In December 2018, The Federalist, a conservative news source, published an opinion blog by cisgender, white gay man Chad Felix Greene titled, “The Stigma Against My Conservative Politics Is Worse Than The Stigma Of Being Gay.”
Normally, I ignore The Federalist, given that they have the tendency to fart out jaw-droppingly false equivalencies every day of the week, like advocating for Roy Moore, or their use of a “black crime” tag, but I’ve grown tired of white, cis gay conservatives using their sexuality as a way to defend their abhorrent views.
This has become more common as queer people gain slightly more widespread acceptance in the world. Out queer people are being given more opportunities that they wouldn’t have had before, especially in business and politics, giving them the ability to create change in the system that has been used for centuries to oppress them. But with that comes wealthy, white and conservative gay men that have been given the ability to use their sexuality as a tool to uphold the anti-feminist, wealth-favoring, white supremacist status quo, and they need to cut it out.
In the utopian society that Greene seems to envision, people care more about political policies and laws that deeply impact the world and the people in it, rather than screaming discourse over two men kissing.
“Just as I did not choose to be gay, I did not choose to be conservative. My political evolution happened over time as I came to realize that I valued truth and reason over narrative and emotion. I became an outspoken voice on the right because I felt I had no other choice than to speak up and shout the truth, despite overwhelming pressure from the media,” Greene wrote in his article.
Conservative politics should have more of a stigma than being queer. They’re hateful and bigoted. Ignoring the obvious irony of a conservative white man using a prominent platform to complain about his political marginalization in a country where the majority of the government is conservative is insufferable. He’s perverting the very valid idea of “I shouldn’t have to justify my love to the world” and twisting it into “I don’t like when people disagree with me.”
I get that radical conservatives as a whole are acting out of self-interest. Where I get heated, though, (and when they get dangerous) is when we give radical conservatives a platform and the authority to tell us who we should and shouldn’t care about. They love to imply that because they’ve been discriminated against, they have authority on deciding whether or not we should care about trans people/poor people/women/immigrants/people of color. If too many people believe their false narratives, the revolutionary ideals that the queer liberation movement was founded on will quickly fade away, and we’ll all be worse off for it. It’s naive to think these people would ever stop talking, but instead of giving them a platform to share their bigoted ideology, the least we can do is stop listening.