I live in Los Angeles, where in West Hollywood there is an annual gay pride parade that has been going on since 1970. Gay celebrities are completely out—with no discernible negative effect on their careers.
On a Caribbean Cruise last year, I encountered attendees of Chumley’s Bear Cruise. In case you’re not familiar (I wasn’t until the cruise), in the gay world, a “bear” is an overweight or just plain large bearded gay man. This was not an exclusively gay cruise. I asked one of the bears and he said there were about 600 attendees on a ship that held 2400 passengers. He also told me this was deliberate. In his words, gays are “mainstreaming now, and we all have to share the world so we might as well all get used to each other.”
Even saying that, this man did not seem to be militant at all. In fact, he was as nice as could be, offering to take pictures for me, congratulating my fiancé and me on our engagement. He seemed perfectly comfortable telling me about his relationship.
Throughout most of the ship, the bears were circumspect about public displays of affection—except at poolside at the aft end (yes, really—the aft end) of the ship. There in a pool meant to hold no more than 20 people were about 60 bears. The deck was just as crowded. There were open displays of affection bordering on the pornographic. It was startling to say the least. And it made me wonder:
Are there any gays still in the closet?
If there are, it sure isn’t the prevailing culture keeping them there. As we have seen, there has been an astonishing cultural shift in less than ten years. All of the usual suspects have contributed to this. Hollywood creates likeable gay characters in shows such as Modern Family. The media is happy to frame the argument in the terms the Left prefers, such as gay “rights.” The entire zeitgeist screams: “How dare you oppose gay marriage! If you do, you’re a bigot! A homophobe! And nobody needs to even listen to your point of view because you’re thoroughly discredited.”
A whole set of assumptions are made about conservatives by liberals. They assume we have bad intent because they can’t bear to think anybody else is as noble as they think they are. They call us hypocrites because to them, advocating public policy that encourages traditional values is “shoving our values down their throats.” Knowing this, many of us feel defensive before we even talk to a liberal. Very few liberals are curious about what we really think and why.
Given all that, is it any wonder that I didn’t feel comfortable telling any of the bears on my cruise that I’m a conservative. I didn’t suggest that we’re “mainstreaming” now and have to “share the world.”
I live in Cloud-Cuckoo California, where every 20th car has an Obama-Biden sticker, where my Romney signs were stolen three times, where people use the word “enlightened” to describe leftist thinking, where in some quarters, you will pay a professional price if you let it be known that you’re conservative. Some are forgiving enough if they think you’re only a fiscal conservative, but if you’re also a social conservative—horrors! I myself subscribe to the theory that it makes no sense to be a fiscal conservative without being a social conservative. If traditional American values such as industriousness, entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, and the like break down, if the American family breaks down—you won’t be able to print enough money in a billion years to pay for the resulting societal mess. We’re already seeing this.
So I’m a conservative through and through, but at work, I’m in the closet about my social conservatism. My co-workers seem mostly mildly amused by my voter registration—as if they’ve encountered a simple-minded space alien. If they only knew!
My professional code of ethics includes the following:
“The [professional] must not discriminate against clients or professionals based upon race, religion, age, sex, handicaps, national ancestry, sexual orientation or economic condition.”
One of the leftists on my professional organization’s ethics committee could easily decide I’m in violation of that tenet just by the statements I’ve made in this article. The leftist view is that if you oppose gay “marriage,” you are guilty of discrimination. If you oppose government funding of “programs” to help the “marginalized populations,” you must be a racist or just misinformed—but don’t worry, they’ll “correct” your thinking at an 8-hour cultural competence course.
(I’m not worried that this article will “out” me since it’s a safe bet that none of my co-workers or my profession’s credentialing politburo visit the Politichicks site.)
Besides, our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. I guess I can take a calculated risk with my livelihood.
Other conservatives cannot. One of our Politichicks writes under a pseudonym. Another closeted conservative I know fears the repercussions of the union she must belong to in order to get work in her field.
So what do we do? Some of us need to come out, especially if you have a position of influence. We need more like David Mamet, more like Ted Nugent, more like Jon Voight, more like Chuck Norris. We need to take the fight to leftists on the ground they think they’ve already won: Primetime TV, the classroom, popular culture, and everywhere else.
Come out, come out, wherever you are!
Written by Cynthia Toordeman