delicate little snowflake can’t take the heat, it seems.
All of this has led Moore to realise he’s not a liberal after all, but is actually a conservative. Anyone who read his piece on Yiannopoulos could’ve told you that, but apparently it took being criticised for fawning over fascists for Moore to realise his own political predilections. Now he’s standing for far-right gadfly Ann Coulter and hoping that “New Yorkers can be as open-minded and accepting of my new status as a conservative man as they’ve been about my sexual orientation.”
Conservatism in America has literally killed gay people. Thousands lost their lives because of Reagan’s homophobic inaction on Aids. The Vice President of the United States only two years ago signed a license-to-discriminate as governor of Indiana. The right uses religion to deny marriage equality, housing protections, job protections, and even trans peoples’ right to use a public toilet. Conservative Americans are so homophobic and transphobic that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had to issue a travel alert to LGBT Britons going to North Carolina. And unlike the British Conservative Party, the Republican Party has made no overtures towards LGBT people, no apologies for past injustices, and no attempt at including us in their vision for the country.
Donald Trump did say LGBT like he was trying to sound out a Welsh place name though, so these Aunt Marys (a term used to describe gay people who side with the oppressor) suddenly want all of this forgiven.
Gay conservatives aren’t welcome in gay spaces because the people they support are an existential threat to our rights and our community. After all, queer spaces (such as bars, bathhouses, community centres, and even bookstores) were founded and instrumental in radical sexual politics and political engagement. You can’t divorce that from the social aspect, because doing so would deny the history of our community and the present reality of so many vulnerable LGBT people.
Asking that the gay community embrace you and your politics is like one turkey asking another to be okay that he voted for the farmer and Thanksgiving. I don’t care if this hurts someone’s feelings; I’m more concerned with the harm their vote causes. So until American conservatism welcomes queer people, queer people shouldn’t welcome American conservatives. Even if they’re queer themselves.
Sorry, Chad. Maybe Milo will buy you a drink.