Scandals Make Life Harder for Gay Republicans

October 2, 2007 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

Judging from this newspaper story, we shouldn’t expect many gay Republican to swing open their closet doors on National Coming Out Day on October 11.

From the Palm Beach Post:

Eric Johnson, a former Republican who is gay and is now staff director for Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, said he knows of at least three gays who are staff directors for GOP congressmen but have not publicly revealed their sexual orientation.

“There’s no question this has driven gay staff people further into the closet,” Johnson said, referring specifically to Republicans. “Between Mark Foley and Larry Craig, this is not a time for gay Republican staff people to be coming out of the closet.”

Johnson points to the difference in the reaction to the Craig and Vitter scandals and said he doubted Craig would have received nearly as much attention if his alleged advance had been directed at a woman. “It’s just not a great place to be for a Republican if you are gay,” he said.

That’s really unfortunate because after the Craig and Foley scandals, life is not just harder for gay Republican congressional staff, its also harder for the rest of us who live our lives openly and honestly. Their behavior and the web of lies that they wove to cover up their attraction to other man make it seem as though being gay is something to be ashamed of and its not.

I often make fun of Republicans, but I would not wish the emotional barrenness of the closet on anyone. Its soul killing and emotionally destructive. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to work to advance a political party that forces you to hide and lie about who you are.

There is, however, a way out for people who are tired of living in the closet.

If you are still in the closet about being LGBT or about being a straight ally of LGBT people should check out the resources on coming out provided by the Human Rights Campaign.

As inspiration, check out this video from Sergio, a nineteen year old Latino, talking about what motivated him to come out of the closet. Its in response to a video by HRC’s National Coming Out Project which you can see here.

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Conservatives, LGBT, Republicans, Video, YouTube.

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