“Thanks for coming out today…” – Larry Craig addressing a press conference to assure the nation that he was still in the closet
There will be few documentaries this year as openly provocative regarding the peculiarly retarded mental gymnastics required to be both gay and publicly homophobic whilst mired in the American power structure. This denial is both practical and soul-destroying, part of a conspiracy to downplay the existence of gay Americans and cover up homosexuality when present in inconvenient politicians. When someone speaks of conspiracy, it connotes a back room meeting presided over by cigar-smoking movers and shakers. This is not what I had in mind – it is a conspiracy even if it’s only a gentlemen’s agreement widely held amongst heterosexual and closeted bisexuals and homosexuals to keep any hint of gay shit at a very long arm’s length. And so it is in Washington, D.C.,† perhaps the second most fabulous and gay city in America, where gay pages and chiefs of staff prop up the social conservative agenda as they reconcile their ambition with their identity. And so it is with any gay male or female who wishes to acquire power within this sexually confused empire of outwardly homophobic churchgoing bible-fondlers who secretly crave le gateau de boeuf.
Outrage is a tightly constructed and well-made film that examines the culture of closeted gay men in power, the damage they cause to gay rights issues, and the effort to loosen the hinges on the aforementioned closet. The latter issue has generated some controversy, controversy which Mike Rogers (of blogactive.com) has embraced, regarding the outing of gay politicians who have a demonstrable anti-gay rights voting record. This is considered a violation of privacy by many. That right-wing activists push for laws (and most recently a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage) that make normal private life for gay and bisexual impossible is a tad ironic. But then, the maxim “Equal Protection Under the Law” utterly baffles the conservative lawmakers who actually believe this shit.
Notable features include former governor Jim McGreevey, who discusses the enormous relief that has come from admitting his homosexuality after resigning. No longer burdened with leading the double life that erodes the soul, he cannot stress enough just how harmful it is to deny one’s identity and suppress the most basic of human desires – the sex drive. If you think closeted gay men hurt themselves, just imagine how much they can hurt those around them by harnessing that self-loathing to drive public homophobia. This could be either true self-hate or perhaps the desire to deflect curiosity about whether they themselves are cruising leather bars. The lies politicians say in public create a Byzantine patchwork of ‘truth'; the lies they say to themselves are far more bizarre. Of course, the oddest of all these relationships are those of the spouses of closeted gay politicians, caught in public and having to put on a behavioral dog show for the cameras. The sheer fanatacism present in the eyes of Mrs. Larry Craig leapfrogs over creepy into the truly disturbing.
Outrage builds the case of a conspiracy well, including the way the media declines to comment upon sexuality, the words used to avoid suggesting homosexuality, the elaborate dances required of gay politicians to appear hetero enough to win elections. Charlie Crist, widely considered a frontrunner for the 2012 presidential bid, is surrounded by rumors of a gay lifestyle. He described himself as a ‘moderate’ in response to these rumors, prompting Barney Frank to quip, “Sure, just like I marched in last year’s moderate pride parade and went to a moderate bar last night.” He picks up young and attractive women whenever he is in the midst of an election, only to drop them shortly after winning. One such woman divorced him, and declined to answer any questions regarding where Crist keeps his cucumber, but did say “Come back in ten years, and I’ll tell you a story.”
Apart from these politicians being untrue to themselves, closeted gay people in positions of power tend to use that power to deny equal rights to American citizens for no reason other than to keep from being called a fag by their fellow closeted gay social conservatives. Needless to say, most are Republicans, depending upon the support of Christian organizations and other similarly odious twits who demand absolute freedom from government while insisting on invasion of privacy when consistent with their religious beliefs. Their voting record consistently declines HIV research funding, blocks the right for gays to marry, and denies the need for hate crime laws regarding gays. Social Conservatives demand freedom from government and push religion via government, crusade against pornography and prostitution unless one of their own is caught with a hooker, and deplore the ‘gay agenda’ while hiding boyfriends from wives. Essentially, push to outlaw all that makes us human while indulging in secret shame. With their collective head so far up their collective ass, the Klein bottle that is the Social Conservative movement has redefined America as a sexually confused self-loathing frat boy with an itchy trigger finger.
Outrage is not a fair documentary to the other side, those people who feel that gays should live in disgraceful darkness, should never be allowed to adopt or take any part in society, and should burn in hell for all eternity. Is there any way to be fair to people who have this attitude? What would their response be to the filmmakers if they were being interviewed? We have all heard these diatribes before, about how God will deliver swift punishment for tolerating the wicked gay lifestyle (still waiting on that brimstone, by the way) or how homosexuality is a choice and an agenda designed to corrupt the minds of children. These people should kindly get fucked if they don’t already in a back alley far from the eyes of their obedient wives. I suppose Pat Robertson can remember the time when he decided to stop sucking cocks in men’s bathrooms, but I certainly didn’t reach that branch in my decision tree. Gay rights is about the freedom to pursue happiness in its most basic form – being left the fuck alone. For this reason, exposing closeted homophobic gay politicians remains a worthy goal, by preventing these creepy fucks from denying this right to a huge segment of America.
www.blogactive.com – for more information on who in Washington is buggering their pages
www.house.gov/frank/ – because we fucking love Barney Frank