Saturday, September 08, 2007

What You Find In All The Wrong Places Isn't Love. Posted by olvlzl.

Larry Craig being busted as a hypocritical gay-basher who has sex with men had a bit of justice to it. It's been no secret among gay men with an interest in politics that he's been just another of a long line of conservatives who voted and talked against gay men while using gay men for sex. Roy Cohn, was hardly the first, though he should stand as the poster boy of conservative gay hypocrisy. Craig's making such an ass of himself by trying to use his Senate credentials to get out of it was only the icing on his public display of self-entitlement, nothing that is rare among conservatives. Look at Strom Thurmond and imagine what his being outed for “race mixing” sixty years earlier might have meant for civil rights, or at least the damage it might have done to the pretense of the "principled" opposition to civil rights.

But, as a gay man, I've got to tell you something even more basic and, I'm sure, controversial. Those who object to his being busted for playing footsie with an undercover cop in an airport toilet, while I understand your point, I can't fully agree. A public toilet is not a wooded area affording privacy or even just a meeting place from which men who are looking for sexual partners will go elsewhere. It's a public sanitary facility which is for the purpose of disposing of body wastes. It is in no sense private. People shouldn't have sex in a place like that, due to the fact that other people have to use it and due to the fact that it shows a complete lack of respect for their intended sexual, no, I can't call them partners in this case, targets and for themselves. I've got more respect for gay people than to think a public toilet is an appropriate place to have sex with them. I've got more respect for gay sex than that. Having sex in a public toilet is a sign of internalized oppression, a sign of accepting continued discrimination and self loathing. It’s also, notably, dangerous.

The fact that it is Larry Craig, a man who has done so much to damage the lives of gay men and Lesbians, who sought quickie, anonymous sex in a public toilet should lead people to think about whether it's a matter of rights or a sign of continued oppression that men continue to conduct the most intimate encounters in what I'll be frank enough to call such degraded circumstances. Don’t we deserve better than to have tea room sex stand in for the public concept of our most intimate lives?