Wednesday, August 29, 2007

He's NOT Gay!

When this story first surfaced on my radar about three months ago (thanks to MadPriest and NPR, if memory serves), and I started looking at this guy, it absolutely never occurred to me that I would agree with any word that would come out of Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig's mouth.

You may remember this guy. He was caught in an undercover operation in Minneapolis for propositioning a policeman in an airport restroom. The senator has a flawless record in voting against all civil rights and human-rights protections for gay people. He has a wife and children. He pled guilty to "reduced charges" of "lewd behavior in a public place."

For some reason, now three months after the event, various news media are picking up on the story. He's now had some sort of change of heart, realizing he's been railroaded. [Uh-huh ...]

Now his story is splashed all over the tabloids that used to be newspapers. The New York Times covers a news conference yesterday back in Idaho in which he adamantly declared: “I am not gay! I never have been gay!"

And you know what? I believe him. Completely. No, I am not being ironic. I believe this guy is not gay. Sick maybe, but not gay.

Here's the thing: For reasons that completely escape me, some guys have an insatiable need to stick Tab A into Slot B, despite their fundamentalist upbringing that says they are supposed to stick it into Slot A! I know some of those guys here in my small town. They most certainly are not my friends! But I know them. I know they leave their wives and children and their lovely homes to go cruising the parks at dusk to find some guy who's willing to let them insert Tab A into Slot B – despite all their cultural conditioning and despite all their statements of hatred against gay people. Do they have emotional relationships with those guys? Most assuredly not! Do they yearn to build a life with those guys? Heavens, no! They are on the down-low. They have no emotional connections whatsoever with those guys – much less a spiritual connection. Taking those guys home to meet the family or into church is the furthest thing from their minds.

Are those guys gay? No, I don't believe they are.

Here's the thing about being gay – from my perspective, at least – which most of those on "the other side" just do not get: It's not primarily about sex! It's about affection and yearning. The gay men and lesbians I know – especially those in the church – have a deep emotional, spiritual connection to the same gender, which we wish to express in a physical, sexual act of union. Just like straight folks do. And like straight folks, we often wish to solemnize that commitment in our churches, before God and the whole congregation.

What people like Larry Craig do in airport bathrooms . . . ? Well, that's another thing altogether. (And it's one I don't really want to contemplate, 'cause it is just too gross.) There are guys who look for anonymous sex in a bathroom or park, with a guy whom they'll never see in public, in the light of day. It has everything to do with gonads. And absolutely nothing to do with the kind of whole, human relationship that healthy gay men and lesbians seek.

Is Senator Craig gay? I don't think so. In fact, I hope not. I really do not want him in my club. His lifestyle has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian lesbians and gay men whom I know and whose integrity and wholeness I admire.


Blogger Suzer said...

Yours is one of the better commentaries I've read on this subject -- thank you!

8/29/2007 8:18 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks, Suzer. I have not read any commentary on his story. I just got sick and tired of hearing his "I AM NOT GAY" on the radio today, and finally believed I had something to say.

It is so sad that too many folks will think this is what being gay is about. This guy is about as gay as I am the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.


8/29/2007 10:09 PM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Lisa, you make a really good point, and you may well be right.

What these folks don't get is that if you're going to fulminate against sinners, you'd better be squeaky clean yourself - in every way. How can they be so stupid?

8/30/2007 9:35 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Alas, Grandmère, it has ever been thus. The hypocrites never seem to see themselves as such. {sigh}

8/30/2007 7:46 PM  
Anonymous gartenfische said...

I was thinking along those lines, too (though I hadn't thought it through well and thoroughly, like you did).

Is the important thing really whether or not he is gay, anyway? Isn't it about the deception and lies (for instance about what he was doing that day in the restroom–umm, yeah, I believe he sits with a really wide stance and he was fluttering his fingers under that stall reaching for toilet paper)? And a married "famiily values" man trolling for sex in a restroom?

The whole whether or not he is gay issue is taking attention from where it should be.

8/31/2007 11:52 AM  
Blogger Lorian said...

Excellent analysis of the difference between gay and...whatever it is that the senator claims to be. Thank you for reinforcing the message that we are not defined as human beings simply by what we do in bed (or, in the senator's case, in a public restroom).

I get really sick of hearing my love for my partner of 16-1/2 years equated to some idiot's lewd sex act with a stranger in a public restroom.

8/31/2007 11:53 AM  
Blogger Christopher Evans said...

I said something similar the other day. He could be a sex addict, for example.

9/02/2007 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very effective commentary, Lisa. And lorian, that is it exactly!


9/03/2007 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, you're committing the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy.
Apart from that, even if everyone does the wrong thing, that doesn't make it right. That's the only important thing to keep in mind.

9/14/2007 8:07 PM  

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