Monday, 6 September 2010

And some more closeted homophobes in politics

We have another series of closeted homophobic politicians having their hypocrisy exposed to the world.

In the US there is Mehlman who has some truly sterling homophobe credentials. I didn’t think anyone would compete with Rekers for Hypocrite Homophobe Extraordinaire. It kind of makes me wonder if any homophobic politicians will continue to be so rabidly homophobic since if it keeps up like this it will be like outing onesself.

Closer to home we have Tory MP, Crispin Blunt. I have seen around the net various rumblings of “awww, he’s not that bad a homophobe.” Which boggles me because his voting record? Yeah it’s pretty awful. Yeah we don’t expect much more from 90% of Tory MPs, and sure, it’s better than our current Equality Minister. But that’s not saying much (and did I mention how grossly depressing that is again?) and I don’t think “he‘s a Tory, you expect bigotry” or even “he’s no more bigoted than the average Tory” really is much of a pass here.

But there’s another part of this rumbling around the edges and I’m not going to say he’s gay, that he’s been outed or that he’s anything other than straight. William Hague.

Now, ol’ Bill is actually more homophobic than your average Tory (one of the reasons he was head of the Tories once and certainly takes some doing) and believe me nothing would make me happier than to see him sweating and writhing from the consequences of his own hatred (except that sounds vaguely kinky which then means I’ve connected “kinky” and “William Hague” together in the same sentence and I have to ram my head against a solid surface until the mental images are banished).

However, I do not think the “outing” is anywhere near conclusive. But the way the Tories have handled this has been, well, something of a trainwreck (the press not much better for that matter).

Yes, he did apparently share a hotel room with a younger staff member. Which, well boggles me a little. Even the stingiest of expense accounts should probably stretch to a room each (and it‘s not like any MP has anything remotely akin to a stingy expense account) – and it’s not like Hague is lacking in means himself. But let’s supposed, I don’t know, maybe he’s afraid of the dark and left his night light at home. Yeah it’s odd and suspicious – but it’s also pretty empty and hollow.

And should have been treated as such. But damn, the Tories worked over time turning this molehill into Everest, didn’t they? They could have just dismissed it, ignored it or even said “honestly, aren‘t we past speculating and attacking people through their rumoured sexuality?”

But no, biiiiig public speech announcing that no, he is not gay! NOOOO! And He has Cameron’s full support (what? What for? What does that even MEAN? He needs supporting from what? What, you have to hold his hand and comforting, “I’m sorry they called you a homo, William” while he sobs himself to sleep? Did you consider sacking him and were rejecting that?)

We have William Hague not only telling us about the sex he’s had with women but, for gods’ sake, actually parading poor Ffion Hague’s miscarriages in the public media (ye gods I cannot imagine how hard that was for her). I cannot imagine what he thought he was doing there, or how much pain that caused the family, since gay men have had sex with women (simply looking at the legion of outed homophobes will tell you how many have wives and children) and, y’know, bisexuals do actually exist.

Now it is rather fun watching a whole boat load of Tories say “ewww gross, no he certainly isn’t gay! NO NO NO!” While at the same time trying to tack on “not that that’s a bad thing!” somewhere (well, those that have bothered to anyway). As well as running around having the screaming meemies about someone being gay (it almost makes me nostalgic. Well, except that nostalgia has a habit of making that past seem somehow good which I’ve never really got behind).

It‘s all been rather a train wreck, and I’m somewhat torn between being amused by the sight of Tories squirming (good sport that is) and cringing at just how utterly embarrassingly badly this is all being handled. I really do so hate to see people fail so epicly, even when they are people I hate.

Let me also add in that IF William Hague is gay then yes, I would support outing him. And I don’t buy all that crap about how it “sullies journalism/blogging/GBLT people/all that’s good and right blah blah” at taking such a low road. I would support outing him NOT because of prurient sexual interest or because being gay is bad or even that him being gay is anyone’s business than his own – I would support outing him because this man, this utterly vile and hateful man, has worked so hard and done so much to try and destroy us, our rights and our worth and such hypocrisy needs exposing, such actions need undermining and such people have long since cost any respect that I, or, in my opinion, any GBLT person owes them. (There is also an argument about him giving a job to someone who he is having a relationship with, but isn’t that pretty par the course with MPs nowadays? And could really have been solved with a simple “no I didn‘t“ from both of them rather than this great big epic “I‘M NOT GAY!” performance)

I am sympathetic to the plight of our siblings who have been closeted so deeply and so completely that they can only lash out at those of us who are more free. My heart bleeds for them, I literally weep for them. I cannot even imagine or begin to comprehend the utterly horrendous pain that such a life so deep in the closet would cause. I pity them, deeply. And, yes, I celebrate not just their fall, but when they are free.

But I do not forgive them, nor do I think they should be shielded nor the harm they do should be in any way considered excused, pardoned or mitigated. Nor, do I think, we should handle them with kids’ gloves because we do not owe them that – for the sake of our own lives, our own rights, our own respect, and our own value. No matter how much I pity them, what they do is so beyond not ok and comes with a cost – and I don’t think they don’t get to ignore that no matter how unpleasant things are for them. Something I firmly believe – homophobia is never justified or excused.