For Gay Conservatives, the Trump Era is the Best and Worst of Times

Jan 11, 2019 · 451 comments
Jacob Sommer (Medford, MA)
I am actually satisfied that some LGBT people are secure enough in their personal ideologies to vote for Republicans and run for office as Republicans. To the latter group: you won't get my vote, but you will get my admiration for bravery. Holden's statement toward the end that "the left is responsible for most of the progress on gay issues [...] now it's more a generational issue than a left vs. right one" brings to mind an old political joke: Do you want to live like a rich Republican? Then vote for Democrats! People should not be reduced to their backgrounds when it comes to voting. I want people to vote with me because they agree with me on the issues, not because they feel forced to do so. That's what makes our Republic democratic.
Philly (Expat)
Yes, there are gay Republicans. This piece does a great job trying to demonstrate the irony in that. But politics and alliances are a sandy business, and there are many ironies with Democrats, too. How about a crime victim (of any level) who is still a Democrat? Or a lo-wage Democrat who faces great competition for housing and also in the job market because of illegal immigration. Or a Democrat who competes for a spot at a good university to foreign nationals, and then competes in the job market with these same foreign nationals. There is enough irony to go around, on both sides of the aisle.
Carl Yaffe (Rockville, Maryland)
@Philly While I agree with the conclusion in a general sense, the ideas that there is anything ironic about a crime victim being a Democrat, or that many low-wage Democrats facing "great competition for housing...because of illegal immigration" are pure partisan nonsense.
MichinobeKris (Los Angeles)
@Philly Carl Yaffe is correct. It's surprising when someone supports a party that specifically targets his/her own civil rights, financial well-being, and personal safety. Republican promotion of hegemony of fundamental Christianity with its targeted antipathy toward the protected-class status of gays should (logically) be alarming at least to the people who stand to lose the most. It's certainly alarming to those of us who clearly see the the rest of the list of Republican targets: non-Whites, non-Christians, women, access to healthcare, social security, clean air, clean water, checks and balances in government...
Philly (Expat)
News flash - being gay and Republican is not mutually exclusive!! Political litmus tests are for the birds - Identity politics lost in 2016 and will again, it is a failed strategy. People have their own reasons for political affiliations! Live and let live - that is a good liberal motto! But by the sound of these comments, that motto is in very short supply in practice….
Eric (new york)
This is a great introduction to White Gay Men (TM), always wanting all of the benefits of economic and racial supremacy and none of the burdens required to achieve equality.
Davide (Pittsburgh)
"...his unfortunate [LGBT] policy moves...." Seriously? Unfortunate? As in blunder and bad luck? Get a clue, people; it's about calculation, cynicism and demagogy. You are so being played. Welcome to TrumpWorld, and enjoy your time in the barrel.
mr isaac (berkeley)
Reagan killed millions by refusing to fund aids research. Millions DIED. How any gay can be a Republican after that party's genocidal position on HIV? These gay republicans remember the deaths, and they remember Betsy Devos' dad - who headed the 'Aids Commission' - saying HIV was a 'behavioral, not a health issue.' Republican gays are like Jews for Hitler. They are collaborators, traitors, and dangerous opportunist. They deserve no quarter. My friends who died were given none by their party.
Jacques Triplett (Cannes, France)
Newly relevant and accepted within the Republican Party? Those Log Cabin people think they have a seat at that table? Really? And when they leave that table to take a private moment to powder their noses red do they not hear the snickers, the snide laughter? Oh, yes, they will GLAADly accept your vote, but, you, behind your back, never. Everything we have achieved since I came out in 1971 has been fought for. It has never been obvious to the GOP that their own fundamental rights should also be mine - and also, by the way, belong to women both straight and gay. Too often their political platform has had all the depth of a mud puddle. They should take a good, hard look at what's transpired financially and in terms of human rights, never mind climate change, in the last two years under Trump and his obsequious lieutenants McConnell, Ryan and Graham. And the gay GOP should pause to imagine what their rights will look like down the road with further Trump appointments to the Supreme Court. Have they forgotten how many years into his Administration it took Reagan even to pronounce the word AIDS? And if Pence, the ne plus ultra of devout Christians, becomes President, your invitation to the Party will have been cancelled. Mother, Karen Pence, will insist on it.
dave (montrose, co)
I am a straight person and long time supporter of gay rights. I’m old enough to remember when gays were absolutely shoved into the closet; and dared not peep out; if they did, their jobs would be taken away, they would be shunned by society at large, and their own families and friends. Those who revealed themselves, either inadvertently or on purpose, were often beaten to a pulp, or murdered. The battle to free them from this prison was fought against conservatives; who opposed them all the way. My support of LGBT, however, does not mean that I think that all of them are wonderful people; no, there are bad people in the LBGT community too. They have their share of sociopaths, the greedy, the ignorant, the selfish, and the power hungry; just like the rest of society. So why shouldn’t this subgroup gather under the tent of conservatism? To paraphrase the dear leader of the conservatives, “I’m sure there are also some very good people” in the gay conservative community; but they would be wise to bring their economic conservatism message into the Democratic Party instead, and work to include these economic ideas into the mix of ideas there, rather than supporting the party that tolerates them only while holding their noses.
shep (jacksonville)
The denial of the people in this article is frightening. The GOP does NOT and has NEVER supported the rights of same sex couples. Trump has repeatedly appointed judges to the federal bench whose primary mission is to destroy the constitutional right of same sex marriage and parenthood. Log Cabin Republicans and their ilk refuse to accept the truth-there is not and has never been room in the Pence/Trump administration for the recognition of the constitutional rights of gay Americans. No amount of wishful thinking is going to change that very basic reality.
Joan Johnson (Midwest, midwest)
Holden is pushing buttons while not saying much of substance when he asserts that the Democratic Party is "doubling down on intersectionality and identity politics.” Putting those two descriptives together denies the reality of the complex lives lived by those who may be gay and black, disabled and Hispanic, or even, white male gay and Republican. More importantly, I'd hope that a fellow so steeped in US politics would look beyond New England before drawing conclusions about what drives Democrats to the polls in the Midwest or the South. Finally, I have never understood the implied sweeping criticism of "identity politics" which is to me, simply about respect.
Eric (new york)
@Joan Johnson Internalized homophobia and outward misogyny and racism is alive and well in the white gay community, unfortunately. He doesn't know that gay rights have progressed with the blood sweat and tears of queer people of color. It's a shame, I really do believe if he bothered to critically examine himself and his beliefs, he would be much more sympathetic to the people he is so eager to throw under the bus, and possibly even see himself in them.
J. David Burch (Edmonton, Alberta)
Just a thought from a gay 74 year old male Canadian citizen (a big thank you to my ancestors) who really never was in the closet. (Come on, people are not stupid.) I have never understood how any gay man or woman in the USA or Canada can align themselves with the Republican Party . (USA) or the Conservative Party (Canada). Both of these political organizations have historically and in many instances in the present shown all to well their hatred for queers or, if you want to be politically correct "gay" men and women. I would bet that almost 100 percent of gay people of all colours, ethnicities and religions can see Conservatism for what it really is - a bulwark against any meaningful social change that benefits everybody equally. I would also bet that the gay Republicans written about in this article are mostly white, well educated, professed Christians (some would admit to being atheist or agnostic), and enjoying careers that are highly paid and the major elephant in the room for these people is that they quite like and enjoy the status quo and are particularly drawn to "Trumpism" as it is a political movement that wants your country to go backwards in time, back to the good old days where white men and women (yes, even queer ones) had it (they think) so much better than today or in the not too distant future.
Lawrence (Washington D.C,)
What does the Republican Party have to offer any gay person? Conversion therapy, hatred, and discrimination.
Joe (Phoenix)
"Let’s say I had a MAGA hat on. I wouldn’t, but let’s say I did. How far do you think I’d get down the street in New York, San Francisco or Berkeley before somebody spit on me or hit me?" After reading this article and reviewing some of the comments, the people interviewed for this article already knew the reaction. What I didn't expect was that people would openly admit to being racist and sexist. Seeing this one response from Kate, "Gay conservatives with an aversion to identity politics fail to recognize that it's actually the outside world that assigns us our identity. " I was shocked to see the affirmation of racism and sexism. This one response seemed to capture the essence of many of the responses and identified the tone of the article. The question begging to be asked was: Why aren't you supporting your own tribe? I'm reminded of a speech by Barack Obama where he said there is not a white America; there is not a black America; there is the United States of America. This article states clearly why we have a lot of problems in America today. We don't want a collective American experience. We want tribalism. People who openly support "another" or don't adhere to a stereotype are shunned, mocked, and ridiculed into submission or rejected--might I even say segregated.
SDK (Boston, MA)
@Joe Of course, I would never spit on anyone regardless of what they were wearing. But being excluded from the liberal social club is not the same as being shot by the police or getting cancer due to weak environmental regulations or having to resettle most of Florida due to climate change, or having your right to marry taken away from you. These people are confusing the fact that some people dislike them because of their *IDEAS* (a MAGA hat represents one's freely chosen political beliefs) while other people are in danger of losing their hard-won rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Having an identity other than American is not divisive -- it's part of what being an American is all about. The American dream is not that we should all dress, talk, eat or behave like the members of the original colonies. The American dream is to combine the best of wherever you came from with the beautiful, free, democratic institutions that we all share together in this country. That is our collective American experience. To be frank, Trump is insulting that every day and that does not bother me as a gay person or as a Jew or as a liberal -- it bothers me AS AN AMERICAN.
Sam (Los Angeles)
In the Times' twitter feed there is a meme of tree stumps that says that they voted for the ax because the handle was made of wood and they thought it was one of them.
Richard Grayson (Brooklyn)
I have admired Benoit Denizet-Lewis's writing for many years, but I have to admit I began skimming as I looked at this article. These young gay conservatives have every right to their opinions, but as a much older gay man who has always been progressive, they do not hold much interest for me. Why should they care what we in the LGBTQ majority think of them? Most of us don't care about them at all. To us, they are irrelevant. Maybe they are more relevant in the conservative movement, but I am not part of that and have no interest in it.
Kate (LA, CA)
Gay conservatives with an aversion to identity politics fail to recognize that it's actually the outside world that assigns us our identity. True self-identity is a luxury enjoyed by very few people in American society and as such, those that are considered others have to organize and rally behind the shared characteristics of race, ethnicity, etc. as the only means available for a disenfranchised people to engage and demand the autonomy, access, and consideration not otherwise guaranteed to them.
berts (<br/>)
They sound delusional. They should read more history books and educate themselves.
Patrick J. Cosgrove (Austin, TX)
Question: What does the Republican Party have to offer any LGBT citizen?
Randy Harris (Calgary, AB)
Being gay and supporting right wing political parties is like being Jewish and being a Nazi. The right has little respect for civil or human rights and history gives us plenty of examples of this. Gay Republicans need to read more and pontificate less.
Tankylosaur (Princeton)
Roy Cohn. Nuff said.
George Seely (Boston)
As a teen I encountered the following: A newsletter published by Gay Nazis. I remember an article that showed with pictures how Africans are directly evolved from apes. To the degree of showing how the typical African actually looks like an ape. The 2nd was knowing another gay young man who hated blacks. Then I learned about Ernst Röhm. Greed, self-centeredness, self-hatred. Look at a Gay or transgender person long enough and one or a more of those traits will present themselves. Self-hatred is not limited to any one group. Look at the Trump cabinet. A black man with ZERO experience in housing running a cabinet level agency and working for a man who proudly presents his hatred of people who skin is darker than his own. What is probably the through line of all Gay conservatives: Hypocrisy. If not for the liberal people in the 20th century they would still be in the closet, marrying and lying to women they did not love, teaching their Gay children to hate themselves.
Yolanda (Brooklyn)
How many chapters in this Twilight Zone (hopefully) mini series are left?
Lauren Noll (Cape Cod)
Republican lesbians are hard to find because they are neither rich white men nor benefit as the wives of those men. The Republican Party advances the interests of rich straight white men only and actively works against all others. To pretend otherwise is to ignore all evidence. When conservative policies were losing in the marketplace of ideas, the GOP used the Southern Strategy in the 60s to utilize racism to recruit poor southern whites. When it still wasn’t enough, they pulled in another voting block in the 80s, using abortion and virulent anti-gay emotion to pull in the fundamentalists and TV con-men who manipulate them. Racism, forcing women to give birth, and anti-gay animus is necessary to keep those groups. Those gay climbers want the extraordinary privilege of rich straight white men. They think no one will notice they’re gay.
Ronald Dennis (Los Angeles,Ca)
>SIGH!> Gay conservatives 99.9% white. Still doing little to nothing to address the racism, transphobia, body shaming, etc., or actually helping in addressing the still alarmingly high HIV infection rates in our communities of color! Guns and money and lower taxes, limited government, is all they offer as young conservatives? Senior annoyed and dismayed I am. Moonwalking folks! The move that goes backwards!
Anywhere New Yorker (New York)
Gay conservatives should be in the closet, which is where their political philosophy says they belong. An out conservative is free-riding on work done by social progressives, which is rich irony coming from a group that advocates self sufficiency, no? But come to think about it, a conservative hipocrite seems just about right...
SDK (Boston, MA)
@Anywhere New Yorker Indeed! And anyone who supports the pro-life line had better not be using surrogates or lesbian friends to make babies. Those babies weren't meant for people who don't breed naturally. Accept the natural law line and Catholic / evangelical theology or deny it but don't pick and choose in a way that takes away my rights while preserving your own.
Jo (NC)
Spite and a pathetic attempt to find a platform that will elevate themselves above the contempt that only the political right still feels for LGBT individuals? Ironically the common denominator that strikes me is misogeny. What a tortuous sense of self. What a waste.
Yolanda (Brooklyn)
Welcome to Hypocrisy 101=Catholic High School Students attending a "ProLife" rally mocking and disrespecting a Native American Veteran. Transgender soldiers being forced to end their service to their country and this particular article talks about part of the LGBT community supporting and or accepting this? I am at a total loss and still have no idea how to help our country as a whole realize this is absolutely the wrong direction. Help!
WBS (Minneapolis)
Like the object of their affections in the White House, the fashionable young men in this article do not seem overburdened by the weight of knowledge of history, social science, public policy, or serious thought. They seem blissfully unaware of the internal contradictions and shallowness of their beliefs and perceptions. Fortunately, we can expect them to move on to something else when they get bored. A shame: They would have provided such great material for Evelyn Waugh.
cbindc (dc)
Pence has the cure for them and with their help he is moving it forward.
David Hays Buckley (Northern New Jersey)
What I do not understand is how these individuals associate themselves with groups and ideologies that contain, as a fundamental part of their existence, a hatred for the very essence of who they are.
Gdnrbob (LI, NY)
Talk about voting against your own best interests...
Erich Richter (San Francisco CA)
The handful of gay Republicans I know have two things in common. They will take the contrarian position on literally every issue no matter how trivial, which tells me they are more needy for attention than honestly invested in their ideas. The reflexive condescending response in any conversation that the rest of us are simply too stupid to see what they were seeing. They are the only person in the room who could see the truth. It's a pattern. And from guys I have known personally for decades, they are deeply self-loathing, and I know them well enough to know something about specifically why they are. But since Trump took office they have become intolerable, demanding you agree with them or stop communicating altogether. And I gave them what they wanted. We no longer speak, save one, a very old friend who I keep close more out of loyalty and sympathy.
Northpamet (Sarasota, FL)
These people are hoping to be tolerated by people who despise them. Why? Before you ask for admiration from someone, you need to ask yourself, “Are they admirable?”
Riley (Vancouver)
The body language in the lead picture is a strong signal to what indeed follows in the story: smug expression and hands formed in the classic "superior" steeple position. Oh, to know it all again.
David (Washington DC)
Most of the gay conservatives I have met appear to me to wish revenge upon the gay community. My only and best guess is that they have been victims of predators, are subsequently blamed for their own assault and rejected by other gay men community, and this is how they are acting out their PTSD. This is just how it works in the bars.
Serg (New York)
'Though he conceded that “the left is responsible for most of the progress on gay issues,” he believes that “now it’s more a generational issue than a left vs. right one.”' Really, Ben? You actually think that those men and women who fought back risking their life, facing the ostracism of society and family to go against the prevailing (in)morality of the times can be dismissively referred as 'the left'.
SDK (Boston, MA)
@Serg It's because he sees the civil rights era as "over" that he can afford to ignore it. When his political friends betray him and his rights in order to win more votes, he will understand his true position in the party. Rights that were given can be taken away and they will be taken away if the Republicans continue to win elections and with them the right to control the judiciary.
DaniMart (CA)
The floor for any political party should be: do they treat all subsets of humanity fairly and justly? If the answer is 'no', then their views on taxes and the proper amount of regulation on businesses really doesn't matter. I can't support them. These mostly white male gays get benefit from being white and male so they ignore the fact that most Republicans would prefer that they just magically change (or at least lie about it), die or better yet, if they never existed in the first place. They also completely ignore how the Republican Party treats other subsets of humanity and works to actively marginalize them. While their attempts to beg their way into the 'popular kids' table' is sad, their lack of empathy and compassion is just immoral.
Celebes Sea (PA)
Irony = Not wanting to have your politics be defined by what people expect from your sexual orientation or race or gender so you define yourself politically in opposition to the stereotype. Adopting political identities in opposition to stereotypes is still being defined by your inherent characteristics rather than by what you actually think. Why not advocate policy positions based on data regarding causes and outcomes? This article is a case study that clearly illustrates what we’ve all already realized — that the two dominant parties have just become tribal affiliations with very few people aligning themselves in either direction because of policy but because of who they like or don’t like.
Jo (NC)
@Celebes Sea Wouldn't it be tragic to forever be defined by one's misguided youthful attention seeking? I can't help but believe that the adjustments of adolesence and young adulthood are better kept within the small circle of one's intimates.
Kanaka (Sunny South Florida)
I tried. I really tried to finish this article but I couldn't get past Buckley and Williams. I came of age in the late 80s and was a fighting member of ActUp. These folks have no idea what oppression was, is or can be. Of course they're all white and privileged. Although Ben Holden seems level headed, he needs to look hard at his anti abortion stance. He's got no dog in that fight.
Eric (new york)
@Kanaka there's also Rob Smith who transparently aspires to the benefits of white gay American malehood. Newsflash Rob, they don't care about you - take a wild guess why.
Nagumumo (MD)
"Why should I be a Democrat when I disagree with Democrats on most issues?” The right statement should be "Why shouldn't I be a Republican when they hate not just gays but also other racial and religious minorities ?”
arp (Ann Arbor, MI)
@Nagumumo Wisdom in few words. Too much self hatred in the closet of "conservative" gays.
John (Long Island City)
I think there's a bit of idealization of gay men and lesbians going on here. Most of us have blind spots you could hide the sun with (on a bad day : - ) why should gay people be any different. There's are lots of people on TV with obvious accents who say (without irony) there are too many immigrants in the country. Why can't gay people lack self-awareness just like the rest of us?
Amanda Udis-Kessler (Colorado Springs, CO)
LGBT Republicans are full-on hypocrites, plain and simple. They want to be treated with respect as full human beings and want to be given the opportunity to flourish and have good lives, yet they are unwilling to support the only politicians who truly care about everyone in this country getting to flourish - Democrats. To be a Republican is not to care about the well-being of women, poor people, working-class people, people of color, Muslims and other religious minorities, immigrants, and many other groups of people including the LGBT community itself. Republican words, actions, and policies have made it clear that Republicans only really care about the well-being of rich, white, Christian, conservative, straight men. Even if LGBT Republicans fit into all of those categories other than straight and thereby benefit in some ways from Republicans, they cannot deny that many people, including people they love, are hurt by the Republican Party (and that's before we get to the Republican attack on the common good and the environment). Not impressed at all.
Scott (California)
When it comes to the topic of gay Republicans, a topic I'm well familiar with from the mid 1970's to today, I have yet to hear any conclusive statement answering the "why" question. It all sounds anecdotal. My answer for the "why" question is conservative gay men and women see their sexualty is only a small portion of their identity. They also identify with the traditional core conservative values: small government, lower taxes, strong religious beliefs, strong individualism with little compassion or empathy for others. I'm sure I'll get some flack for the last trait. What they fail to admit or recognize is their freedoms in the last several years are due to the "radical lefties" who demanded respect, equal opportunity, gay marriage, and wouldn't be quiet when our government and Reagan turned a blind eye to a virus killing mostly gay men The us vs. them attitude comes from spending their formative years listening to evangelical christian sermans. They may no longer be going to those churches, but its how they learned to address those they disagree. Log Cabin Republicans were not even recognized during the Bob Dole Republican convention of 1996, never forget Patrick Buchanan's hateful podium speech, and I think they only got a tent in the parking lot for G.W. Bush's 2000 convention. Unless their livelihood is tied to conservative politics, the hypocrisy they will experience and see for themselves will lead them to the center, or center left.
njglea (Seattle)
Why would any "gay" person participate in "conservative" politics or organizations? It's beyond belief. Conservatives want to leave everything the way it is. Perhaps some gays also want to return to the bi-sexual days of the Roman/catholic empire? They can go live at the Vatican. The majority of Americans want to progress - including accepting the LGBT community without prejudice.
Dr. M (SanFrancisco)
@njglea Money. Control. Acceptance into the WASP elite.
lil50 (USA)
"He added that he feels alienated from progressives on his campus and across the country, many of whom he believes are unwilling to debate issues “without resorting to shaming or name-calling." Hopefully, Mr. Holden read this article and gets a side fries with that irony.
glorybe (New York)
Denouncing immigrants, feminists, the disabled, homosexuals and minority groups is part of the Nazi playbook Trump and his right wing followers support. Barriers, legal restrictions, overturning rights and a return to glory days are championed. This article showcases those comfortable with such an ideology and who deny "identity politics."
This is another -- us against them. Why ? I know lots of people who I don't agree with politically .... I'm tired of all of tribal separation ...
Stephen Collingsworth (North Adams MA)
Trump's lack of "personal animus" seems a low bar to allow LGBT Conservatives to crow that they have an ally in the Oval Office. Eisenhower didn't have any personal animus to gay folk. Some of his "best friends" were after all, queer, yet he unleashed the Lavender Scare which purged the State Department of hundreds of diplomats and led to the suicides of many -- headed by one of those queer friends of Ike's. It's a moment we don't look back upon as exactly a tranquil time to be queer. The same can be said for Ronald Reagan who was famously known to have gay friends and yet didn't mention AIDS until 1985, even though some of those same gay friends were ostracized and died in an era of public shaming when conservatives felt "at least AIDS was killing those that deserved it." Thousands died because of Reagan and the Republican's refusal to treat the scourge as a real health crisis. So no thanks. My bar for an ally is set much higher than just a "lack of personal animus."
Maureen (Boston)
Wow, what a ridiculous, self-congratulatory, phony bunch these guys are. Their positions on legal abortion mean absolutely nothing to me. Nothing. Run along to your next self-absorbed identity.
Renee (Pennsylvania )
I know a gay, white male in his early 40s whose thinking is very much aligned with the men featured in this article. He supports Trump completely. He was opposed to marriage equality until it passed, and then felt he should be credited for helping pave the way because he presents as a "normal gay man". He believes immigration should be severely limited even though he is an immigrant himself. The cognitive dissonance no longer astounds me. I am simply grateful that he was not eligible to vote in 2016. When he gets his wake-up call, and he will, I have nothing to offer except the bootstraps that I plan to carry around in a Ziploc bag, and pass out as needed.
Matthew (Anderson SC)
Dear Ben Holdren, one day, you will need to depend on the Gay community and Republicans do not have a monopoly on fiscal responsibility, moral character or patriotism. In regards to the article, "he’s anti-abortion, free-market-oriented and skeptical of big government. But perhaps above all else, Holden rejects what he considers a bedrock of contemporary liberalism: that, as he put it, your “immutable characteristics” — race, ethnicity, sexual orientation — “should determine what your position is on every political issue, or what you’re allowed to express an opinion about.” -- and so are Democrats. We are anti-abortion, free-market oriented (whatever that means now) because the GOP protects businesses that they want to thrive and to heck with others ... Democrats do not defined themselves by those characteristics (race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, etc) ... we are Americans ... and we are Progressives who want public policies to move the country forward ... you will need us one day!
cyrano (nyc/nc)
So they're for Trump because he says he's pro gay rights, actions to the contrary, but they're against Progressives because they actually take pro gay rights action?
Maureen (Boston)
@cyrano And they are anti-abortion? They shouldn't even have and opinion on abortion.
Great Scott! (Minneapolis)
Thank you NYTimes for publishing this article. I‘m glad there are lgbt Republicans. Their leaders now are not the intelligent, literate and thinking conservatives I was aware of growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. Instead, most of the party has fallen into a river of quicksand, greatly influenced by horrific, venomous pundits and other unqualified creatures. “It’s NOT news!” Flashback: I grew up angry, disgusted and paranoid learning about McCarthyism in highschool. I wretched from the injustice, hatred and evil of his witchhunt in and out of the Government, for communists. It wasn’t until I came out of the closet to understand where my paranoia came from. McCarthy’s special counsel was a young Roy Cohen, chosen for his skill at agressively and ruthlessly questioning suspects. Roy was also instrumental in the “Lavendar Scare”, a witchhunt specifically for rooting out gays and lesbians, (more lives ruined). Moving to NYC, in time Cohen took Trump under his wing after he was hired for some real estate cases. He taught Trump much of what he knows and how behaves today. Trump’s MO is from a sad, self-loathing homosexual. As a gay man myself, I feel pity on his premature death from AIDS in 1986, but no mercy for his deeds. Cohen’s legacy lives on in his student: “counterpunch viciously, deny everything, stiff your creditors, manipulate the tabloids.” Thanks. Please read;
David (Washington DC)
My interactions with Gay Conservatives, limited as they are due to the fact that they are so few in number and choose generally not to disclose their political affiliations, is that they have eschewed the Gay Community due to their distaste for its overt hedonism, their overwhelming feelings of victimization, and the fact that they have been rejected by other gay men. I sympathize with their feelings, however the enemy of my enemy is not my friend, and more positive changes can be done within the community rather than by ostracizing oneself.
Maureen (Boston)
@David The gay people I know are not at all "hedonistic". That is a right-wing stereotype and insulting.
Dave (Sydney)
@David It is possible to just not be a hedonist. Take a look at various gay people throughout history and you will find few hedonists.
SDK (Boston, MA)
@David I spent more time in synagogue than I do in the lesbian community but I know where I stand on political issues and I know how my basic civil rights were won. The gay community is big enough and broad enough today and the rest of society accepting enough that -- for better or worse -- we are no longer thrown together and forced to hang out with people who are nothing like us simply because we are all gay. Most of the gay men I know are married and have kids and have no relationship with hedonism either overt or covert (not that there is anything wrong with hedonism -- hey -- it's a free country). There are things I dislike about the lesbian community but that doesn't change my politics -- it simply changes how I spend my time.
Luther Sloan (Spencer, MA)
Homosexuality means you love someone who looks like you. Some may call it narcissistic or selfish, but if you don't look out for yourself, no one else will. Gay men should logically be conservatives and Trump Republicans. If you're into a certain type, like blonds, then it makes little sense to have an immigration policy that floods us from the Third World. Gay conservatives exist, but are kept silent because it makes for an inconvenient narrative.
Timothy A (New York, NY)
@Luther Sloan, it's not narcissistic or selfish to be homosexual. Trump is enormously narcissistic and selfish and he is heterosexual. Why should gay men logically be conservative and Trump Republicans? That makes no sense whatsoever. Gay conservatives do exist and they aren't necessarily silent.
John Ozed (Hoboken)
@Luther Sloan My husband does not look anything like me except for glasses and white beards. Gay conservatives keep quiet because everytime they open their mouths they sound like Quislings. Perhaps it's an inconvenient narrative in "Spencer wherever" but there you have it.
jb (ok)
@Luther Sloan, they aren't "kept silent."
Timothy A (New York, NY)
Anyone with even a basic knowledge of psychology must seriously question Moore's comment "I like myself so much more and am so much happier" as a conservative. Methinks Moore protests too much. It's akin to Trump calling himself "a very stable genius." Trump is neither stable nor a genius, and if Moore really liked himself and was happy he wouldn't need to cause mischief or upset other people.
Gordon (New York)
there's no hatred like self-hatred
Charles Coughlin (Spokane, WA)
I have no use for people who vote to put others in jail for sex, and then who are caught in airport restrooms soliciting cops. Or House Majority Leaders who, it is later revealed, molested male students as a teacher and coach, but who preached "Christian" values surrounding marriage. If you watch the PBS documentary about the late Mayor Jim West of Spokane, WA, it's hard not to come away with some sympathy for him. He was a decent man who, I am sure, had many conflicts. He was "outed" by the local paper, and then died of cancer not long afterward. Yet West had been a State Representative and had promoted and voted for numerous pieces of legislation that criminalized gay sex. It is possible to have sympathy for him, while seeing a cautionary tale at the same time. And then there is Roy Cohn, Trump's favorite lawyer from the 1980's who helped Senator Joseph McCarthy villianize people for being gay, but who was gay himself. Yes, a gay-loathing, gay-baiting homosexual lawyer helped Trump become prominent, before Michael Cohen became his hapless servant. So let me say that, while there are plenty of gay political conservatives, any one of them who consorts with Trumpsters at Trump properties deserves exactly what he's going to get.
SDK (Boston, MA)
I have sympathy for self-hatred but that sympathy ends where harm to others begins. Most people who harm others were harmed themselves -- but they are still responsible. We all have choices about how to react to our own fear, anxiety, and shame. Choosing to protect oneself at the expensive of others is one choice among many. Roy Cohn could have taken another job -- he chose to gain power at the expense of others instead. There is nothing wrong with naming and shaming hypocrites who use their power to harm innocent people.
Mercury S (San Francisco)
I know the comparison is overused, but there were prominent gay Nazis, most notably Röhm, who ran the SA. He was quite flamboyant. And of course, he was later murdered as Hitler consolidated power. Cyclon B, the gas used in Nazi death chambers, was developed by a Jew, who was promised protection for his family in exchange. Those promises were not honored. I understand that it’s frustrating to be told you must be defined by your skin, or your plumbing, or who you love. The problem is it’s not all about you — you may feel that being gay isn’t all the big a deal, but to Trump’s evangelical base, it matters a great deal. As others have noted, these gay people sound materially comfortable, and mostly engaged in Twitter politics, which lends itself to trolling and hysteria. Most people have no idea what being “triggered” means, so taking pleasure in upsetting the people who do means you’re battling a very select group of people. Also, let’s just face it — people may complain the left is humorless, but all the funny people are liberal. I challenge anyone to name some in the right who is as genuinely funny and self-effacing as Stephen Colbert. Not just someone who can get a few gleefully meanspirited chuckles, but a real comedian.
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@Mercury S, you write: "You may feel that being gay isn’t all the big a deal, but to Trump’s evangelical base, it matters a great deal." Does that mean we must allow ourselves (and our priorities) to be defined by our adversaries? You also write, "The problem is it’s not all about you." Ironically, that's the sort of thing we hear constantly from Trump's evangelical base.
MichinobeKris (Los Angeles)
@Mitchell No, we don't have to "allow ourselves (and our priorities) to be defined by our adversaries." First we have to survive the efforts of our adversaries trying to wipe us out (literally and figuratively) based on how they define us. Then and only then are we free to "define" ourselves. Survive first, thrive and self-define later.
Katherine Bartley (NYC)
I recognize that this is NY times magazine, but still it violates the idea of journalism by simply being "too long".
BBBear (Green Bay)
Chadwick Moore: ‘‘If you love mischief, if you love upsetting delicate people, I don’t know where else you would be right now than the gay right.’’ Mr. Moore, obviously, you have limited knowledge about violence against “delicate people”.......gays. Hundreds of violent acts have been documented (Read “Violent acts against LGBT people”..... Trump and those who support him, are not in your corner.
Win (Boston)
Gay conservative is an oxymoron at this time. If anything they should be an Independent. These naive Log Cabin types are conveniently being used by the GOP while they are being spat on behind their backs by a vast majority of Republicans. What a depressing article.
Jamie Keenan (Queens)
Just remember half the Republican party are True bible believers and the LGBTQ community is Demon Spawn to them. Watch your back. We've been their scapegoats for thousands of years.
Menick (phx)
Ironic how these white male gays look down their noses at the unwashed and underinformed conservatives with their pitchforks and torches that serve as the rocket fuel for conservative if the gay Republicans' own cluelessness with regard to the heavy tilt of homophobia RIFE within the GOP doesn't match or exceed the intellectual deficit of those unwashed conservative masses.
Matthew (Nj)
It is an interesting twist on the Stockholm syndrome.
SDK (Boston, MA)
As if gay Republicans have the numbers to elect anyone without that base. As if the GOP were still about limited government or small businesses. They sold those values down the river for values that win elections (racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia). Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to spend more time outside their cute urban neighborhoods.
David (Cincinnati)
It is hard for me to understand why a gay person would support a political party that literally wants to kill you.
Chris (Colorado)
Conservatism, I understand. Trumpismo, uh-uh!
Occupy Government (Oakland)
Gay or straight or something else, to support Trump, you must either be a bigot yourself, or you don't mind that he is. That is a position of privilege, which undoes all the excuses for conservative politics.
catherine (NYC)
pretty sure a gay man should be the last person with a deciding opinion on reproductive rights
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@catherine If it becomes possible to determine whether a fetus will grow up to be gay, should a woman have the right (on that basis) to abort it? Considering this question, do you expect a gay man to identify more with the woman or the fetus?
Matthew (Nj)
Well, OK, thanks. Even so, this gay man will be forever supporting the rights of women to control their bodies. Deal?
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@Matthew As per my preceding comment: Does a woman's "right to control her body" include the right to consider a fetus merely a malignant growth -- especially when that fetus could have been you?
Jason Shapiro (Santa Fe , NM)
It must be quite a feat of mental jiu jitsu to essentially worship Roy Cohn and his best acolyte as patron saints, but hey, to each his own.
C D (Madison, wi)
All I can think of,quite frankly. is that there was a substantial part of the early Nazi party that was gay. They were purged during the night of the long knives, and of course gays were put into the concentration camps. Dan Savage has the best synopsis of what a gay republican is. Gays will never be accepted by the modern republican party, a cesspool of misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia and resentment. They are useful idiots at best, just like black, Latino and Asian republicans, trotted out every now and then so the party can say: See we aren't bigots!! I hope it never reaches that point, but I don't doubt for a minute that if the knock on the door at midnight came, being a republican wouldn't save them.
Martin (Brooklyn)
The obsession the Times has with Millennials and Generation Z really diminishes what was a great brand.
catherine (NYC)
@Martin an obsession with more than half of the population and the future of NYT readership??
Susan (Home)
I have no idea what the Republican Party stands for. There are no principles. I see it dying. Why would you want to join it now, especially as a Gay man?
WSB (Manhattan)
@Susan Tax cut for the top 0.1%. The rest is window dressing to attract voters.
Border Barry (Massachusetts )
Trump is packing the courts at all levels with anti-LGBTQ judges and justices. That this is happening is obvious. These gay (almost always white) Republicans claim not to be tribal, but they are: White ethnonationalism trumps their sexual orientations or even gender. They are extremely misguided and will be kicked in the teeth by Republican policies and judges.
SDK (Boston, MA)
It's the inherited wealth. They are loyal to the tribe of people who want to keep the money they didn't earn. Being white just allows them to pretend that the bad things the GOP does to people of color will never reach them. It also means they are not part of any community that will call them to account for their politics. They assume that they can buy their way out of any problems that might be caused by Republican policies or judges and for the moment, they are probably right.
JohnMcFeely (Miami)
Foolishness, Arrogance, and Ignorance are unrelated to sexual orientation.
CH (Brooklynite)
Every time the words, "gay conservative," appear in this article, mentally add the words, "white" and "male." There. Now it makes more sense.
Matthew (Nj)
And you can likely add affluent. Or aspirationally affluent. Cuz a big part of this is not wanting to pay taxes. That’s the whole shebang, really.
William O, Beeman (San José, CA)
Let's see how these gay conservatives feel when the Gorsuch-Kavanaugh rulings on LGBTQ rights start rolling down like thunder.
Julie K (California)
As human rights disintegrate at lighting fast speed under this racist, homophobic, misogynistic administration, we are already seeing LGBQT people as the casualties. I can only surmise these people willingly hitching their wagon to a party of perfidies to be nothing less than racist, self-serving lemmings completely devoid of humanity.
septo78 (Ann Arbor)
For me the most important question is why is the NYT (which I have read almost every day of my adult life) even writing articles about these gay (mostly white men) right wingers. They are a tiny minority in the LGBT community. and it looks like the Times is making the same mistake of profiling mostly white men, for example historically in obituaries. How about some articles about left wing lesbians who have made enormous contributions to many social justice movements? Or profiles of LGBT leaders in minority communities?
@septo78 Since when are white men a tiny minority ... I remember marching with act up in the late 80's ..lot's of those horrible white men marching .. for lots of while and black men dying. It was .. what changed the movement ..
Celebes Sea (PA)
It’s an interesting article with implications beyond gay Republicans. E.g. The reasons given for party affiliation were fascinating and echo other person’s odd choices of affiliations. I’ve heard POC legal immigrants say similar things. But I agree that the uneven coverage given to lesbians, transgender men in both copy inches and photos is enormous. Its extraordinarily blinkered to think that an article on gay male (mostly white) Republicans represents LGBTQ Republicans as a whole.
Chris Morris (Idaho)
Gay Republican = incoherence. Makes no sense. Seriously for a tax cut and deregulation of the environment and banking you will vote for the entry point to The Handmaid's Tale? Secondly, the GOP does not believe in 'free markets', never have. They believe in monopoly capitalism, based on free land first taken from the Native Americans, then the farmers for the railroads, and now the rapacious use of deregulated public lands. The last Republican 'trust buster' was T.R., and he left the party. (3 laughing cats here!!!)
GUANNA (New England)
Have any of you folks ever heard of the "Might of the long Knives". Just hope Gays don't become inconvenience for the GOP. I suspect they would pick Fundamentalist Christians over Gays in a heartbeat.
Kelly (Maryland)
In recent years, gay and lesbian conservatives have been especially eager to take partial credit for the legalization of same-sex marriage. “You weren’t going to have the cultural shift on gay marriage without Republicans talking to Republicans about gay dignity and why gay marriage is important,” Longwell said. Are you kidding me??!! This is just insane. The right could create talking points for the devil to convince the pope that the devil is Catholic. White men like to win. They like power - all to themselves. They don't like to share. Do we really expect gay white men to be much different? The Log Cabin Republicans have been around for-evah. Always men. Always white.
Ben K (Miami, Fl)
Trying but having difficulty delving into the Chickens for Colonel Sanders demographic.
Fred (California)
Twitter is being run into the ground by a child/man CEO who is turning a great idea, free expression and unfiltered exchange, into an East German Stasi like opposition eliminator. They are systematically quashing and freezing out anyone who is not liberal along the lines they think and manipulate opinion in doing so. It's a public money making concern, if you throw off 10 or 20 million bonified users and turn it into a snowflake palace how boring and stupid will that be. Give it a rest Jacko and let people express themselves however they like.
David (San Diego)
@Fred Relax Fred. There are still tons of paranoid, ignorant conservatives on Twitter.
paul (st. louis)
You mean gay people can be racist, too? Who knew? That's why they are Republicans, despite their party being openly homophobic.
MikeLT (Wilton Manors, FL)
"I was republican before I was transgender." What absolute nonsense. One is a choice and one she was born with.
Cavilov (New Jersey)
These are the same people who will be tasked with, and enthusiastically take up the task, to persecute fellow gay people. That will be the price to belong to this wicked gang.
Randy (Pa)
The gay conservatives featured in the article are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. Poor souls.
PG (Lost In Amerika)
Gay Republicans? Generally, the chickens don't vote for Colonel Sanders. But, hey, why not? I'm looking for the Broadway hit to follow, maybe "La Cage Aux Fools, "Rant" or "My Fair Whatever." The latter could work--"Why can't a man, be more like a...., well, er, whatever." I really think it could work. I'm envisioning Miss Lindsey Graham in the Freddy role: "I have often walked down K street before, But I never had stilettos on my feet before. Now I feel so free as LGBT, Now K Set, is Gay Street, time to live!" Granted, the role might be better suited to Stephen Miller.
David (San Diego)
@PG Too Hilaraious. My Fair Whatever. I laughed til my stomach hurt.
Aaron (Phoenix)
I don't understand these people. It's like being a pro-life feminist, or a black Klansman. Do the understand the larger issues, the history involved? Are they unintelligent, unprincipled or just willfully ignorant?
Larry (Morris County)
Gay Republicans at best have no knowledge of how we achieved the rights we have; at worst, they are as willfully ignorant of how we got this far as the non-rich who support Republican tax policy. Both are sad groups.
M (NY)
LGBT right should be an oxymoron!
Nycgal (New York)
The term self-loathing comes to mind.
BW (Manhattan)
"Twinks for Trump"? Now I've seen everything.
Tuvw Xyz (Evanston, Illinois)
To each one one's own sexual preferences. I am for live, and let live. But I am firmly opposed to the pseudo-politically correct and modified use of such words as "gay" and "intercourse". Particularly the latter that means "connection or interaction" of any kind. I love to rub occasionally the politically correct pharisees by saying that "I had a very pleasant verbal intercourse with a Ms. X", meaning "a very pleasant conversation".
Al N. (Columbus OH)
Bottom line: These are just more members of the greedy bunch, who happen to be L.G.B.T. The greedy part wins the day.
Mitty (NYC)
What the writer fails to realize is that everyone he has covered (minus the one lesbian) is a white gay man. Operative words here are WHITE and MEN who make up the largess of GOP support. White gay men so racist that Grindr went through the process of trying to educate its users how not to be racist. Is it then that shocking there are gay white male conservatives who support trump and his nativist policies?
Mrs Whit (USA)
Honestly, pathetic and sad. Like throwing sad in the eyes of your opponent, their xenophobia is all about distraction and a desire to fit in. Yeah, Uh, I'm gay, but hey, how about those _____'s and _____'s and the Dodgers? None of these people could be open about some of the most basic aspects of themselves if the party they "identify" with had successfully kept gay rights legislation off the books. The ink on that work hasn't even dried and their grand old party is doing its best to blot the book and strip them of their human rights.
L. Levy (New York)
So often people in this article talk about leaving the Democratic Party,..too politically correct...too liberal. Yet, they are happy to join a party that includes a shameful and not insignificant collection of racists, bigots, misogynists, anti-Semites, homophobes, authoritarians, practitioners of religious intolerance...a leader who boasted about his ability to commit sexual assault. These same people can't tolerate higher tax rates or too much regulation; yet they can tolerate all that. I think that tells you everything you need to know about them.
Thinker26 (New York)
Being gay doesn’t mean people are good, empathetic, selfless, incorruptible, etc. Sexual orientation is NOT a quality of the soul, it is just sexual orientation... So gay conservatives should not be expected to be thoughtful or care about fairness for all humankind but just care about their taxes.
Mark H (Houston, TX)
Thought provoking and why I read the Times. As a gay conservative Democrat (regularly accused of being an “establishment Democrat”), I read this with a lot of interest. I noticed that the gay Trump supporter was quickly run off from drinks because he supported Trump. No engagement in a serious discussion, no “meeting in the middle”. And we wonder why no one gets along. I agree that demographics is not destiny. No one whether they are man, woman, gay, straight, white, non-white, should be expected to support a candidate “just because”. I don’t believe those interviewed are “traitors to the cause” simply because they choose to vote differently than the person walking next to them at a gay pride parade. I’ve found that Democrats like to shout about a “big tent” but if you are “pro life” or “evangelical” or “anti-union”, well...the tent ain’t THAT big. If you support fossil fuel development, better border security, new highways, or a cake baker in Colorado who simply wants the freedom to run his bakery as he sees fit, well...maybe look elsewhere. For my Republican friends, they have had to decide to support Trump to get to their end game — tax cuts for businesses and a solid young majority on the Supreme Court, among other things. Democrat voters in 2016 couldn’t get past Hilary’s emails, her non full-throated support for “green energy” and a whole host of other “sins” (primarily “too much Clinton”). This is the result of that.
marksjc (San Jose)
Interesting analysis but face it, what happened to Hillary was Putin, with considerable direct assistance from the Trump campaign.
SDK (Boston, MA)
If the tent is big enough, it's no longer a political party or a group that can get something done. To get something done you have to agree on some core values or policy goals. Being rejected from the "big tent" because of who you are is hurtful and unfair. But being rejected from the big tent because of what you choose to believe is a policy decision. You can argue that the tent should be bigger or that battle lines should be drawn less strictly and I might agree. But you can't argue that there should be no lines or else there's no tent at all.
Howard Kay (Boston)
This article would have been more useful if the author had spent the first 14 paragraphs discussing hard-core data about what most conservatives think, instead of focussing on one, who may or may not be representative.
Eric Hughes (New York)
Two pervasive trends in the current political dialogue raise my temperature the fastest. First, the incessant what-aboutism, both-sidesism, and false equivalencies that posit that any problem we have must be an equally two-sided one, just because we have two political parties. Second, the unchallenged ascendance of the term "identity politics". I am a close observer of both politics and policy, and I honestly have no idea what this term means, but it's used all over the media, including by this esteemed newspaper, as if it had an agreed-upon meaning. It would be great if, any time someone used this term, reporters would say "what do you mean by that"? Instead, they mindlessly reprint the term and perpetuate the game conservatives are playing with it.
wch iii (Louisiana)
These young people are in the process of seeking their identities. It is natural for intelligent, LGBT individuals to seek an alternative path to the one that is expected. I did it when I was their age. Today, they enjoy the freedom to express their sexual or gender identities because of the hard work and sacrifice of their predecessors. While I firmly disagree with many of the political values they express in this article, I am not going to condemn them for the choices they are making. I will anticipate that as they mature and their perspectives on society and their positions within it grow, that Mr. Holden, Mr. Moore and Mr. Buckley will modify their positions, while contributing to the ideas and the energy required to continue moving the LGBTQ agenda forward. If we are frustrated with the raucous extremes of the national political dialogue, let's at least bring down the volume of our own dialogue to a tone that allows us to hear and understand each other.
Serg (New York)
"Holden wasn’t the only young L.G.B.T. person" One has to wonder how badly this horrendous sentence will age. To ascribe this cumbersome and constantly morphing term to an individual is astounding. It seem that by taking orders from limited groups of activist and academics, and fear to be perceived as not inclusive we end up with this meaningless and lazy acronym. Last time I checked it had had mutated into: LGBTQIA (Don’t ask, Google it!). It is rather ironic and perverse to refer to this so call “young gay conservative person” as LBGT in view of abysmal record of the of the conservative movement in its treatment of the: T and I persons. As a garden variety male homo I am thrill and astounded at all manifestations of healthy and consensual sexual identification, but please don’t call me a LGBTQIA person.
PMIGuy (Virginia)
My oh my... from the subjects of the article to the comments herein we are a LONG way from the ideals of either political party. Yes, each has a vision for the country that differs from the other in some pretty basic ways but to read the article and comments you would think that any discourse is out of the question - which it probably is at this point; to whit the current Government shutdown debacle. That is perhaps the most alarming aspect of the current mood and direction of the country: intolerance is acceptable, to be embraced and is becoming institutionalized at every level. It is fantastic that young gay and transgendered men and women embrace their political and societal beliefs and don't let their sexual orientation define them completely. It is EXACTLY what the struggles of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were all about: the right to exist as you are, as you believe you should be. Why do we accept a spectrum of beliefs from straight people but react so strongly when gays don't fit into an "acceptable" construct? These young gay conservatives MAY affect the GOP in a positive way just by being and existing in the party; let us hope so for all of our futures and that of the country. Perhaps only they can counter the GOP's Pat Buchanan hate mongers and the "performance artists" who sow discord simply because social media affords them a venue.
Don P. (New Hampshire)
I take no pleasure in informing Holden that he is clueless! Holden is where he is today and able to be who he really is all because of his liberal and progressive LGBT brothers and sisters who fought against the very type of people who he aligns himself with today.
Superflat (east coast)
The young men are enjoying the freedoms that us gay extremists created for them. These are ungrateful, ignorant people who can't see the forest through the trees. Or do and are seeking attention - drama. As a 61 y/o gay man who survived the Aids crisis in Manhattan (1982-93), I find these people repellent. How can they be so blind to their own history? They'd be getting NO attention if not for those of us who came before them. We fought, fought for our lives, often loosing, but we did change the world. Your welcome to all that mentioned in this article
PK (San Francisco)
These people are willfully selective in what they choose to see. The president may appear to them to be indifferent to the LGBTQ community, but just take one look at his administration and you understand that the president is amoral and surrounds himself with evangelical heavy hitters to capture those votes. DeVos, Severino, Pence, Carson and others have all expressed deeply anti-LGBT views based on their strong evangelical views and/or contributed heavily to anti-LGBT organizations meant to curb or reverse any progress made in the community. “Religious liberty”, a term which is often used by these folks (including Trump) is code for anti-LGBT and anti-reproductive rights. A simple google search can confirm this. I can only determine that these gay Republicans are either willfully ignorant or they are aware of the anti-LGBT forces in the administration and are willing to let others do the hard work and fight for the rights they so glibly enjoy.
N. T. Shabbs (Northampton, MA)
Aside from all that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
John Wilson (Maine)
Gay Republican sounds like an oxymoron, someone who is cutting off their nose to spite their face. But then again, look at the poor rural folk who gleefully support Trump as he gives tax breaks to their creditors. Look at wealthy intellectuals who routinely vote for those who would tax them heavily. America, "Through the Looking-Glass."
Greg (Birmingham, AL)
There’s some white privilege and under education of the history of the GOP party present in some of the vignettes presented in the piece for sure, as other readers have dutiful noted. There is certainly a difference in having political ideology and supporting a party. Whether that be the Democrats or the GOP. (One can have faith, but be weary of organized religion) Another thought occurred to me—the appeasement process that many of us deal with when coming out of the closet. For some that struggle with initially coming out, it’s easier for some to dip their toes into their new world, without abandoning family/ community constructs of religion or politics. I wonder how many of these people are embraced by their family back home because they attend CPAC and champion the party of family or friends that might abandon them otherwise. Could be less about privilege, and more about the fear of further alienating themselves from their families.
Beachi (New Hampshire)
This article, more than any scientific study, illustrates how conservatism truly is a function of genetics because that's the only explanation for why so many conservatives espouse an ideology founded on beliefs which explicitly are against their best interests.
DallasGriffin (Chicago, Illinois)
It comes as no surprise Republicans in general identify themselves as religious. The Republican mantra is a kind of faith. They want to believe the GOP is about fiscal conservatism, less government, pro gun, anti tax-- despite the fact it's just not true. For one, the national debt is higher now than it's been since the Bush recession. Kudos to Colton Buckley for being openly gay in in a less than hospitable place. That takes some guts. I have faith one day he'll get things figured out.
Rick (Seattle)
Cognitive Dissonance at it's finest...
V (T.)
I am a Liberal Gay. These men do not represent the gay community. These men represent themselves. Have they forgotten the history of Gays? How awfully they've been treated by the society, particularly the conservatives? It almost seems to me that majority of these gays are Whites. When you're White, it is easy to be a gay conservative. Also, there is a rampant racism in the gay community and many are not aware of it. When white older men want to have power over colored twinks, when White men reject colored men because they aren't the stereotypical gays. I don't like being part of this gay community because its full of hypocrites. In Greek, Hypocrites means an Actor. I guess they are all acting?
Bill (Arlington VA)
@V Wow - what an over generalization of "white older men."
Todd (Santa Cruz and San Francisco)
None of the young Republiqueens seem to know of the Republic Party's long history of hate toward the LGBTQA+ population, perfectly captured in the Reagan Administration's cruel, malign, culpably negligent response to AIDS in the 1980s. Do young gay Republicans know who Jesse Helms was? Do they know that crucial events such as Stonewall were driven by the energy and bravery of marginalized queer people of color, drag queens, and other queer folk who had had enough? Look at the wild homophobia of VP Pence and his acolytes, and one can easily see how the forgotten past is prologue to the Republic Party's present contempt for the rights of its LGBTQA+ citizens. The Republic Party calls my rights "special interests" and refuses to acknowledge my civic equality. Yet, simply for demanding the constitutional equality I deserve, I'm criticized for pursuing "identity politics." Nonsense. To stand with a party that rejects the science of climate change and thereby radically endangers the human future; to stand with a party whose core is nothing other than primal appeals to racism, xenophobia, resentment, fear, and violence; to stand with a party and president who lie about any- and everything; to stand with a party intent on attacking the poor, those who need healthcare, education, the environment, and the fundamental institutions of American Democracy is not simply anti-LGBTQA+—it's a choice that is deeply irresponsible to the future of the country and the health of biosphere.
b.fynn (nz)
@Todd we have always had climate change and temps are no different now than sixty years ago,the figures are doctored. I told a weather guy of the my childhood and he came back with figure warmer than I had experienced,frost most of autumn and he said the temps recorded were warmer. OUTRIGHT LIES. GORE has a beach front mansion,so much for his integrity.
Celebes Sea (PA)
Did you check the recorded temps when you decided that the weatherman lied or did you rely on your memory? You need more data to prove your point. I witnessed a climate change denier (with a BSE from Princeton) show his brother a chart of historical temperatures that he said proved temperatures had not increased since the industrial revolution. His brother (same degree from Princeton and a PhD) said the graph clearly showed an increase in temperatures since the Industrial Revolution. Reminded me of the psychology experiment in which people denied that a line was shorter than the one next to it because everyone else at the table said they were the same length. Draw your own conclusions based on your peer group.
skier 6 (Vermont)
If Pence becomes President one day, he'll know what to do with these Republican LGBQTs. "Lock them Up" Watch the Handmaids Tale to see how they are treated in an authoritarian "Christian Centered" regime. There is a strong undercurrent of Homophobia in the Evangelical Christian base in the GOP.
ted (Brooklyn)
Just goes to show you that sexual orientation has nothing to do with intelligence, morality, or anything else for that matter.
Adept (Green point)
These people are very naive about the anti-gay agenda of the GOP and the actions of Republicans to restrict the rights of the community. Fiscal conservativism is a feable excuse for voting for hatred and bigotry.
Carling (Ontari)
The article doesn't full cover 1 fundamental component of 'gay conservatism' among men: anti-masculine rhetoric, which is ubiquitous in the center-left. Also, anti-male social policy, which is explicitly zero-sum, therefore, anti-male, taking power away from men, not empowering women to compete. 'Believe every woman' and 'MeToo', while drawing against real historic injustices in policing, are actually mob-mentality slogans, challenging due process, when you think about it. Ask Al Franken about that. Militant feminists have no interest in nuance and moderation, because they are about power before any real change in thinking. For example, they use the term 'toxic masculinity' everywhere; yet the correct term is "hyper-masculinity" or machismo. Toxic is set beside masculinity to associate manhood with toxin. Some feminist leadership consists of voices who hate biological masculinity, and has captured a corps of feminized male supporters who keep their mouths shut. That can't be sustained. Deep down, with programmatic politics aside, many gay men won't go along with it.
James Hamilton (USA)
I am very conservative. My friends are very conservative. My acquaintances are very conservative. I don’t know any conservatives who give a whit whether someone is straight, gay, lesbian, transgendered, cisgendered, pansexual, transsexual, (in fact we don’t even know what the last three labels mean).
Willis (Georgia)
Two men walk into the Oval Office to have a meeting with President Trump. One is Franklin Graham and the other is a prominent gay Republican. Which one do you think Trump would value more?
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@Willis If the gay one is Peter Thiel, it's a toss-up (depending on the subject under discussion. In any event, Trump will avoid seeing them at the same time, and will lie to them both.
Jean louis LONNE (<br/>)
How can anyone, even less some one 'gay' be against abortion?? The right to decide what to do with your own body goes hand in hand with the right to be openly gay and live your life as you wish.
Thomas (Salt Lake City)
Being gay and conservative can be a lonely, quiet place. I'm going to the next CPAC to meet my future husband!
MaryC (Nashville)
I hope these young conservatives have a chance to step outside the bubble they are in right now, where they feel integrated and so safe they troll people they disagree with. When they do, they will find that in much of the US, Mike Pence is very representative of the GOP. Evangelical Christians dominate the GOP in most red states. (Like mine) It seems that most of them turned Republican when somebody made them mad in college. But college is short, and life is long. All those things that seem to be burning issues in college disappear from view when you go to work and have to survive on what people get paid these days.
Matthew (New Jersey)
“It was Clinton and the Democratic Party that passed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell” is just the type of simplistic, non-thinking, non-analytical problem that is frustrating with these guys. Democrats were forced into DADT and DOMA because of republicans. It's pretty easy - or it should be - to learn up on the political power plays during that time period.,_don%27t_tell "The policy was introduced as a compromise measure in 1993 by President Bill Clinton who campaigned in 1992 on the promise to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation." "Congress rushed to enact the existing gay ban policy into federal law, outflanking Clinton's planned repeal effort. Clinton called for legislation to overturn the ban, but encountered intense opposition from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, members of Congress, and portions of the public. DADT emerged as a compromise policy."
David (Minnesota )
@Matthew - - But didn't the Democratic party control both houses of Congress in 1993? I wouldn't let Clinton off the hook for his political cowardice so easily.
Matthew (Nj)
I don’t, David, but I do think when folks flip these issues as if the Democratic party had it as a goal vs the Republican party which DID is extremely problematic. Reminding ourselves of all the dynamics that were in play (including conservative Democrats) is extremely important, or you can end up, like these guys, allying yourself to the enemy. Which is convenient for the enemy. It is ridiculous to make a cogent argument that the Democratic party has not historically been the ally of LGBT as compared to the Republican party. Have they been perfect? No. Not at all. Have they been better than Republicans? Yes. Lots.
Celebes Sea (PA)
Look at Democrats in Red States today and you understand a bit more. Those historical Democrats were Pro-union Democrats before Republicans made “union” a bad word. Dixiecrats, another extinction chalked up in this case to the Civil Rights Act, weren’t your modern Democrats either.
michjas (Phoenix )
The signature cause of gay liberals is gay marriage. That is a cause most important to the wealthy who get valuable tax benefits and health care benefits from their upscale employers. The rights that are most important to working class gays are activism against hate crimes and protection against job discrimination. Ignoring these rights promotes economic inequality among the gay population. Your working class gays aren't being helped by upscale, liberal marriage advocates. And so it is not surprising that there is a movement of iconoclastic gays who believe they have been abandoned by liberal elitists.
Mkm (NYC)
The critics of this young man are so trapped in the last century. Time has marched on, most people under 40 couldn't care less about a person sexual orientation. The gay marriage and AIDS stigmas passed away with the bang of a gavel and the populous has moved on. Micro-skirmishes like a Baker and his cakes still whip up the headlines and vast outrage, but no one really cares; live and let live has become the norm - leave the baker alone - leave gay people alone. It all happened so fast, that the large and unbelievably successful machine that made it happen, like the Queen Mary, is going to take to change direction.
William S. Oser (Florida)
@Mkm Remind me of this when the GOPs stacked Supreme Court overturns Obergefell. You do remember that one, made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Its going to be overturned as a test case to see what the Religious Conservatives can safely do with Roe v Wade. Do they get away with returning abortion rights to the states or do they have to make do with picking it apart, piece by piece like they have been doing for 25 years. Either way, laws like the Texas nonsense, Doctors performing abortions have to have admitting privileges to Hospitals who won't grant them, thereby eliminating any facilities providing safe procedures. My guess is not many will scream very loudly when they take our marriage rights away and they will then dare to overturn Roe v Wade. WAKE UP, you are living in NYC while the majority of us are living where our rights are not as safe.
Theresa (Stockton, CA)
@Mkm It is very easy in places like New York City or the San Francisco Bay Area to be completely out of touch with social reality. Most of the voting population are over 40 and most of the people running the country are over 40, and, if you haven't noticed, they have made some sweeping social changes, drifting towards authoritarianism or worse. Please don't forget that gays were tolerated unti the Nazis took over, and they got sent to the gas chambers along with the Jews. And it happened very, very fast.
ADN (New York City)
@Mkm “Most people under 40 couldn’t care less…“ Have you ever heard the word bubble? You might want to look it up if you have a dictionary in the house because you’re living in one. What you really mean is, “Most rich white people under 40 who happen to be gay or have gay friends couldn’t care less…” For you the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Shame on you.
Matthew (New Jersey)
Holden: “I think I did it mostly out of spite” Sigh. Try better next time. Be more thoughtful.
RJR (Alexandria, VA)
A serious question. How can one support a political philosophy that deems your lifestyle illegitimate ?
arp (Ann Arbor, MI)
@RJR Easy answer: Self loathing.
RS (Alabama)
These boys should read a couple of books about the 1980s--"And the Band Played On" by Randy Shilts and "Reports from the Holocaust" by Larry Kramer--to learn a little history about what can happen to the LGBT community when the Republicans are in power. But both books require more concentration than sending or reading a tweet, so I doubt they will try to bother.
AJ North (The West)
Back in 1965, the humorist (and mathematician) Tom Lehrer introduced his song "Send the Marines" with, "What with President Johnson practicing escalatio on the Vietnamese, and then the Dominican crisis on top of that, it has been a nervous year, and people have begun to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis." Those who are LGBTQ and support the "Right" (which, after all, is overwhelmingly populated and controlled by Evangelical so-called "Christians") suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome — as well as what Carl Jung referred to as the "shadow" (
JBL (Boston)
Decades before gay Republicans and gay Trump supporters came onto the scene, P. T. Barnum has already described them. “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Jeff (San Antonio)
“Thanks for all your help securing our rights, but I’m more interested in tax cuts and oppressing other minority groups, ciao”
ADN (New York City)
These gay “conservatives” don’t see why being gay “should dictate how I think about health care.” Thus do they bare their intellectual and moral bankruptcy. Being gay dictated how gay people thought about healthcare as thousands of gay men died while Papa Superego Reagan ignored them. How gay men think about healthcare today will affect others whom, as they did with gay people, the Republican Party gleefully sentences to death. The Ben Holdens of the world snicker in their bemused superiority at anybody who dares tell them that being “conservative” and ”Republican” has been synonymous with Darwinian immorality since Reagan was elected. So to Jill, a gay woman frightened to have her name published, and to Ben, who thinks we live in a post-gay world, here are the headlines: you don’t live in a post-gay world; you won’t for some time; the evangelical right, which is the base of the Republican Party, actively works to take away gay people’s rights; and the Republican Party just put two notoriously anti-gay men on the Supreme Court (one of whom may well be a closet case). If you need a new superego, you’ve chosen a really bad one. Ben Holden laments that being gay means he has to “pick a side.” History tells us we must always choose sides because if we don’t stand for something then we stand for nothing. That’s the last headline: grow up, Ben, and quit excusing your cute petulance by reminding us you’re 23. You’ll need more than that when your fellow conservatives turn on you.
Jon Galt (NYC)
These people have never had to fear losing their job, going to jail, being institutionalized, castrated or murdered for being gay. It is exactly the right wing and everything that it stands for that has perpetuated these horrors. These people are traitors to our movement and to humanity.
ADN (New York City)
@Jon Galt Precisely. Thank you.
Jon Galt (NYC)
@ADN Thank you ADN. These people simply have no idea - what it was like in the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc... even now, laws are still on the books in many states that permit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I stand by my claim that these laws, these policies are "republican" by nature and men like these in the article have never, and hopefully never will have to face such horrifying fates.
Michael Chorost (Washington, D. C.)
Does this guy have any idea of what sign he's making in American Sign Language?
Mr. Devonic (wash dc)
Goes to show you that there are seriously misguided voters of every persuasion. You have to wonder why any thinking person straight or gay can support the petulant little man who now occupies the White house.
Jennifer (Nashville, TN)
There's nothing wrong with being gay and conservative. There is something wrong with being gay and a Republican. Supporting free markets or being opposed to big government has nothing to do with your sexual orientation but belonging to an organization that thinks you're an abomination for whom you love or have sexual relations with has everything to do with your sexual orientation. Gay Republicans are just like every other Republican. I don't care what happens to everyone else as long as it doesn't happen to me.
John-Manuel Andriote (Norwich, CT)
We don't even need to get into these gay/lesbian/trans conservatives' personal mental health to make the point that they are benefitting from the activism and sacrifice of people who didn't enjoy the racial and economic privilege they take for granted. They denigrate "identity politics" while brandishing their own sexual identity as "proof" of their political party's "acceptance." It's absurd and laughable, but fortunately these guys have so little if any influence within their benighted Republican Party--let alone in the LGBTQ community--that they are little more than amusing sideshows.
@John-Manuel Andriote totally true: only their ego is keeping them from realizing they've been sitting at the kiddie table this whole time & always will.
James (NYC)
“Patrick Egan, the N.Y.U. political scientist...believes that as L.G.B.T. people feel increasingly assimilated, they could go the way of one or the other of two traditionally Democratic constituencies: Jewish voters, who have by and large remained loyal to the Democratic Party as they have assimilated, or non-Hispanic Catholics, who gradually shed their partisanship. He suspects that will depend partly on the degree to which L.G.B.T. people continue to see themselves as outsiders.” The logic is totally wrong. It is Hispanics who feel like outsiders and Jews who have assimilated. Jews have remained Democratic because they are highly educated. Hispanic Catholics have turned Republican because they are not.
Maxine Epperson (Oakland California)
Male privilege is male privilege and trumps other identities!
WSB (Manhattan)
@Maxine Epperson You mean "White" male privilege there, or should.
Robert (NYC)
Any LGBT person that thinks the Trump Administration has been good or even neutral for LGBT people is either delusional or has had their views cynically impacted by personal financial gain and/or outsized media attention. I say this as someone that does not agree with the "left" on every issue.
Stewart Barry (Pawling, NY)
Under the current climate, LGBTQ neo-cons are dangerously ignoring history. Intolerance for one group that is “other” leads to and results in intolerance of all “others”. The Conservative movement welcomes our money and cache not us. Support of the Log Cabin Republicans was critical when Clinton pushed the “Defense of Marriage” legislation in ordér to politically survive. But apart from that anomalous time, the “other” groups need to stick together.
Jon Galt (NYC)
@Stewart Barry Yes, See post by Jon Galt. Thanks.
Chris (NYC)
This column states that trump only got 14% of the gay vote, while Mitt Romney got 22% in 2012. And more recently, democrats got 82% of their votes in the midterms (their biggest share since 2004). So what’s the point of all this? Why are gay conservatives presented as a “growing movement” despite evidence of the contrary?
Will L. (London)
How Trump & the current GOP leadership “might actually represent a fulcrum point within the party on gay issues,” is hard to fathom when the Evangelical Right are the part of the American demographic that are most united in their support of Trump. Show me the love.
Golden Gate View (Berkeley, California)
So Chadwick Moore “loves upsetting delicate people,” does he? Isn’t that the definition of “bully”? Whatever happened to “live and let live”? Poor Chadwick seems not to realize that he needn’t define himself in opposition to others. May he one day find peace and be secure within himself.
common sense advocate (CT)
There's an appeal to feeling unique, getting spotlighted as a quasi-celebrity, and being a bully instead of a victim. But those ephemeral winnings come at the soul-crushing expense of committing to a Grand Old Party that doesn't believe you should even exist.
gratis (Colorado)
I am curious about how many of these people also support White Supremacy. The article does not address this. Also, how many are people of color.
SBaker (Draper, UT)
@gratis I don't know the author's work and do not want to judge. He's a well-respected academic (and a gay man), but I found myself suspicious and couldn't help wondering whether this omission was purposeful. The article mentions: "This led to some back-and-forth about economics and gender theory . . . " I've heard a lot of arguments on "gender theory" that began with thoughts from conservatives about the economic values of masculinity and femininity, and they were all vile. So, why did the author leave out all components of this discussion? What did this "gender theory" entail?
Achilles (Edgewater, NJ)
This was actually a solid piece of reporting. It could have easily turned into a partisan hit job, like the Times piece on Jordan Petersen a few weeks ago, but this was a balanced piece of actual journalism. Professor Denizet-Lewis left out that the Democratic Party takes a lot of credit for the expansion of gay rights, but at the official level even the Great Liberal Hope Barack Obama campaigned on the Defense of Marriage Act, and was dragged into supporting gay marriage by VP Biden. But overall, this was more informative than partisan. Well done.
DLNYC (New York)
As a white liberal gay Jewish man, I am always distressed to read about narcissistic contrarians who embrace large portions of the right wing Republican agenda. Ben Holden’s comment that “Demographics shouldn’t be destiny,” reflects their motivation – the fear that they are not as unique an adult as they hoped they would be. Sadly for them, they are not unique. They share a common affliction with their fellow gay and lesbian Republicans, as well as black Republicans, Hispanic Republicans, Jewish Republicans, and white working-class Republicans. They lack the empathy gene. Why else would they sign up for an agenda that brags about the pain they will inflict on others? Reading this piece, I kept thinking about the mock headline in November from the brilliantly satirical publication “The Onion” that read, “Kushner Assures Worried Ivanka They’d Definitely Be Last Jews To Go.” As painful as reading this was, I look forward to articles about similar contrarians from other traditionally marginalized groups.
Sarah O (Saugatuck, MI)
A friend of mine is a gay Republican. He was a press secretary on Capitol Hill for serveral years, representing a Midwestern Senator. He liked to quote Groucho Marx, saying that he didn't want to belong to a club that would have him as a member. My friend isn't a gay conservative, a member of a party that discriminates against him on every level, because the GOP deserves his membership. He's there because he hates himself that much.
Matthew (New Jersey)
The other problem with their support of "trump" is that he will come and go. Then they are stuck with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and maybe 1 or 2 more based on the ages of Ginsburg and Breyer. Those are the folks that will be making decisions that affect their rights. All you have to do is look at Brazil and Bermuda to see that minority rights can, and will, be taken away.
cl (ny)
To live for annoying other people just to assert your self-determination and having fun at other people's expensive is a good approach to life? You having a lot of growing up to do.
Duncan Osborne (NYC, NY)
The nicest thing that can be said about these folks is that they are irrelevant and that is one of the worst things that you can be in politics. These folks have made no significant contribution to advancing the interests of the LGBT community. I suppose they have helped advance right wing causes, but then so have millions of other right wingers so there is nothing unique about any help they may have provided on that score. Given the empty record of LGBT conservatives, I don't know why the Times continues to publish profiles of Trump-loving LGBT right wingers since, as this story notes, 86 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual voters supported someone other than Donald Trump in 2016.
Todd Andrew (Scottsdale, AZ)
@Duncan Osborne Duncan, you’re like so many other gay liberals who live in a bubble of your liberalism, leaving little room for anyone who thinks differently — like, for instance, a “gay conservative”. There is nothing “irrelevant” about someone who is a free-thinker and who refuses to subscribe to the “group think” of liberalism. You say these gay conservative “have made no significant contributions of advancing the interests of the LGBT community”. How condescending of you. Just because THEIR interests may not be YOUR interests does not make their own personal contributions any less relevant or valuable. Many of us gay conservatives live full lives that do not revolve around “All Things Gay”. I don’t need to apologize to any other gay for being conservative, Republican, or supporting Trump — which I do proudly. That in itself is relevant.
Amy (Brooklyn)
It may seem inconsistent that conservative are more accepting of gays and lesbians but problematic for transgenders. But, this is actually consistent with the views of gays and lesbians who believe that the gender affirmation therapy of transgenders is anti gay/lesbian. They feel that gender affirmation therapy pushes many potentially gays and lesbians into becoming transgender. It's a kind of erasure of the the gays/lesbians.
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@Amy Being gay (or lesbian) -- accepting otherwise-"inappropriate" feelings or emotions while also accepting (and respecting) one's body -- means repudiating the very notion of "gender identity" (as an attribute distinct from biological sex). Among gay males, drag has traditionally been a means of ridiculing gender, not "affirming" it.
Ann P. (San Diego)
I can understand being fiscally conservative. But to join a movement that would be perfectly happy to deny civil and human rights to you seems like mental illness to me. And to proclaim it publicly seems like attention seeking.
Michael F (Dallas)
As an older gay man, I must say I find suspect any LGBTQ person who professes to support a political party which has always been hostile to his very right to exist. Free markets are all well and good, but how free are they, really, if your employer can fire you without cause simply because you're gay? And if you hope to marry one day, consider the Republican push in the very recent past to enact a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to heterosexual couples - a proposal that would have stymied gay peoples' desire to marry the ones they love in perpetuity. The GOP has always been a pup tent, not a big tent. The United States Senate claims one lonely African American Republican and a small "coffee klatsch" of Republican women. A gay Republican in the US Senate? In your dreams! The gay vote is not monolithic, of course, and folks are free to oppose abortion rights and favor smaller government. But to cast your lot with a party which at best can barely agree to tolerate you, and at worst would prefer that you die of AIDS defies logic, and suggests to me a sad sort of attention seeking that is likely to have the opposite of the desired effect. Good luck with that.
Chris Longobucco (Rancho Mirage)
I find LGBT people defining themselves Republicans are self loathing individuals I mean really, they support Russia and Saudis? I’m gay but stand on the right side of Democracy!
Ryan (Brooklyn)
It's infuriating how gay republicans ignore or disregard the realities other people face, let alone their own. Just because it's easier to be openly gay amongst conservatives — celebrating victories with those who tried to prevent them — doesn't mean the battle is over. You can still be fired for being gay in over 30 states. LGBTQ youth are amongst the most likely to become homeless or commit suicide. We are one Supreme Court ruling away from losing the right to marriage. The republican party is exacerbating these problems and not making them better. Being a gay republican means ignoring all of this, believing that "triggering a lib" they find to be smug is more worthy of their time, or that a tax cut is a good enough reason to turn a blind eye to discrimination. As a gay white male it should be clear that people of color and transgender people face discrimination, just like you, because of how they were born. Being gay is a gift because it shows you the power of empathy and the strength that comes from our differences. Don't throw it away.
doog (Berkeley)
"Being gay is a gift because it shows you the power of empathy and the strength that comes from our differences. Don't throw it away." Bravo Ryan
EndlessRepetition (Atlanta, GA)
@doog Empathy is not a gift when you view it as a weakness. I accept the masculine role is about power, domination and brutality. It's what men thrive on in our most natural state, our most authentic selves. These gay Conservative dudes may just be feeling the natural pull of what part of them remains true to their gender. I view femininity in men with contempt. Perhaps they do too.
Kathryn W (Savannah)
How very nice for Chadwick Moore, quoted in the story as saying, ‘‘If you love mischief, if you love upsetting delicate people..." It must be nice to have the time and means to create "mischief" and "upset" while all around you, fellow Americans are too busy struggling to pay their mortgages, or not get evicted from their apartments. When they have to choose to pay for their insulin or put food on the table. When they are caring for a parent with dementia, racing to daycare to pick up a child, and juggling a second or third job. When they don't have clean water in the tap or access to the polls, or are facing a heap of medical bills, or watching a friend succumb to addiction. If you have sooo much time, Mr. Moore, how about helping out, instead of creating upset? We already have enough of that.
Daniel (Los Angeles)
@Kathryn W *slow clap*
rose6 (Marietta GA)
The Repubs denial of humanity in their exclusion of, and aversion to, LGBT's, is an incorrigible pernicious statement of religion, religion, and aristocracy, that is antagonistic to advancements in science, education, and cooperative relationships. By itself, that is sufficient to reject the Repubs on any level or for any position.
Donnan (Boston)
This idea is troubling. I couldn't get past the hypocrisy. In fact, it's infuriating
Andy Humm (Manhattan)
First of all, this is a man-bites-dog story about a sliver of the LGBT community that barely exists. The Times continues to ignore SIGNIFICANT subgroups in our communities while devoting prime space to these miscreants and contrarians. Second, research by Professor Kenneth Sherrill and other political scientists has shown that the #1 factor that pushes someone from being a Republican to a Democrat is coming out as LGBT. (I have long said there is very little excuse for being a Democrat... and NONE for being a Republican.) There has also been a wave of young evangelicals--of all sexual orientations--who are leaving their religion because of its bigotry and hypocrisy. I once covered an appearance by Mayor Giuliani at a Log Cabin reception. As he rattled off some of his pro-LGBT initiatives there was polite applause. When he started talking about throwing people off of welfare and arresting squeegee-men there was wild applause. The Log Cabin movement is an utter failure, clinging to a party that has become increasingly anti-LGBT and has now solidified an anti-LGBT majority on the US Supreme Court. Their support for a virulently racist president is unforgivable.
Anna (Minnesota)
The significant recasting of the lower courts under the present administration will afford us the next 20-30 years to learn what exactly our (LGBT) "new relevance in the Republican Party" means.
Paul C (London)
Disappointed given the length of this article and the road miles that seem to have gone into it that I still feel none the wiser. Above all, there was far too much reliance on listing the disparate insults the various sides were throwing at each other. The key question was surely: “Why do you feel happy to support Trump and the Republican Party given the recent attempts to reduce protection for anti-gay discrimination at work?” which frustratingly was never asked. Ditto, this rational and intriguing comment from a previously Democrat lesbian: “I don’t hear any coherent vision for what the Democratic leadership believes in — most of what I hear is constant demonizing of Trump and his supporters,” Also, the obsession with ‘limited government’ and ‘free market economics’ - why do Gay Republicans believe in this increasingly discredited philosophy and are their reasons any different than those of non-gay Republicans? This entire subject should be revisited, but maybe by another journalist.
JR (San Francisco)
Dear Holden, I think you know you've gotten yourself mixed up with some seriously crazy fruitcakes. It's OK, we all make a wrong turn here and there. Come out as a liberal (because somehow it seems you have a good heart), it will be easier than coming out as gay, and we'll welcome you back, here in reality (I really mean that). There's a lot of good work to be done to build a more just and love-filled world, and just like that, you can be a part of something very, very good. Sure, some of us on the left can be a hot mess, but I think most of us are just trying to reduce suffering and make more joy and possibility for ourselves and everyone else trying to live life in this often unforgiving world. Stop wasting time with those pediatric and dangerously malevolent boys who are delusional enough to think that the right wing won't send them off to slaughter. They'll be the first to go.
Ari (Seattle)
I wonder how many of these gay conservatives have had a chance to have a photo-op with Mike Pence, or considered why that's fundamentally impossible? Bad jokes aside, I write this as the search is still on for a man who punched in the face of a woman who had the audacity of being queer. May these young men and women never face this kind of fate in their interactions with fellow GOP members.
ADN (New York City)
@Ari May they never face that fate? Actually, no, if they get slugged in the face maybe they’ll wake up from their privileged slumber.
kim (olympia, wa)
people who are anti-choice have got to stop calling themselves libertarian. if you think the government belongs in every woman's uterus, you're for big government, whether you like it or not.
Aaron (Orange County, CA)
Gay conservatives .. my heart tells me they may have a part to play. Love all- Embrace all!
Dena Harris (New London CT)
What I see for the most part is white male privilege trumping everything else in the minds of these supporters, which frankly is not that much of a surprise.
Chris (NYC)
Only 14% of gay people voted for trump (Mitt Romney got 22% in 2012). So much ink for an insignificant, tiny minority.
MCV207 (San Francisco)
This piece is sure to elicit ugly vitriol aimed at the profiled individuals, their quotes, and their politics. Young and free to do what they please and say what they feel: 100% great. But, even more depressing than any knee-jerk PC reaction, I didn't see where these guys are at all thankful that they don't (1) get beaten up walking down the street holding hands, (2) killed (Matthew Shepard) or even assassinated (Harvey), (3) discriminated against in work or housing,(4) die of AIDS, (5) called every derogatory name in the book, (6) contemplate suicide more often, or (7) die alone and abandoned by your family. No, those were ALL well-handled by preceding generations of those "darned liberals" who fought, and sometimes patiently outlasted, the Anita Bryants, Prop 8's and Westboro Baptists Churches of the world just to survive. Bravo to you all for your choice, go be free to speak your mind, even be selectively blind and hypocritical in supporting Trump, Pence and the rabid GOP, but please ditch the smugness that your ability to be who you want is your unique invention, personal gift or bold statement — because it is NOT. Put your moment of New York Times fame into the perspective of 50 years since Stonewall (this year) and be thankful every day that someone else prepaid for your right to be your own special creation.
Tim (The fashionable Berkshires)
@MCV207 Thank you, MVC, for your saying our thoughts so well. We paid a high price for their privilege to be and do as they please. If only they knew. I found myself thinking of Matthew Shepard throughout the article. How unfortunate that so many people will say "who?"
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@MCV207 History is in the past -- and several of these people acknowledge that history (and recognize the dangersd of Trump and elements of the Religious Right) -- but we live in the present. Must we all be Stalinists because of our "debt" to Stalin for helping to defeat Hitler?
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@Tim When a book appeared claiming that Shepard died as a result of a meth deal gone bad, an activist friend of mine expressed his doubts about that account -- but then insisted that even if the story proved true, we had an obligation to discredit it, because Shepard had become so valuable an icon as a martyr. That episode goes a long way toward explaining my disenchantment with the left. I'm more interested in truth than I am in being a team player.
Mssr. Pleure (nulle part)
> In the 2018 midterms, in fact, 82 percent of L.G.B.T. voters supported their Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives, an increase over the three previous midterm election cycles, according to NBC News exit polling. The same polls show a decline since 2014 in Republican Party identification among L.G.B.T. voters, though the proportion who identify as “conservative” has held steady at 14 percent. In other words, there is no story here. Benoit, I’m normally fond of your writing, but this piece is a disaster from start to finish. You’re validating a narrative clearly disproven by empirical data, relying on testimony from mercurial twenty-somethings and attention-seeking narcissists. Really disappointing.
patroklos (Los Angeles)
This article scratches the surface of the motivations of most of these young men. First, as touched on here, amongst these men there is a broad rejection of intersectionality and identity politics. Gay male culture once encouraged individuality, creativity, audacity, and "maleness" in all its various manifestations, but is now seen as subjugated to feminists who preside over queer theory. Gay men are accused of micro and macro aggressions against women, and encouraged to admit their complicity in the "patriarchy." There is a healthy rejection of suffocating P.C. culture, and a desire to be free from the yoke of feminism and female-centric politics. Second, there has been a huge focus on the trans community in much of LGBT politics, and many of these young men don't feel common cause. Third, many of these gay men have a very poor understanding of the history of gay politics. The struggles that took place not so long ago are rejected by these gay conservatives: viewed as irrelevant or even "fake news." The voices of men like Kevin Sessums are dismissed (if even heard). Fourth, since the advent of the dating app, it's become a colder, less congenial, more atomized world for gay men. Sadly, most of these gay men have embraced Trump as their (anti) hero. Many are embittered and live for trolling: the more upset Trump makes people, the more they support him. Some have bought Trump's con, while others delight in the very attributes that make him disgusting.
DLF (Portland)
“Female-centric politics”? Where? Certainly not in the United States.
patroklos (Los Angeles)
@DLF As a part of LGBTQ culture on most college campuses.
Linda (New Jersey)
I wonder if any of the LGBT people in this article who identify as Republicans and/or Trump supporters have seen "Angels in America." I, like other commentators, suspect they are ignorant of the history of bigotry against LGBT people. But sometimes it seems to me that many people under the age of 40 have little concept of how the past has shaped the present.
Tim (Michigan)
I presume many others continue to struggle with the same question I have…How can someone join a party that agrees with the things you BELIEVE IN (e.g. fiscal conservatism, religion, etc.) while still hating you for what you ARE (L.G.B.T.Q.)? Full Disclosure: I’m a white, heterosexual, male, in his 50’s, and consider myself to be a Blue Dog Democrat (i.e. socially progressive and fiscally conservative). So, I understand some of their disagreements with the Democratic Party, but cannot personally give greater weight to ideas over humanity.
David Roccosalva (NYC)
Interesting story. That there are several in the story who don't want their name mentioned says a lot about how welcome LGBTQ people are. Then again, I don't understand Jews for Jesus either.
Martin (Brooklyn)
We would be better served by the Times if she wrote about how people like this simply are only interested in making money, and have figured out that the quickest way to do that, is to create a brand selling hate and division.
GUANNA (New England)
I wonder if the Fundementalist Christians also give these folks the Trump Pass because they too are Conservatives. When push comes to shove they will be the ones shoved. It happened before.
jmc (Montauban, France)
"As a candidate, Trump signaled that L.G.B.T.-related culture wars are not ones the G.O.P. needs to be fighting anymore, and much of the base noticed. As flawed as Trump is, and despite some of his unfortunate policy moves on this front, he might actually represent a fulcrum point within the party on gay issues." And then Individual #1 with the blessing of the GOP picked the failed Governor and evangelical-in-chief Mike Pence as the VP. "You weren’t going to have the cultural shift on gay marriage without Republicans talking to Republicans about gay dignity and why gay marriage is important" Gay marriage happened because brave couples and a widow sued the government. We were lucky to not have the current SCOTUS decide these cases. The people profiled here don't have a clue what others have done so that they can today be featured in a NYT piece. Not only are they embracing the party that is responsible for our loss of participatory government and that now supports a fascist authoritarian thug, they support the party that wanted gay men quarantined in the 80's and would strip us of our hard earned rights if say Pence was to become POTUS. Disgusting.
MikeLT (Wilton Manors, FL)
“Nope,” Buckley said, adding that he didn’t choose to be gay. “Why would I live in a rural area and be a Republican and a Christian and choose something where everybody’s gonna hate me?” Yet he did choose to be a Republican.
candideinnc (spring hope, n.c.)
A glance at the policies of the Republican Party platform will demonstrate that not only do conservatives in America not support the LGBT people, they have made attacks on them a central feature of their politics for three decades. If these misguided, sophomoric Republicans want to embrace the enemy of our community, please do it with the recognition that you are undermining the advancement of American gays in their quest for equality.
Denver7756 (Denver)
A true conservative supports the Constitution and would recognize that the Trump Hotel is an affront to the emoluments clause.
Leslie (Amherst)
I have always considered the existence of "gay conservatives" to be an oxymoronic and absurdist twist on identity. It is, inevitably, rich, or-soon-to-be-rich, or-aspiring-to-be-rich, and business-oriented gays who choose this political bent. IMHO, it is a selfish and self-absorbed choice that stands on the backs of and ignores the immense suffering and the incredibly hard work of those of us who have fought for and continue to fight for gay rights.
Leslie (<br/>)
Just read the headline: Gay Conservatives and chuckled derisively. The rights and consideration they would like and that society are finally granting, are not part of the conservative agenda. What is wrong with people who can't see the embedded fear and hatred and work against their own best interests?
mrfreeze6 (Seattle, WA)
This story isn't so much about being gay and conservative. It is about being "privileged" and conservative. As we all know, there's a certain class of people who can insulate themselves from their own worst enemies (anti-gay evangelicals for example) because they're wealthy or protected. Poor, working-class people (no matter what persuasion) can't be so smug. There is definitely a whiff of something underpinning the "conservatives" in this story.
T. Rivers (Thonglor, Krungteph)
Let me see if I understand: being a gay conservative is alluring because it’s a contrarian stance against liberal “identity politics”. Most people got over their teen rebellion by piercing something or listening to bad music at high volumes. A whole lot of sadly confused people in this article, pressing their noses against the glass of “raucous CPAC parties” filled with people from the hinterland who think their sexual nature is a deviance that requires re-education.
L. Levy (New York)
Donald Trump has shown that the only interests he cares about are his own. So I ask these gay Republicans: Do you think Mike Pence cares about you? Do you think Mitch McConnell cares about you? Do you think Kevin McCarthy cares about you? Sarah Sanders? Kelly Anne Conway? Stephen Miller, Mike Pompeo? Sean Hannity? Laura Ingraham? They may let you sit down, but you will never have a place at their table. I may not agree with everything the Democratic Party believes, but at least they don’t demonize people like me every election cycle to win votes. And if you don’t believe that right to live freely, as you are, rises above all other things then you really are self-loathing.
Gary Castille (San Francisco)
“The narrative on the left tends to be that Trump is horrible for L.G.B.T. people in every way imaginable, but that’s not how many gays on the right see it.” No. Trump is horrible in every way imaginable, period. If you’re gay and don’t see it that way you’re blind.
Tom (Gawronski)
Oh, the irony, but the quality... expected: " drinking disappointing sangria with a friend at the bar of the Trump International Hotel in Washington." This may also be the best summary of the entire article. Some subjects of this article appear to be trying too hard.
Aaron Stallings (Boston, MA)
Precisely! So many here have touched on the particularly curious Dangerous Liaisons theme but this one “sangria” line pretty much sums it up. Trump hotels are akin to bad wine, like many sangrias. If you’re committing to a political ideology, why not a decent wine at least? I read this “book” hoping for some insight into how the conservative gay reasons on their support of the GOP. Learned little other than what I already knew - “homo homini lupus est”.
Stephen (NYC)
If they were to realize what the so-called "evangelicals" would like to do to them, they wouldn't be conservative or christian. This is just another case of people voting against their interests. The White House scrubbed their site of LGBTQ info as soon as Trump was elected. The "religious liberty" laws are simply antigay discrimination. The "evangelicals" are against an anti-lynching law because it contains protections for gays. These conservative gays are profoundly naive.
R4L (NY)
Yes, gays can be conservatives. Nothing wrong with it. Being a disrupter, nothing wrong with that. The main problem with these folks is that they are continuously defending against than supporting for something. Railing against “lefties” is waste of time. Conservatives and Republicans have created this myth they are the good guys. History says otherwise. They could be if they spent less time demonizing the other. Trump is not a conservative but a opportunistic charlatan. Anyone from NYC could tell you that. Social issues for conservatives are land mines. Conservatives don’t believe in freedom for all, if you are not white, Christian or male. Look at the incoming class of republicans for 2019. That says so much about the party and these folks. Unfortunately theses folks are still looking for a seat at the table. Gays communities need political diversity in its ranks to move forward.
Joseph Roquebecil (<br/>)
Words do matter, actions do matter. I'm sad for these LGBTQ people who are in the thrall of Trump. Hopefully they are going through a rebellious phase and will realize sooner or later that the Republican Party under Trump has become the party of hate, of fiscal irresponsibility, and of collusion with dictators and despots. Trump is an opportunistic con man. I hope LGBTQ conservatives are intelligent enough to come to their senses.
Why is it that all, or nearly all, of those interviewed and quoted were younger gay men? Older gay men once again marginalized, women again being marginalized, bisexual, trans, and non-binary people again being marginalized. Good job, NYT, you just proved that at its heart, the post-dixie-Democrat Republican Party is about one thing only: protecting and promoting and celebrating male privilege, especially that of the domineering, hyper-masculine and, yes, straight kind.
Norwester (Seattle)
One wonders what it means to “lean conservative” for these people. Certainly they don’t adhere to the comically misnamed “family values.” And Republicans have ripped off the mask of fiscal responsibility leaving an ugly monster underneath. So what’s left? Warmongering? Racism? What, exactly does it mean to be a “conservative” these days?
Cynic (DC)
Roosters for Colonel Sanders!
Andy (Paris)
Two words : self hate.
MikeLT (Wilton Manors, FL)
A running theme amongst these gay "conservatives"... they all play victim when they are called out for their nastiness.
Michael (Pittsburgh, PA)
Gay conservatives are nothing new. I was one. I was even a YAF county chairman when I was younger than Holden. Then I ventured out into the world and grew up. Gay conservatives even gay fascists are not a new abberration. In case people have forgotten, Ernst Röhm one of the architects of the rise of the Nazi Party was gay. So being gay is no guarantee of goodness or sanity.
dK (Queens, NY)
The Trump era has also been tough on Jewish Nazis and African American Ku Klux Klansmen, but we'll all live.
Anonymous (Minneapolis, MN)
To quote the ever-more relevant Jello Biafra (who is gay) and the DK's: "In a real Fourth Reich, you'll be the first to go." (Unless you think).
Stephen (NYC)
When Trump held up a Rainbow flag, it was upside down. This, I believe, was intentional. He did the same thing the other day, when he went to the border and wore a WHITE hat, ditching the usual red one. These things may be lost on some, but not me.
Mitch P (Denver)
So now that Trump is President these gays also care less about NATO alliances? Insert any crazy notion Trump introduced to GOP. Rather, insert any crazy talking point by Rush or Putin. It’s true that Gays can be manipulated by cult leaders. Sadly, most gay Republicans I know have deep psychological scars from being different than those they love. Embracing the right wing politicians and pundits of their fathers is a mental adaptation. They are victims of sociological ills.
sugarandd (DC)
Gay Republicans can try to reconcile their contradictory instincts, but in the end, I believe these people are most traitorous to their own souls. When a political party continually spits in your face and pledges its allegiance to a narcissistic egotist in the White House, you would assume rational people would run in the opposite direction. When that party moves the tax needle to suit only the rich and abandons all hope of fiscal conservatism (with the largest deficits in history), you would wisely surmise a mass migration to other ideological shores. Apparently that is not the case with these individuals, and for that they have my sympathy. A heart, just as a house, that is divided against itself cannot stand.
marksjc (San Jose)
Internalized homophobia continues to afflict so many.The Republican Party is the antithesis of everything I value as a gay man. We see clearly how the right yearns to deprive 1/2 of all Americans from control of their own bodies, asserting a bizarre and historically incongruous right of a government of men to interfere. African Americans are gunned down in the street every day and the Republican DOJ doesn't care. The Supreme Court has a majority of 5 Catholic justices already asserting $$$=Speech, Corporations=Humans, and promoting the 2nd Amendment in a novel and false construct that perpetuates murder in America. Take care my brothers & sisters, stay away from buses as the GOP won't hesitate to throw you under one.
Matt (New York City )
Richard Goldstein is exactly right that the reason these folks—nearly all white, gay men—have a space in the conservative movement is due to “the gay left’s success making it possible for every gay person to be themselves.” Everything about being gay that is now easier than it once was is due to LGBT activism. And that progress came, with only a handful of exceptions, entirely from the left. (The world is still largely inhospitable to queer people of color, and to trans and gender-nonconforming people; the work continues). None of these gay conservatives acknowledges the debt they owe to the queer left. Their current position would be harder to square if they did.
Tournachonadar (Illiana)
A new oxymoron: "gay conservative". What could be more absurd?
RHD (Dallas)
A young, "Christian" gay man who's against gay marriage for "biblical reasons" and against the "gay agenda". Sounds like Jews for Hitler or African-Americans for the Klan. The amount cognitive dissonance and self-loathing is astounding. I guess deplorables really do come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and orientations. Sad!
AnObserver (Upstate NY)
"‘Let’s say I had a MAGA hat on. I wouldn’t, but let’s say I did. How far do you think I’d get down the street in New York, San Francisco or Berkeley before somebody spit on me or hit me?’ That’s not my Democratic Party. " Change that hat to a swastika armband and then ask the same question. The MAGA hat wearer has become the Brownshirt of our world. The actions in Charlottesville and the unending calls for violence against Trump's opponents, the calling of any reporter not fawning over him an "enemy of the people" and directly attacking any real journalist who dare challenge him. The near non-stop lies to create some "enemy" to attack. These actions and other make the MAGA hat a symbol of hate and divisiveness like no other today. Getting called out on that while you strut around Chelsea, Cobble Hill or Harlem while wearing that symbol is what should happen. Choices and decisions have consequences.
Trent (Austin)
Do these gay conservatives think because they are white and male that the neo-nazis in the Republican party will not come after them?
These young people are obviously all deeply confused, still searching for an integrated identity and without the life experience to understand the context in which they profess their muddled beliefs. Give them time to grown into and through their confusion and I guarantee you their minds will change on many issues.
linedar (New York, NY)
I’ve met several of these guys, and they all have tended an interesting personality trait — an individual need to be “contrarian”. Talk to them long enough, and you start to see their motivation is more driven by differentiation of themselves from others versus a real study of issues, policies, etc. You can see it in some of their quotes - especially when they’re more interested in upsetting others than promoting policy. A psychologist could have a field day with the underlying insecurities in these gentlemen!
Louis (RegoPark)
In recent days, I've read about parents upset about contaminated water but still supporting Trump, farmers that might lose their farms due to the government shutdown but still supporting Trump and this article. Am I missing something?
Prudence Spencer (Portland)
I think it’s rational for members of the LGBTQIA community to have conservative beliefs. The hard part to swallow is supporting a party that is openly hostile to this community. As a trans women, I’m conservative on some issues but I refuse to support a party that is so openly hostile to the LGBTQIA community. Even with the many flaws to the Democratic Party, they better align with my values. I hope these conservative gays have a good understanding of the issues our community faces and the hard work that has been done to overcome so much discrimination and hate. If they do, hopefully the can help moderate the Republican Party on the many issues that are important to the LGBTQIA community. As long as the Christian Right has such a hold on the Republican Party it’s doubtful they will have much of an impact but it’s worth trying. I think it’s worth reminding people just because you are part of one marginalized group does not mean you will stick your neck out for another marginalized group. I suspect many of these men are not willing to die on a hill fighting a battle for trans rights but I might be wrong.
JMR (New York)
We know that we cant all agree on the same principles in life. We do know that we can prioritize or rank these beliefs and hopefully work on preserving and defending these principles as we see fit. Thus, if equality, compassion and benevolence are important to oneself then one is expected to defend and fight for them. These are not gay or straight viewpoints. Maybe it just is that gay Democrats recognize this more than gay Republicans. They are not willing to compromise these beliefs for free market policies or government oversight. Maybe they recognize that environmental concern is part of the overall concept of justice and equality. Maybe responsible gun ownership is part of improved law and order. Maybe promoting social justice around the world is part of ensuring national security. If only these gay Republicans understand that demographics is just what the word “demographics” mean - a means of profiling a group of people with shared beliefs then they would wake up to the reality that they really do not see these prime issues as main priorities in their life, and that they are willing to relegate them for their other concerns. Then they can stop explaining themselves to others
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@JMR Demographics can refer to ANY shared attribute (age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.); it does NOT refer to a tribalistic demand for allegience to a set of shared beliefs. Ironically, a prerequisite for empathy and acceptance is a recognition that people in a similar demographic (and even people with similar beliefs) don't necessarily have identical priorities. "Profiling groups of people" reflects the worst aspects of a marketing mentality -- with especially pernicious effects when applied to policing. Imagine how much better the world would be if Israeli Jews and Palestinians would recognize that "demographics shouldn't be destiny."
Aaron Pennington (Aurora, CO)
What's fascinating to me is the extent to which politics has become such an integral part of peoples' identities. Why? I think people were a lot happier and government functioned more effectively when Americans voted for the candidate that they liked the best and then turned their attention to more important things like their families and their communities. Somehow, gay or straight, we've been duped into seeing politics as the be all and end all of human existence.
Charlie (NJ)
Kudo's to the Times for publishing a story where the usual stereotype of who aligns with which Party is challenged. It's become all too common to talk about our nation in terms of voting blocks (people of color, Asians, women, white blue collar voters....). Worse, we then are treated to the social and political sentiments that supposedly define them as homogeneous in their politics. The list is endless and often insulting by suggesting people can't think for themselves, or as noted in this story are viewed as somehow betraying the party they are supposed to align with.
marksjc (San Jose)
This affliction has a name: internalized homophobia and yes, it affects me too. It's clear that T. Roosevelt was the last progressive Republican president. Consider all the progress since WWI was fought for and won by what we consider the "left". Gratitude isn't required but reality is clarifying.
Philippe Egalité (Heidelberg)
How telling that Mr. Holden‘s right-wing ideology rests on a flimsy straw-man of „liberals“ combined with an utter blindness to the historical reality that white men have and remain the greatest pushers - and beneficiaries - of identity politics. In philosophical, scientific, and material fashions, white men have managed to exercise hegemony over much of the rest of humanity for several centuries now, while subtly furthering the pervasive underlying cultural assumptions that male whiteness is the default and essential form of human against which all other types must be measured and „othered.“ That the mere call by women, so-called „people of color,“ and LGBTQ peopöe should generate so much anger and fear among many white men speaks to the essential fragility of the bundle of contradictions that form the core of right-wing whiteness in the „West.“ I recommend for a start, Mr. Holden, Robin D‘Angelo‘s book, „White Fragility“ and a mirror in which to gaze carefully and at length.
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@Philippe Egalité Funny how some people denigrate white "fragility" from one side of their mouths but are quick to call out "microaggressions" from the other. Either we're all snowflakes, or none of us are.
MikeLT (Wilton Manors, FL)
" “It was Clinton and the Democratic Party that passed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ ” a Log Cabin member says on camera." They forget that Clinton WANTED TO ALLOW gays to serve OPENLY... but it was the backlash from the republicans that resulted in the "compromise" of DADT. Before DADT, recruits were explicitly asked if they were gay, and rejected if they said "yes." Clinton wanted that to stop.
Wiltontraveler (Florida)
Two of my gay neighbors fall into this category, and frankly, they just plain don't make sense. So I ask a simple question: do you think the Republican party will in the foreseeable future vote a federal bill guaranteeing equal rights for the LGBT community in employment, marriage, public accommodations—in short, equality under the law in all aspects of life. Only one answer comes back: no. No amount of intellectual equivocation (and anyhow, my gay neighbors would hardly qualify as intellectual, well-to-do though they be) can change that answer. QED
Fr. Bill (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
When I was at Yale back in the '60s almost all gay men were "in the closet" - often to themselves as well. Over the years I learned that a number of gay classmates were active and vocal members of the Conservative Union. Many of them are now dead - all too often as a result of suicide. It seems that being gay and Republican is dangerous to one's health in all sorts of ways.
M. Spikes (Chicago, IL)
Good piece -- it's full of a bunch of contradictions, but that's the reality of a political and social world that increasingly becomes more unwilling to accept that we as humans are full of them. It's both refreshing as well as frustrating.
I'm Just Sayin' (Washington DC)
I find it fascinating how gay conservatives contort themselves without limit in a perplexing quest for a seat at the table of people who prefer that they remain in the kitchen eating scraps. That was pretty much a bucket of gruel the GOP served them in 2016 with the most anti-gay platform in the party's history. If they didn't get that message, then is there really anything that is going to change their perspective? Why even concern ourselves with a small group of self-indulgent, non-influential people who seem to thrive on rejection? Nothing to see here people, move on.
John Cook (San Francisco )
The meaning of the word "conservative" has become so skewed over the past decades that continuing to use it interchangeably with "Republican" does a disservice to everyone - gay, straight, and otherwise.
Thomas (Brooklyn)
“Demographics shouldn’t be destiny.” It's a nice sentiment, but it ignores the reality that it very much is for everyone who isn't a white man. I'm not yet fifty, and I'm amazed at the changes I've witnessed during my lifetime. I fought for those changes because I was inspired by, and grateful to, the men and women who fought during the fifty years before me. Even here in liberal NYC, violence against LGBTQ people is on the rise. Because I haven't been personally affected by it is no excuse for ignoring it and pretending that bigotry is a relic of the past. I can imagine how progress could be reversed and have no doubt that the GOP would cheer each step backward. If that happens, these conservative gays will be shocked by the hatred directed at them because they foolishly thought it was non-existent. Meanwhile, those of us on the left will continue fighting so that they never have to be confronted by their foolishness.
Alan DeB (Middletown, NJ)
C.Holmes' comments are spot on! As much as I try to understand gay Republicans, I always come up short. Civil rights are civil rights are civil rights. Even in their own self-autopsy after the Obama elections, Republicans have advised themselves to be more accepting of those who might be different. Obviously, to no avail. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic for the future.
C. Holmes (Rancho Mirage, CA)
As a 62 year-old gay man who lived in New York during the AIDS crisis, I can speak on the Republican party with some historical perspective. These young folks have no idea who Senator Jesse Helms was or what Ronald Reagan's complete indifference to the disease did to the gay community, not to mention the horrific rhetoric of evangelical Christians at that time. It is truly mind-boggling to me that seemingly intelligent young LGBT people can be so ignorant of their own history and what those who came before them endured so they could live and speak openly. In my lifetime I have seen the acceptance of gay marriage and gays serving in the military, both of which happened despite Republican conservatism. While I do not define myself solely by my sexuality, my number one priority has always been to fight any policy or any group that seeks to make me a second-class citizen. Without my civil rights, what difference does the rest of it make?
John Smith (Princeton, NJ)
Ah, if only they were enlightened by the promises of leftist thought, then all would support it, the argument goes. A modern analog to "false consciousness," its only presupposition is the idiocy of those who eschew dogma concerning the proper means by which to benefit their group. Katherine Cramer calls it "rural consciousness," which must be a feel-good way to explain Donald Trump's resonance with rural voters. It's all wrong. First, complexity. We spend billions on Medicaid--and we should--yet there is no evidence that in doing so we have actually improved the physical health of recipients. Policy is complicated, because the people whom it affects are complicated. Such difficult issues as public health are the ones worth solving, but technocracy is really difficult to get right. No policy tool has a better track record at lifting people from poverty--and making them feel good about it--than does the free market (constrained in necessary ways). Second, the rejection of dogma. A common thread (in fact, something cited by nearly every gay conservative interviewed) is the rejection of the tribalism of identity politics. Tribalism is our natural state, yet for a couple centuries we've transcended it. They are right to assert it would be unwise to go back. Some chalk such issues up to "campus politics," but the ideas, despite being deeply ideological and elite-driven, are spreading, and they are antithetical to the sustenance of liberal societies for the long-term.
Linda (New Jersey)
@John Smith Medicaid doesn't improve the health of recipients? If an asthmatic person on Medicaid gets treatment and meds, he's definitely better off. If a woman on Medicaid is successfully treated for breast cancer, she's healthier. There are people all over this country who have worked hard all their lives and can't afford "free market" health insurance. Your comment is illogical and callous.
Monica Berserk (NYC)
@John Smith The terms "tribalism" and "identity politics" are just dressed-up ways of whining that straight white cis males don't get to rule the universe the way straight white cis male God intended.
ADN (New York City)
@John Smith Mr. Smith, the Times forbids me from using language that would be appropriate to describe you. I suggest you find a diabetic who would not hsve insulin were it not for Medicaid. Then I suggest you read about what happens when a diabetic doesn’t have insulin. It’s called death. Your absence of a conscience isn’t surprising but it is repugnant.
Susan (Seattle WA)
I find a lot of the comments in this article interesting and a lot of them are silly. No one needs to pick a side and people need to stop feeling like everything has to fit together. It doesn't and it never will. I am an older woman and I have never supported a party, though I have supported ideas. Traditionally I voted more conservatively, primarily for fiscal reasons BUT the Republicans are really not the party of fiscal conservatism anymore, think the deficit. After thirty years in business I think American capitalism has lost its way - too few people are reaping all the benefits and the reality is the many regulations are introduced in response to abuses. Banking and environmental regulations stemmed from people simply taking advantage of others because they could. Do I think abortion is good - no, but I am pro-choice. If we expect people to take fiscal responsibility for their own lives - they have to be able to manage them. Some women/families simply know they cannot afford or handle another child - until our society is willing to support these women/families while they bring a child into this world for adoption - I will be pro-choice. We also have to recognize not all kids will be adopted and this is really complicated. I am not LGBTQ but - as people say - many of my friends are. It is good to have hope that acceptance will evolve - and I think it will - but just look how long it has taken women to get where they are - and we should be a lot further.
gratis (Colorado)
@Susan... So... what conservative ideas attract you? Trickle down? That never works in the real world. And "fiscal responsibility" was always a dog whistle to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich. Their social views, "states rights" was always about institutionalizing discrimination of all sorts. Or perhaps you do not see it that way.
Susan (Seattle WA)
@gratis I sense a desire to find fault with all things conservative. In my opinion that’s what gets us into this us versus them trap. I believe in free markets, free enterprise and a strong national defense- that doesn’t mean I agree with everything done in the name of those three things. I think trickle down is nonsense.
Jim (Brooklyn)
I would have liked to see more context about the socioeconomic status and upbringing of these young, mostly white men who cling to the Republican Party because they allegedly believe in "free markets." My guess: most of them grew up rich, have depended their whole lives on handouts from their parents or otherwise traded on their privilege, and don't have an appreciation for how difficult it is for a lot of people in this country to make ends meet, or for how Republican policies on taxes, health care, housing and other issues make it even tougher. In addition, the pervasive obsession with being called racist or misogynist or otherwise criticized by the "far left" -- whatever that even is -- is absurd. If you say something racist, then yes, you are probably going to get called on it. Not by people who are "far left," but people who are defined by common decency and consideration for their fellow human beings. Instead of thinking, "Hmm, why are people offended by these comments I've said" and trying to become a more empathetic person, the response of the modern conservative is to make it all about them, rage against whoever hurt their feelings by daring to criticize them, and characterize those people as an angry left-wing mob.
wch iii (Louisiana)
@Jim While you have made some valid points and I do agree with your general position, you have "profiled" the subjects of the article, applying values to them that fit your profile. It is these types of assumptions, whether from conservative or liberal positions, that are part of the problem of reasoned discourse today. Looking back on my actions at the age of these young people, I too elected to take a road less traveled. At the time it was to be openly gay and not live beneath a cloak of secrecy. Times have changed.
Ann (Arizona)
The author writes a compelling piece about conservative LGBTQ people. I know personally that they exist but are a minority in the LGBTQ political world. What I find hard to swallow is the shallow and unbelievable lack of awareness these folks seem to have for the history and sacrifices it took to get us to where we are today. My sense is that the young LGBTQ members of either party don't have a clue about it. As for thinking that things are gonna be okay, that republicans are, underneath it all, moving toward openness is just plain naive and rather rediculous. The fight for equality is not over.
Leslie (<br/>)
@Ann That is how this old feminist feels when, having grown up with many of the benefits that we old women had to fight for, young women spurn the people and movements that got them there and embrace policies that will harm others.
Ann (Arizona)
@Leslie I couldn't agree more!
ted (Japan)
It seems like these men and women are trading one form of identity politics, that of being gay, with another one, that of being a Trump supporter. Of course, there are a couple, described here, who identify as simply conservative, and have their doubts about both parties as they exist today. One could look at this as the LGBT movement's coming of age - where stereotypes are thrown out the door, but much as poor whites are able to throw their support around a party that has little interest in them (and gain some contempt for doing so), it looks like these people are willing to shoot themselves in the foot just to prove a point, and gain some contempt, and perhaps some familiar self-loathing, at the same time. I look forward to the day where one's sexuality need not be worn on one's sleeve, which is something most heterosexuals (who are not homophobic) take for granted. A day will come where one will not need to guard against being seen as gay, nor send signals to another's "gaydar", in order to feel at home in this world. Perhaps this is just a new form of the "transgressive". If you grow up seeing yourself as an outsider, the moment you stop feeling that way might be a bit of a jolt. Rather than tossing all of one's chips into one bag, one could pick from a variety of parties, just who represents the best choice. Odd to picture somebody thinking of themselves as a transient Republican. It suits me now that I am young and picking fights, but maybe not so, in the future.
curious (Niagara Falls)
Of course the real question is -- given the economic and budgetary disasters which have been associated with pretty much every Republican dominated administration (federal or state) since the trickle-down school of voodoo economics seized control of that party forty-odd years ago -- how can any fiscal "conservative" (gay or straight) continue to support that party's economic "policies"? Or could it have something to do with the typical neo-con logic which holds that deficits only matter when the Democrats hold power?
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
One commentator writes, "If it wasn't for the politics of the Left these boys would have hung themselves from their bedroom light-fixtures by the time they were 16 years of age." Nonsense! As living proof, they didn't, and they're still around. All the talk of those "standing on the shoulders of those who risked their lives" suggests that all gay people must be forever beholden to the left -- a protection racket that thrives on (and exploits) the grievances of the oppressed. Nonsense again! Liberation, at its core (at least for many of us) has always been about each of us being free (and having the resources) to chart our own course. It's not (and has never been) about being beholden to any ideology and its apparatchiks -- or being forced to take sides between the bullies and the scolds.
Mark (<br/>)
@Mitchell Taking things for granted is always the easy way to justify ones moral and philosophical shortcomings. Heaven forbid being beholden to those who have suffered to gain our just deserves.
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@Mark I'm 69. I take nothing for granted. I've been an activist all my life. I also know what I was fighting for. Please re-read my initial comment in that context.
GUANNA (New England)
@Mitchell Most are under 30. They can thank the progressive's fight for inclusion of everyone that the GOP begrudgingly accepts them as "equals"
RickyDick (Montreal)
Isn’t a gay conservative a bit like a vegetarian member of the Meat Marketing Board? Not really: there are plenty of people (gay or not) who are socially progressive and nonetheless think from the wallet.
David Gifford (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)
Shame, shame, shame on any gay Republican. It is one thing to be a conservative Independent but to associate oneself with this abhorrent anti-democracy Party is another thing all together. These folks deserve our condemnation. They may think gay marriage is partially their doing but they would be very wrong. Having been a part of that fight in NJ, I saw the vehemence the Republican Party showed to this issue. Not one Republican Governor ever tried to get gay marriage approved in his or her state. So they can lie and yell fake news but we soldiers in the cause know the truth. It is still the Democrats that insure we don’t take a step backwards on our issues because the Mike Pences of the world would love to go all Handmaiden on us.
jmc (Montauban, France)
@David Gifford The D's have never been our allies when it has come to getting legislation passed for our rights. I agree as a 60 something that the Republican party has treated us with vehemence since the Reagan presidency. I would submit that most of our progress has been through the courts. Brave couples and a widow made same sex marriage possible (and all of the Federal rights associated with marriage) through suing the government. We were simply lucky to have had the composition of the SCOTUS favorable to deciding in our favor. The rest of the battle (housing/employment discrimination come to mind) has a rough long road ahead given the body politic and the court composition of today. Don't expect milquetoast D's in flyover USA to promote our cause.
Phillyboy61 (Philadelphia, PA)
@David Gifford - good point. I for one can't understand wanting to be a member of a club where 90% of its members despised me.
Jason (Florida)
Im so sorry I exercise my right to vote as I deem best. Darn democracy.
Mike LaFleur (Minneapolis, MN)
On display we have cognitive dissonance and unintegrated fragments of philosophies, positions, world views, identities and orientations. This sounds like a sad mess to me.
Peter R (upstate)
@Mike LaFleur that is it
Blair (Los Angeles)
I want to give these guys their full measure of humanity, but they're making it hard. The GOP, most Christian sects, and the local PTA haven't historically been casually or accidentally anti-gay; they've been intentionally, loudly, and officially anti-gay, and in real ways still are. Brushing this fact off is delusional, not thoughtful. If these guys wanted to honor Willam F. Buckley, Jr., say, or debate the Chicago school school of economics, then they might seem more serious. But as it is they give off a strong air of camp.
Prometheus (Caucasus Mountains)
To be gay and conservative is to wear a sign around your neck that says: "I failed my History courses" I'm also sure that there are some other issues that psychology could bring to light.
CWP2 (Savannah, Ga)
Gays supporting their own marginalization, like poor and disadvantaged Trump supporters. May they be subjected to the Republican policies they support. Unfortunately, the same costs will be imposed on the innocent.
Aristoclea (DelMarVa)
The democratic party is pushing out many people and this in unfortunate. We need to build coalitions within the party not let one faction take over, as the republican party has done.
Chris (NYC)
Did you read the article? Only 14% of gays voted for trump (Mitt Romney got 22% in 2012). A whopping 82% voted for democrats in the last midterms (highest since 2006)
akamai (New York)
@Aristoclea The "excluding far left radicals" of the Democratic Party is a myth propagated by our dear president and his fox-"news" network. Don't believe it. The Democratic Party in happy to include anyone except right-wing bigots.
Patrick R (Alexandria, VA)
The young gay conservatives interviewed acknowledged their dependence on prior liberal activism. One might naively hope that that recognition could lay the groundwork for mutual respect and across the aisle cooperation with liberals in the future. But I won't hold my breath. The libertarian flavor of current 'conservatism' - which is really just radical selfishness - is too seductive, and it's fundamentalist antipathy to governance is too absolute. As others here have mentioned, embracing such a philosophy is an expression of privilege, of being well-served by the status quo. It's ironic that the wages of liberalism are enabling more people to support conservatism. Perhaps that's because social issues are incidental to this 'conservatism' - really, it's just about the money. Support getting rich while wrecking the environment and privatizing every vestige of a common good, and you're in! Even if you're out.
Western New York (Buffalo)
@Patrick R Democrats are less about individual rights now as they are about collective revenge. It is no longer enough to have the right to exist and be happy... It is funny that you call Republicans selfish; Democrats, on average, give the least to charity.
Patrick R (Alexandria, VA)
@Western New York A lot of variables in the charity comparison - so it depends on where one gets one's talking points: I call libertarian conservatism selfish because it values its own ideology over other people's lives. In related news, a priori commitment to particular policy prescriptions more or less guarantees dishonesty about how those ideas work out in practice. If you think liberals essentially want anything other than to raise up 'the least of these' and conserve(!) the living order of our planet, you are failing in the duty of interpretive charity. We must judge our opponents' position by it's best possible version, not conveniently inferior versions that some may nonetheless tout. I am heartbroken that I have no way to understand contemporary conservatism except as dishonesty in the service of greed.
Susan (CT)
@Patrick R ‘radical selfishness’ Yes!
John Pfeil (Portland, OR)
As a white guy raised staunchly conservative and evangelical, the process of my alienation from those communities after coming out gave me a tiny window into what it must be like to not be white and a guy. That small realization has been a gift. People support conservatives for all kinds of reasons, but the large space in the party for those who resist progress on civil rights was enough for me to leave it long ago.
GUANNA (New England)
@John Pfeil I suspect many libertarian Gays do not realize how marginalized they are in the GOP. CPAC is not the GOP. Like it or not, the Fundamentalist ,with their own very non libertarian agenda, now own the GOP. Classic Conservatives are a marginalized minority. One day they will realize this. The rejections of Trumpism, by many long time Conservatives like McCain and Flake , should have been their wake up call.
MD (Canada)
Um, this piece seems to focus almost entirely on one initial in “LGBT.” I have many emotions as I read it, but none of the rest of them are “fit to print.” If you’re only going to speak to gay men, please don’t put the entire LGBT community in the subheading and throughout the article. Thanks, A member of the LGBT community
Michael (Brooklyn)
@MD It doesn't seem like you read the full article, then. There were several substantial interviews with lesbian and transgender conservatives but they came later in the piece.
SBaker (Draper, UT)
@MD Thanks. I wrote a similar comment, but I'm beginning to suspect it was rejected, for some reason.
SBaker (Draper, UT)
@Michael That's not the point. To say that Moore supports the virulently misogynistic Proud Boys and then call him an "LGBT conservative" is a kind of whitewash. To be a member of the LGBT community implies an alliance that simply does not always exist among all the individual identities. I found that the broad application of the LGBT label in parts of this article created an untrustworthy and confusing narrative. While there is truth to the idea that the left is too quick to apply labels like misogynist or racist, that doesn't mean it makes sense to ignore the fact that some of the gay conservatives mentioned in this article undoubtedly truly are misogynistic transphobic racists. They cannot, then, also really be described as "LGBT" people. I suspect some of them would mock the author of this piece for calling them that, unless they felt like it was a helpful obfuscation.
jenncoolva (Washington DC)
They are being conned, the GOP doesn't want them other than to use them to advance their warped "values".
Mark Esposito (Bronx)
Well after reading this I now know that down is up and left is right.
hoffmanje (Wyomissing, PA)
@Mark Esposito Yes the left is right.
Eugene (Washington D.C.)
The bigger underlying story here is that whites in general are flocking to the Republican party. So race seems to be the new dividing line that supersedes previous ones.
I don't see that, nor think it true.
paul (st. louis)
Exactly. The author misses the racial element. Gay people can be racist, too.
Charles in service (Kingston, Jam.)
@Eugene Think Blexit! Big rally next week in L.A.
Rolf (Grebbestad)
In my experience, most gays love Trump. But many are silenced by the Left.
Kevin (Austin)
@Rolf Your "experience" must be staggeringly limited.
Marc (NY, NY)
Your experience must be very, very limited
Andy (Paris)
Self delusion.
RWF (Verona)
Sorry Ben and the gang no sale. Too many of those liberal types put in the blood, sweat, and tears so that you and other conservative gays can feel sufficiently good about yourselves to hobnob with the very people who kept prior generations of LGBT people under their foot.
Dave T. (The California Desert)
Are these young, gay conservatives blissfully unaware of the power evangelical conservatives-a.k.a. The Religious Blight-have in the GOP? Do they not know how much The Religious Blight hates us? One day, they'll find out.
[email protected] (Joshua Tree)
sounded to me that a lot of the people involved may have switched one kind of religion for another, as one of interviewees almost seemed to realize. perhaps by the time he graduates and goes on to law school he will see that for himself.
Christopher C. (Maine)
@Dave T. Likely when they realize how much social conservatives despise them, they won’t care. I suspect they hate liberals more. I am constantly amazed at the extent to which hatred, aggreivence, and “owning the libs” motivates contemporary “conservative” thought.
Tim (The fashionable Berkshires)
@Dave T. I think we can count on president Pence to drive that point home.
Person (Earth)
Wonder how they will feel when asked to Don the pink triangles so many on the right think was a good idea, along with tattooing gay men and segregate them in HIV-AIDS risk colonies (Jessie Helms, conservative champion and hero, anyone ?). Shame shame shame. And that ain't a dance move, boys and girls.
Steve Acho (Austin)
It's a quandary. How are judgmental evangelical conservatives supposed to ostracize gays for their sexual exploits, when the twice-divorced savior of the party is banging porn stars while the wife is home with a baby? It's all they can do to put fingers in their ears, loudly repeat "La La La" and remember the millions of future saved babies from his Roe-reneging Supreme Court justices. The ends justifies the means, even if Trump (who personally is Pro-Choice) forces them to make nearly daily rationalizations for his boorish behavior. And don't get them started on Mike Pence. It's like someone threw a nuclear gay bomb into the closet and bolted the door shut...
AJ (Midwest)
I cannot fathom why an LGBT American would want anything to do with a party that holds them in contempt. Come over to the dems! We’ll welcome you with open arms.
Roarke (CA)
'if you love upsetting delicate people' Nope. Wasn't raised to be a bully.
Xander Sun (Virginia)
I love that term "Vichy Gays". We liberal gays did indeed get a little bit overconfident and let our guard down hiding behind our Maganot (MAGA -- No!) Line. And now the collaborators are coming out of the woodworks helping to lend an air of "legitimacy" to Orrin J. Nuss, whether they like him or not. He may seem like he's on a winning streak for the moment, but he'll meet his Russian winter soon enough.
Milad (Manchester, NH)
If it weren’t for liberals like Harvey Milk, if it wasn’t for liberals like Gavin Newsom and many many more who advocated for us and who truly ushered in this change. We would still be deep in the closet and marginalized. Reagan’s shameful legacy in regards to the LGBT community and the AIDS epidemic is less than a generation away. These individuals walk on the shoulders of many many liberals who demanded fair treatment for our community, many lost their livelihoods, their families, their fortune and even their lives for us to get this far. I respect these young gay conservatives right to believe in what they want, but as a gay man, I have no respect for them. The GOP is no friend of us, it never was, it will never be. Regardless of how hard these people claim they can create change within. The party of nationalistic hate and blind bigoted religiosity has no room for queer people.
Alexander Austin (Boulder, Colorado)
@Milad thanks for sharing your thoughtful insight
Scott Shumaker (Washington DC)
Ahhh, privilege. Maybe someday they will realize it.
Colbert (New York, NY)
History doen’t exactly repeat itself but often rhymes. I don’t know who said that but these people who hang with those who would rather see them back in the closet chill me to the bone. It was hip to be gay in in Berlin in the late 1920’s and within 15 years, gays were rounded up and sent to gas chambers. With a president, such as we have with dictatorial yearnings, it is something I hope we never find the rhyme for. Never forget!
Aubrey (Alabama)
I am a pretty conservative person and can see that many people including LGBTQ people might like somethings about conservatism. But why become a republican and supporter of The Con Don at this juncture. These seem like such nice thoughtful people. The Con Don stood by and watched the right wing racists and bigots march at Charlottesville and said nothing. The Con Don was elected primarily on the basis of racial/cultural/religious antagonism. Brad in a comment below says that they are like the Jews who supported the Nazis. That is a good description of the situation. I just don't understand it. Maybe they have over intellectualized everything. I wish them the best but it is a puzzle.
GUANNA (New England)
@Aubrey I can totally understand a affinity for libertarian idea, but the modern iteration of the GOP under Trump and the Fundementalist is light years apart from their libertarianism. At best they are a ignored fringe group.
CDN Expat (Western US)
@Aubrey. No puzzle - the are white and identify with the white racism party - GOP’s. If not - what makes them ‘lean or identify’ with them - its never articulated because they would be embarrassed.
Paul (Albany, NY)
Gay Republicans definitely have some type of complex. They seem to harbor self loathing or really out-dated concepts of masculinity.
tom (media pa)
How can you be drawn to a party that hates your lifestyle? SAD!
Larry (Morris County)
@tom — it’s not a lifestyle.
Chris (NYC)
The guys mentioned on this article are still white.
Impolitic (America)
Absurd. Gay conservatives are only able to be out and open because hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian and transgender liberals and radicals risked everything, and continue to risk everything, so that all LGBTQ people can be out and free. What now? They join the enemy so they can gain the respect of people who, deep down, detest them? For what? Beyond stupid. You can bet once the bigots get more power, they'll be more than happy to burn gay people along with all the others who aren't white and straight. Don't fool yourselves. Your conservatism will not protect you. Gay conservatism is an oxymoron. It's another type of internalized homophobia, this time more institutionalized and respectable. Go back to your closets. You're not courageous. You're just riding on the coattails of others who have given their lives and blood to make your freedom possible.
Tim (The fashionable Berkshires)
@Impolitic I couldn't agree more. After a good slap upside the head, they could use a good history lesson.
Welcome Canada (Canada)
Gay and Republican! An oxymoron. They cannot be taken seriously.
rgoldman56 (Houston, TX)
I continue to scratch my head when I read about people who align themselves with political parties whose policies, leaders and ideology work against their interest - poor people in Kentucky dependent on federal subsidies and a redistribution of income across regions and income levels, or soybean farmers in Missouri, who are MAGA fans, along with the gay people interviewed for this article. Personally, as a gay man, it is too hard to reconcile the struggle of gay visibility and equality that has occurred during my lifetime and is still ongoing and any sense of self-respect with the GOP's outright disrespect for gay people's experience, denial of their equality before law and deference to Christian theology and beliefs in matters concerning sexual orientation. No amount of tax reduction is worth keeping such cognitive dissonance and denial mechanisms in place at great psychic cost.
Linda (New Jersey)
@rgoldman56 Sarah Sarah's recent book is enlightening about why people vote against what appears to be their best interests.
Linda (New Jersey)
@Linda That was supposed to read "Sarah Smarsh's" book, not "Sarah Sarah."
Sterling (Brooklyn, NY)
This administration is littoral arguing before the Supreme Court that employers should be able to fire gay employees solely because they’re gay. As gay a man, I see gay Republicans as akin to Jewish Nazis and Black Klansmen.
Larry Leker (Los Angeles)
Honestly, gay Republicans make as much sense as black klansmen and Jewish Nazis. Stockholm Syndrome at it's most pernicious.
Mark (Boston)
Food for thought: the vice-president, who is likely to be the president within a year, views all gays -- liberal or conservative -- as mentally ill and sinning almost beyond redemption. the current pr*sident would/has sacrificed the interests of the LBGTQ to his base at the first and every opportunity. This is not a game.
Lynda (Gulfport, FL)
An enlightening article which showcases viewpoints many of us who live in more diverse communities are unlikely to hear in one of our neighborhood bars. While it is important to remember that attendees at CPAC are the extremes of the extremes, their views as captured in this article are likely to be representative of urban to exurban gays talking to a reporter. For the time being, same sex marriage may be protected, but in many states, employment, housing, freedom of association are still governed by laws, regulations or ordinances that discriminate. The current Supreme court is unlikely to expand protections for LGBTQ communities. The aspect of "white privilege" is overlooked in the author's otherwise well-researched article. The surprising number of gay men who rose to positions of power in the past within the Republican party did so because they were white; their "gayness" was either denied or as some of those interviewed pointed out, their small government, low taxes views were more important to their identities than their sexual orientation. At least that is what everyone agreed to believe.
jerry mickle (washington dc)
@Lynda don't forget that many of these men and I assume some lesbians are total racists. I have been to gay bars in the past where both black and asian men have not been welcome.
James Berger (Boston, MA)
More than one conservative in this article claims to be in favor of the '"Free Market". I don't understand how a conservative who favors the free market can support Trump. Trump's tariffs and trade war hinder the free market. Paying Carrier (through politically motivated tax breaks) to keep SOME of their manufacturing jobs in the US, and bullying companies that move jobs to Mexico are both examples of Big Government trying to control business. That's not free market economics.
John Bergstrom (Boston)
@James Berger: Right. Actually, nowadays any reference to the "free market" mostly signals that for one reason or another, the person doesn't want to have a serious discussion of economics. Probably just as well...
Mark Holmes (Twain Harte, CA)
@James Berger -- there's plenty of fantasy thinking in the idea of 'free markets' which is more about emotion than reason. The first and foremost imperative of major players in markets is to corner them and manipulate them—it's practically written into corporate charters. When done successfully, it moves toward monopoly, the opposite of choice. There's a similar disconnect in support for Trump. It requires simply not seeing something that's right out in the open.
pjc (Cleveland)
"“I think I did it mostly out of spite." That right there is a very significant aspect of what is happening in our country's politics.I have heard this sentiment a lot among younger people especially. But to start to engage this particular strain of spite -- not reactionary, and favoring only a bare handful at best of current GOP planks -- would require liberals and conventional Democrats to honestly examine what they might be doing wrong. I am sure a political party having sacred cows, and assumptions about what is correct thinking that can often pass as a demand -- is nothing new. But that does not mean a party should be satisfied with this situation. And they should not be surprised when some people just flat out leave. Too many sacred cows gets sacred cows starts to reek up a place. Democrats: examine thy selves. Examining the risks of pettiness of identitarian politics would be a good place to start. And remember, scientists often are very informative, but not everyone with a Ph.D after their name makes much sense. Think bigger, I say.
John Bergstrom (Boston)
@pjc: On the other hand, when people are turning away from you mostly out of spite, maybe a quick self-inventory is all that is called for, before you go on about your business and let them go on with their spiteful lives. It's not as if the people discussed in the article represented a groundswell of dis-satisfaction, or as if we were losing our brightest young leaders. All in all, it seems like case of "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on."
pjc (Cleveland)
@John Bergstrom But don't underestimate the appeal of simple spite. This is definitely a first world problem. As far as a groundswell goes, or losing our brightest leaders, I would not be so cocksure. A sound balloon can carry a lot of ballast. And one would hope, barking dogs ultimately opt, I think I'll go with the balloon. That is, naturally, assuming the dogs have not gone feral, which I do not think they have yet. But beware, I say.
gusii (Columbus OH)
@pjc The Republicans should be careful of their identity politics. It has become White Christian Nationalist and those who can "pass."
Steve (Moraga ca)
That the libertarian/conservative perspective has brought gay conservatives to support the GOP and Trump should come as no surprise. It is seductive. However, had these men and women left their advancement out of the shadows to the GOP, they'd still be second-class citizens denied civil rights including marriage. Indeed, they should focus on what being gay in a Pence/Falwell America would be like. Would they vote for Pence for President?
Susan (CT)
@Steve They probably would vote for Pence. Cognitive dissonance is strong in this group.
Pete M. (Atlanta)
If you think support for the current regime is seductive, you’re on the wrong candi-dating app. Swipe right.
Ian (New York)
If you have conservative viewpoints, you are under no obligation to buy wholesale into a party that ultimately thinks your safety and happiness is disposable. After all, what in life could be important than that? Vote Independent if you must. I just don't see how you can put policy agreements ahead of assurances of your human dignity.
Michael c (Brooklyn)
All of us who grow up facing the need to “come out” have to deal with the damage it does, whether large or small, obvious or hidden. The problems aren’t special or specific to the community, but they are intensified. Dealing with yourself when other people hate you leads to some fairly complex personalities. These men embrace and support a world view that only pretends to support them back. It feels to me that the inability to figure that out is probably rooted in growing up “different”, but wanting to be “the same”, and never resolving the issue.
Tom (Gawronski)
@Michael c ... or growing up different and "proud" seeing this as just another way of being proudly different, but with less depth associated with it.
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
- Many of these people who are turned off by the "identity politics" of the Left are reacting in a shallow manner. "Identity politics" (or the old "political correctness") doesn't define the politics of the Left; our policy proposals do. Those memes are just slogans that the Right throws around to demonize us (in the minds of shallow, insecure people); and these people fell for it. It's like they're saying "I don't like that candy bar because it's in an unattractive wrapper." - And isn't "coming out as a proud Conservative" just another form of "identity politics?" - In the ideal abstract, one's "identity" or "immutable characteristics" shouldn't matter. But in the real world, they sometimes do, especially if you live in an unaccepting community. These people may be lucky that they haven't (yet) been targeted by hatred; but they're naive to think that other people are as lucky as they have been. - Many of these people seem to be parading around as Conservatives more for the attention it gets them than for the actual policy positions that Conservatives stand for. - In another article in the NYTimes today, a Conservative farmer said: "I don't care if I'm losing my farm; I support Trump for building the wall." Sorry, but he deserves to lose his farm! The same goes for these people: If you support the party which wants to deny/rescind your rights, then I can't feel sorry for you when it happens. (But perhaps some day you'll appreciate those of us fighting FOR your rights!)
Karl (Melrose, MA)
While there has long been a tradition of homophile High Toryism in the UK, it's rare on the ground in the US because we lack the essential ingredients for a true toryism (one might argue that Gore Vidal was an exception proving the rule), the principle version in the US was of libertarian lesbian and gay folk. That version is deeply rooted, and has its grounding in the feeling the government was never a real friend to lesbian and gay people, exacerbated by terrible groupthink when activists tried to marginalize those who were insufficiently Right-Thinking. Trump, however, is antithetical to both of those versions - he is, however, perfect grist for trolling camp gays, which is about performance not politics.
AllieB (Toronto, Canada)
I would be interested in their views on race. Because what I've found again and again among educated (but not wealthy) Trump supporters, is that their racism overcomes their political and economic self-interest.
Pat (Somewhere)
You can "prioritize other issues" all you want, but understand that the GOP is the party that sometimes uses your very existence to whip up hate and fear. I could never forgive anyone who did that to me.
JustInsideBeltway (Capitalandia)
@Pat To me this was more about being conservative than being Republican -- often two very different things.
Madeline Conant (Midwest)
How nice for them that they can sit openly in a public bar and excoriate identity politics. It hasn't been that many years ago, years during which people risked their lives to advance LGBT rights, that these guys would very likely have been beaten senseless in the alley when they left the bar. How soon we forget.
@Madeline Conant... If these so-called Gay Republicans think that they are in anyway helping the LGBTQ community they are extremely uninformed. And if it wasn't for the politics of the Left these boys would have hung themselves from their bedroom light-fixtures by the time they were 16 years of age.
Tim (The fashionable Berkshires)
@Madeline Conant Thank you, Madeline. How quickly we forget the price that was paid for the rights we enjoy today.
Yogesh (Monterey Park)
One of the problems with the two party system is that if you are a minority or gay and a conservative you can either vote for a party that has antipathy for you as a person but matches your beliefs, or vote for one that embraces you as a person, but doesn't match your beliefs. I understand where these people are coming from. Identity shouldn't be political destiny. But I stopped voting for Republicans a long time ago despite some conservative leanings. I can't support a party that has a significant segment that is hostile to me. The logic of doing so escapes me.
Tom (Gawronski)
@Yogesh The reality is that the differences between the two parties on policy are not that far apart except when it comes to "All being equal under the law." You can have all your policy debates you want, but in the end if you are not allowed the same rights as others, what's the point?
Charlesbalpha (Atlanta)
@Yogesh I agree with the "two-party system" comment. Do I vote for a party who creates fake "voting fraud" crises in order to make it difficult for people to vote? Or for a party which asks the courts to remove an issue from democratic control if they don't have the votes to win it? In practice, I don't do either. I'm an independent voter.
Bill Camarda (Ramsey, NJ)
“some unfortunate policy moves” “still have work to do” “we have a place at the table” “it’s all fake news” “Trump has no personal animus” “the platform is functionally meaningless” It's always good to be reminded of the breathtaking power of denial, since none of us are completely immune from it. Articles like these remind me to step back and contemplate what I too might deny in the face of massive, unrelenting evidence to the contrary.
peter (texas)
Holden is anti-abortion, but does he truly not know that homosexuality is a close second? Holden is openly gay, but does he know that the ideas and ways that were fought against during World War II were only driven back but not defeated? Will his generation continue to uphold the rights earned by so many before him?
D Price (Wayne, NJ)
“Why should I be a Democrat when I disagree with Democrats on most issues?” Sarah Longwell, the 38-year-old chairwoman of the Log Cabin Republicans, asked me. So don't be a Democrat. But why would anyone join a party that stubbornly and with prejudice & animus refuses to deem him/her as a fellow equal deserving the same legal rights and privileges as everyone else?
@D Price... Why? It is known as the internalization of self-loathing.
Annelle McCullough (Syracuse)
@TOBY Again, totally dismissive.
Ecce Homo (Jackson Heights)
As a gay liberal, I can respect a gay conservative who says that other issues, like abortion, tax cuts, deregulation, and so on, are more important to her than gay rights. That's an honest position. But I can't respect a gay conservative who declares that Donald Trump is "good" for gay people. That position is dishonest to the point of delusion.
renee (<br/>)
There is no moral equivalency between the Democratic Party and the GOP. There is plenty to criticize about the far left. If the GOP were as diverse as the left of center, they too would have similar issues like parsing identity politics versus we are all the same. Sorry - but these intelligent sounding gay young men and women are not seeing the moral rot in the Republican Party. And they're in favor of free trade - corporate welfare anyone? Enough.
richard lewis (Denver)
I think there are two groups of gay Republicans - old style log cabin neo-liberals, for whom, cynically speaking, the high spending, usually childless, gay household and low taxes have an elective affinity, and younger, cognitively advantaged gays who are instinctively contrarian (that did use to be a gay thing believe it or not) and are repelled by smug campus politics. In Europe, the 'gay conservative' or 'gay reactionary' has a more illustrious lineage in the form of those gays who see the purpose of their clan as the self-conscious defense of cultural tradition (the inheritance of culture being given to the gays as it were). Oxbridge used to be full of them.
Randy (<br/>)
Interesting piece. I'm a gay man who's still a democrat, but increasingly I'm finding the LGBT community to be an openly hostile place for anyone who doesn't march in lockstep with every progressive proposal, no matter how impractical or insane it is. Visit the comment thread of any of the major gay "news" blogs and you'll find yourself in a sea of leftist propaganda, rabid anger, intolerance and hatred toward anyone who dares to stray 10 degrees from the approved narrative. I hate that the republican party is now the party of Trump, but if they ever return to true conservative values, I would seriously consider abandoning the democrats.
I'm a non-gay person who also gets fed up with the "progressive" thought police, but I'm smart and experienced enough to know that the same-brand-different-flavor thought policing exists among so-called conservatives and the right wing as well, and of a more violent and inhumane nature. The extremes sometimes allow those somewhat more centrist change-makers work together to make substantive and sustainable positive change; but in Trump's and the post 1980-1988 (and especially post 1994) GOP's America, BOTH sides of the extremes are causing more damage and harm than good and they threaten to overwhelm the broad center. We, the United of the States of America, must not let them succeed in overwhelming, overruling, and undermining us and our nation.
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
@Randy If you're not comfortable with the LGBT blogs and the attitudes within the community, does that mean that you have to leave the Democratic party? You can still be a Dem, but simply stop reading the gay blogs or stop being active in some aspects of the gay community. If you support the actual policy positions of the Dem candidates, does it really matter whatever rhetoric and or snarky attitudes some people within the party say? A political party is defined by its platform/policies, not by the rhetorical wrapping. In the end, belonging to a party doesn't have to determine how you vote (although in some states it limits how you can vote in a primary). You can be a Dem and vote for Conservative candidates (or vice versa); no one will ever know. You can vote for a Dem for your Governor and a Rep for you Senator, etc. It's not a question of "abandoning" or "being loyal to" a party. When you vote, you're not voting for whatever the other members of the party say in social situations or write in blogs; you're voting for the policies that the candidate says they're going to promote. Perhaps the GLBT community IS intolerant; but are Dem policies intolerant? I would argue that the policies are inclusive, regardless of the surface rhetoric. Conversely, as you seem to understand, Republicans claim to welcome a "big tent," but their policies don't match their rhetoric. Abandon the Dem *party* if you feel you need to; you can still vote for Dem candidates and policies!
Charlesbalpha (Atlanta)
@Paul-A "It's not a question of "abandoning" or "being loyal to" a party." Why make a decision about a party at all? I would think the best choice in an election would be to vote for the best candidate, or at least for the lesser of two evils. In my opinion, getting too tied to a party blinds you to its flaws.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
People love smaller government until their is a disaster or until they are ill or disabled. The Republican Party cannot call themselves conservative after passing a tax cut that explodes the deficit Gay republicans all seem to have a giant chip on their shoulders like Peter Thiel. They all seem like something is really broken. Not because they are gay but because they seem to lack empathy. If you think making America great must come from turning on your fellow Americans then it is just a matter of time until they turn on you.
John Bergstrom (Boston)
@Deirdre: "until there is a disaster" Or in more every-day contexts, they want a government that runs so smoothly that it's invisible: you walk into the RMV, pick up your license from the courteous person at the desk, and walk out, no lines, no waiting. Or maybe it just shows up in the mail at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, they don't want to pay for the kind of smooth running bureaucracy they feel entitled to. I don't remember ever being taught in school about how a bureaucracy works, and all the advantages they provide. A whole area of history that needs more publicity. Tough to promote, as such, though.
Charlesbalpha (Atlanta)
@John Bergstrom Weird that "bureaucracy" is always associated with government, and not with corporations. I once lost health insurance for a month because some bureaucrat in an insurance company mislaid my application. One business analyst pointed out an article that General Motors has something like 12 degrees of hierarchy. He called it the "machine form of organization". Now that's bureaucracy.
TheUglyTruth (Atlanta)
If you’re gay and curious about whether you are honestly accepted by the GOP, and they’re not just pretending to accept but are only interested in your vote, try running for office as a gay conservative and see how far you get.
jerry mickle (washington dc)
@TheUglyTruth In the mid 90s a prominent member of the Log Cabin Club ran for office in DC. David Catania won the election to the city council. He won because it was a special election to fill a vacant seat so the turn out was low as these elections often are and the gay community turned out heavily. The GOP didn't support him at all. When he ran for a full term he won again and this was for an at-large seat so he had to get votes from all parts of the city. Again no support from the GOP. In 2000 he bundled over $50k for Bush and he kept winning his seat on the council with no help from the GOP. In 2004 the Cabin Club sent a donation to Bush's reelection. A furor arose and they were not recognized and Bush sent the money back. David became an independent quit the Cabin Club and kept winning his seat.
Betsy (Maine)
As a gay person I don't understand how any other gay person can consider being Republican. Nor can I imagine any woman wanting to be a Republican. The Republican party has demonstrated nothing but derision of both. And don't tell me it's for fiscal reasons because Republicans have for years been notoriously poor stewards of the nation's finances.
Second generation (NYS)
@Betsy, they're not at all concerned about being stewards of "the nation's finances." Witness how rapidly the deficit is climbing under tRump and how little the GOP talks about it! And of course, they are utter hypocrites because when Obama as president they never stopped harping about the deficit. No, the "fiscal reasons" have to do with their own pocketbooks--their investments and taxes. They couldn't care less about how unfair the recent top-bracket tax cuts are or how they affect anyone but themselves. BTW, all men including the deluded subject of this article? your opinions about abortions are meaningless. No uterus; no right to opine. Woman's body; woman's choice.
Matthew (New Jersey)
@Betsy Well it boils down to they are likely wealthy and want to pay no taxes or are in thrall of wealth and aspire to pay no taxes. That, and, if you prod a bit, you discover just a tad of racism and, in the case of LGBT, just a tad of self-hatred.
@Betsy... The internalization of homophobic self-loathing is extremely potent and complex. It is why Coming Out has always been such a political priority. I have a friend who is a significantly successful Hollywood Screen Writer and he only recently came out at the age of 6O. He is also a Liberal Democrat whose Mother worked for the ACLU for 3O years. So... go figure. Apparently cowards come in all political persuasions.
Joe B. (Center City)
Chilling with and supporting people and a theology/ ideology that wants you to at best die or at least stop sinning and go to “reparative therapy” to conform your sexuality and remain unmarried and without civil rights protection is really messed up.
Hugh Briss (Climax, VA)
This article suggests that Abraham Lincoln was correct in stating that "You can fool some of the people all of the time ... "
robert hofler (nyc)
The political right is the enemy of LGBT people. Period. In fact, the political right at this moment is the enemy of people. Period.
Nikola Tasev (Bulgaria)
I absolutely agree that the tribalism is on the rise and it is much harder to have a civilized discussion based on talking points instead of name-calling and aggression. Tolerance for the opposing side, for the ones you disagree with, is dangerously low on both sides. However, Republicans have long led the race towards the bottom on polarizing, aggressive behavior. Trump is the latest and greatest divider, high on name-calling and low on valid arguments. Even more, apart from appointing conservative judges, Trump and his Republican enablers have done very little to support the conservative agenda. They have fought free trade, free markets, they have exploded the deficit. Supporting the current Republicans and Trump just shows that many gay conservatives aren't really that conservative. They are just trying to stay close to power or "love upsetting delicate people" and try to be less boring and less mainstream. And then there are the self-hating hypocrites - God fearing gays against gay marriage for Biblical reasons.
Spence (Manhattan)
These are people who are desperate for attention, which is easy to get when you are one of a few. I think their identification with Trump and Republicans is a psychiatric issue, not a political one, and I am waiting for a serious article about that.
Angelus Ravenscroft (Los Angeles )
Clarence Thomas!
Mitchell (Oakland, CA)
@Spence "Desperate for attention"? "A psychiatric issue"? Where have I heard that before? Have we become a mirror-image of our adversaries? Sad!
ATL Life (Atlanta)
I have two next door neighbors who are a married lesbian couple. I would fight for their rights. These gay people who vote republican don’t realize they are supporting people who will openly take their rights away at first chance. That’s not being conservative but just being a imbecilic fool. A true conservative would focus on constitutional freedoms and free expression not support a party that hinders life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I’m off my soapbox now.
Miss Anne Thrope (Utah)
@ATL Life - Hmmm, "true conservative". What an interesting concept. Maybe a second career opportunity for Diogenes?
M. Johnson (Chicago)
How many Trump rallies in the Midwest have these folks attended? They need to take their next vacations in northwest Iowa, Southern Illinois (Little Egypt), Michigan north of Grand Rapids, or eastern Kentucky. Get to know your base. As for vacations, a little more visiting, being abroad at home, would help almost everyone who can afford a vacation.
Jay Vithalani (NYC)
A fine and compelling work of journalism, on a fascinating subject. (And an important one for this gay liberal, who’s defended Log Cabin Republicans and also walked out on a date with a Republican banker, who finds the language used by Sessums and Savage to be repulsive but knows and respects people who sincerely use the same rhetoric.) I hope that Benoit Denizel-Lewis receives praise for his writing and hard work — instead of being pilloried for portraying LGBTQ conservatives as human beings.
kknight (portland)
No male - or woman - has any right to enforce the choices of each woman concerning her body. Do you deal with birth control, unplanned pregnancies, a society that does not grant exceptional education-food-healthcare to the children it requires to be birthed? Rarely, I would guess might be the response. This is not a new fetus-focused issue, but one of life and options for both the mother and the child. Think with kindness. Please. Do not push your values and assumptions on me. Pregnancy is a challenge, but it is my decision, not those who have decided to make decisions for others based on a belief, rather than evidence based logic. PS my son is able to walk through multiple realities with kindness and empathy. "Good job me - and him".
Ryan (Illinois)
For some, it's purely about aesthetics and/or contrarianism. It's cool to be weird, and those who don't think it's cool are the types of people they don't want to associate with anyway. For most, I suspect it's because their white privilege is more important than their own rights and protections. They can afford to stop aligning with the left because the gay rights era has pretty much come and gone. Sure, there are still places in the US where the struggle is far from over, but that doesn't affect them so it doesn't matter to them. I'm a gay man who struggles with the aesthetics of the dems, and more importantly, who can't stomach the two-party system of the US anyway. But I'll still vote blue if it means that the Pences of the world aren't in power.
Aubrey (Alabama)
@Ryan A very thoughtful comment. I agree that there are many things about the Democrats that I don't like; but how could anyone support The Con Don and Pence.
ms (ca)
@Ryan For some, their pocketbook takes precedence over their sexual orientation. But some are probably going to be in for a rude awakening from their party of choice, if not now, then not long after. As the top-voted comments noted, there were Jews who supported the nascent Nazi groups. But their beliefs certainly didn't save them later on.
Charlesbalpha (Atlanta)
@Ryan In what way is their "white privilege" being endangered?
Not the first example of people voting against their own interests, won't be the last. What I find interesting is that young men, gay or straight, are more likely to fall hook line and sinker for dubious ideologies, conspiracy theories, etc. I've known a few who read _one_ Ayn Rand book and became convinced they knew how to fix the world's problems. Some grow out of that mindset when they learn a little first-hand about life and society and how everything actually works or doesn't work; some don't. I hope that the gay men profiled in this article will.
Will. (NYCNYC)
@UA I agree. This is a very common phenomenon. It's generally these younger white guys who are all in for "Bitcoin" or other such nonsense due to world monetary system conspiracy theories dancing through their heads. Most eventually grow out of it all through experience. And then there are those like Paul Ryan who don't.
Will. (NYCNYC)
There are some people who get an ideology in their heads and it overtakes them. They can't let it go. They won't let it ago. Evidence may clearly show that such ideology is not compatible with greater human good and happiness, but that is not persuasive. They have wrapped their identities around it for so long abandoning it undermines their very core. It's that way with religion and with politics.
Miss Anne Thrope (Utah)
@Will. - A long ago Utne Reader article said something like, "Most of us, when presented with facts that run counter to our pre-conceived position, will ignore the facts rather than change out mind." It's human nature.
Shane (<br/>)
I'm of the belief that the more gay conservatives, the better. We need a voice in both parties. The concerns of the LGBT community shouldn't be a partisan issue. So even though I disagree with these kids on, well, almost everything. I'm glad they're fighting the good fight. We'll all thank them for it someday.
curious (Niagara Falls)
@Shane: Whether or not the concerns of the LBGT community should be a partisan issue, the fact of the matter is that they are. These folks share the Republican bed with people who, given half a chance, would happily send them to the gulag. Frankly, the phrase "useful idiots" has never been better applied.
Justin Lippi (San Francisco)
I don't really understand why someone would need to become a conservative / Trump supporter to make a point about the overbearing nature of campus identity politics. There is plenty of space in the democratic party for "liberals"; indeed, they are maligned by the far left.
Brad (San Diego County, California)
I understand their positions. Many of their comments resonant with me. Unfortunately, they remind me of German Jews who supported National Socialism as the alternative to Communism during the dying months of the Wiemar Republic. They are being overly intellectual. They should consider the emotionalism of their political allies in the GOP. Politics is unfortunately too little about carefully reasoned arguments and too much about anger, fear and hatred.
Andre (NYC)
@Brad so tired of this comparison - two different ideas
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
Exactly, appeasement. Just what I think when I see and hear middle aged women that are die-hard GOP. And that's exactly what they're probably going to get : a sad, hard death. Seriously.
dave (usa)
@Brad overly intellectual? i think we have a different definition of intellect.
See also