Friday, June 15, 2007

My Thoughts On Outing

There's a debate among gay bloggers on the ethics of outing.

Here's my general opinion and I'll move on to the specific example that prompted this renewed debate... I think the closet is the right of any gay man, if he chooses to stay hidden. Hey, some people aren't exactly surrounded by accepting communities or families. Coming out is a difficult process and everyone has to come to it in their own time and way. Outing someone is generally wrong.

With that said, Tyler Whitney did deserve to be outed.

Who is Tyler Whitney? He is an 18-year-old Republican activist who was just outed by gay muckrakers. Too harsh, you say? Well, Whitney was more than your average gay Republican (which alone qualifies you for hypocritical self-hater status, in my book); he aligned himself with the more extreme elements of the party. He was, for instance, the webmaster for the presidential campaign of Rep. Tom Tancredo, one of the more openly bigoted members of Congress (see his Wikipedia for just a small sampling of his greatest hits). But that's nothing. Dan Savage links to an article which shows us how deep the self-hatred of a gay Republican operative goes-
...Whitney's candidate, Rep. Tancredo, has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign, which means he has never voted in favor of any pro-LBGT legislation...

...In addition to his ties to Tancredo, Whitney is closely associated with Kyle Bristow, the leader of the Young Americans for Freedom MSU chapter, now officially listed as a hate group. Bristow has opined that if he had a gay son he would kill him, and that homosexuals should be in prison.

Whitney is also pictured in a Nov. 20 protest holding a sign which reads "Go back in the closet." The protest was against a proposed comprehensive human rights ordinance in the city of Lansing, an ordinance that was later adopted by a unanimous vote of the City Council...

He also posts at the far-right Free Republic. It has a special section on 'homosexual agenda'.

As Savage notes, the campaign team advisor, Bay Buchanan (yes, related to Pat), is crying foul at this outing, citing the invasion of Whitney's privacy. Ignoring even how little Republicans have cared for the privacy/civil liberties of Americans in the last 5 years, these are also the same people who made denying marriage rights to gay couples a national issue in two consecutive election cycles. So his privacy became a moot point the moment he signed on.

So no, I'm not a fan of outing. But for the Mary Cheneys of the world... kick their closet doors down. Expose them, and the party that they represent, for the self-serving bigots that they are. Life for many gay people is hell enough without closeted Republicans stoking the fires of intolerance for their own gain. Fuck 'em.

[UPDATE: One of his defenders gave me a stern talking-to on my LiveJournal community.

UPDATE #2: Said defender is one of the most anti-gay posters on Free Republic. Shocker!!]

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