The self-pitying over-dramatization was pathetic. Two decades of significant financial support to gay-rights causes—certainly more substantial than what many of his online antagonists, whose notion of activism entails calling people names on social media, have ever done—“nullified” because he broke bread with a senator whose view on gay marriage is essentially the same as the one expressed by Barack Obama a mere three years ago?
The pile-on resembles high school peer-pressure tactics, ironic considering the hell that many gay men—and it’s been mostly men going after Riesner and Weiderpass—endure through their adolescent years. But it also, sadly, makes sense. Most gay men, from a young age up through early adulthood if not beyond, endure a degree of trauma that straight people can never truly understand. They are made to feel worthless and are often bullied by their peers; some are kicked out of their homes and disowned by those who are supposed to love them unconditionally.
When I watch the overheated and frankly fanatical response to two gay men who simply invited an anti-gay politician and his wife into their home not to raise money for him but to understand him better and perhaps even make a positive impression that might influence his views, I can’t help but think that the vituperation is a form of psychological projection. Bullied and taunted in high school, they’re taking out their legitimate frustrations with an unfair, homophobic world on anyone remotely seen as upholding it: in this case, two fabulously wealthy gay guys who invited Ted Cruz into their house and didn’t poison the fondue.
Join the conversation as a VIP Member