aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
You can’t have a call boy and disparage him too
Dan Savage has a must read OpEd in the Times tomorrow on The Code of the Callboy.
In it he reminisces about the adventures of a callboy friend and finds that times have altered the implicit contract between gay male members of the oldest profession and their closeted clients.
Our closets are less crowded now, left with only “the fearful, the pathetic and the hypocritical...today it is arguably more shameful and damaging to be a hypocritical closet case than it is to be a sex worker.” He concludes:
When Representative Mark Foley flamed out, Pat Robertson said: “Well, this man’s gay. He does what gay people do.” That lie might have worked when most gay Americans were closeted, but it doesn’t work anymore. Seventy percent of Americans today know a gay person; for straight Americans, hitting on teenagers, hiring prostitutes and snorting meth are not things their gay relatives, friends and co-workers typically do. (Or not at appreciably higher rates than their straight friends.) An openly gay man is accountable to himself, his family, his partner and his community. He is free to form healthy relationships, which is why he is far less likely to be I.M.’ing teenagers or hiring hookers than some desperate closet case.
Ultimately it was Ted Haggard’s hypocrisy - railing against homosexuals and campaigning against gay marriage while apparently indulging in sex romps with a gay escort - that prompted Mr. Jones to shove him out of the closet. The homophobia promoted by Mr. Haggard and other agents of intolerance, if I may use John McCain’s phrase (he’s not using it anymore), undermined the callboy code of silence that Mr. Haggard himself relied on. Most callboys are gay, after all, and most are out of the closet these days.
And while most callboys will continue to respect a code of silence where the average closet case is concerned, the Ted Haggards of the world have been placed on notice: You can’t have your callboy and disparage him too.
Savage, btw, was one of the most articulate and vocal of Santorum’s many critics. Tonight he toasted his defeat.
We can only hope
If Rick Santorum loses, nobody in Washington will ever want to lead on the gay marriage issue again.
Gay marriage advocates know this. The people of Pennsylvania deserve to know it too.
Uh, maybe they do.
My birds are (not yet) dead!
Bush comes here twice and what did the national strategists do? Write us off! Let them twist in the wind.
It looks like in the battle over the 50 state strategy, Rahm won. This round.
LATER: Perhaps my pessimism was premature. It looks like I may just wake to the canaries’ song!
THE MORNING AFTER: This is what I woke up to:
Two canaries in a Republican coal mine
Two House Democrats seeking re-election faced seasoned challengers Tuesday in Georgia, where Republicans had a shot at offsetting losses elsewhere that threatened to cost them control of Congress.
Reps. John Barrow of Savannah and Jim Marshall of Macon both tout records as conservative Democrats willing to vote against their party on issues such as immigration and the Iraq war. Still, both drew stiff opposition from a pair of former congressmen seeking comebacks.
Barrow faced a rematch against Max Burns of Sylvania, who narrowly lost eastern Georgia’s 12th District to Barrow in 2004. Marshall ran for a third term in middle Georgia’s 8th District against Mac Collins of Jackson, who gave up his House seat in 2004 for an unsuccessful Senate campaign.
The backstory here is that Georgia took up gerrymandering, Tom DeLay style:
Last year, the GOP-led state Legislature redrew the 12th District to carve out Athens - Barrow’s hometown and a Democratic base. The changes prompted Barrow to move to Savannah from Athens, which was traded for 11 rural counties packed with conservative voters. The district now covers 22 counties bordered roughly by Savannah and Augusta, its two largest cities, Milledgeville and Vidalia. [...]
State lawmakers last year also redrew Marshall’s district, costing him about a third of his constituents. But Marshall’s new 8th District kept his home base of Macon, where he served as mayor in the late 1990s.
The district is also home to a large military population from Robins Air Force Base, a group Collins worked hard to court. Still, Marshall’s past as a decorated Vietnam War veteran has boosted his popularity with service members.
Marshall’s incumbency didn’t lead to a fundraising advantage. Collins raised just over $2 million compared to Marshall’s $1.8 million.
I don’t care how they tally or what the numbers are anywhere in America; if these guys win it’s a Democratic wave. if not, it’s the status quo. And on 2008.
The perfect exgay poster boy
Under Dobson’s watch, Haggard’s “problem” is one the religious right can surely solve with “restoration and rehabilitation,” further suggesting to brothers and sisters in Christ that homosexuality is a cancer that must be eliminated by the radiation of faith. Haggard may even be just what the ex-gay movement was waiting for: a testimony of the highest order, a public figure guilty of chronic sin who can emerge cleansed of his desire, a paragon of sparkling heterosexuality. As Tanya Erdetz, author of “Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement,” points out, “His story is perfect for the kind of evidence they like to present. Here’s an example that this is merely a sin or an addiction, that he can emerge redeemed. You can overcome. This is just how they can be anti-gay and talk about themselves as being compassionate. It’s a perfect opportunity.” Michael Cobb points out that Dobson will get to prove through Haggard’s “restoration” that the church is more necessary than ever before, that faith is the “technology of redemption,” as he puts it. “They can show through Haggard that something actually happens. In some ways it’s so scripted, so perfect.”
They’ve probably already got the ghost-writer for his book lined up; want to guess how long until we see Haggard back and on the talk show circuit?