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The Outing of ‘Lady G’: Humiliating a Closeted Gay Republican in the Name of LGBT Rights

In Washington, D.C., rumors have long swirled around a certain long-time Republican senator, a perennial bachelor, being not-so-secretly gay. But the long-simmering issue came to a boiling point recently when a concerted effort to “out” the senator, dubbed “Lady G,” went viral. The result was widespread derision and mockery of the senator. And a cadre of left-wing LGBT activists suddenly found themselves doing a complete reversal, arguing that it’s now actually okay to involuntarily “out” someone—expose a closeted person’s sexuality—if one finds their viewpoints to be disagreeable.

The sordid affair began when a male sex worker and gay porn star named Sean Harding publicly accused the senator of contracting his services—allegations that effectively outed the man as gay, to the extent one believes them.

“There is a homophobic republican senator who is no better than Trump who keeps passing legislation that is damaging to the lgbt and minority communities,” Harding wrote in a tweet that quickly went viral, receiving more than 100,000 likes. (I won’t be linking to it, because I don’t see any point in helping him add to the hit count.) “Every sex worker I know has been hired by this man. Wondering if enough of us spoke out if that could get him out of office?… I cannot do this alone. If you’d be willing to stand with me against LG please let me know.”

This prompted another male sex worker to post an article on the open blogging website Medium detailing an alleged encounter he had with “Lady G.” This article not only named the Republican senator, and outed him as gay, but included humiliating and demeaning intimate details about the elderly senator’s body. It was cruel and painful to read. The article has since been taken down, but the details it exposed will live forever on the Internet.

Throughout it all, many LGBT activists cheered on the mob—despite outing being a practice that normally is considered immoral and cruel by most gay people. Some explicitly stated that they were perfectly happy to violate their own principles if that’s what it took to ensure the Republican senator loses reelection. “Outing is a brutal tactic that should be reserved for brutes,” wrote LGBT activist Dan Savage. “Lady G more than qualifies.”

Savage was among a number of community members who tried to claim that they were acting on some well-defined, legalistic moral exception to the normal rules. Gay journalist Yashar Ali opined that “anyone who is in the closet should never be forced to come out or outed,” since it’s “a deeply personal journey and anyone who engages in outing closeted people is cruel beyond description.” But of course, “there is one exception”: public figures who support anti-LGBT policy. They are fair game.” How convenient.

Another widely-circulated tweet called “Lady G” a “traitor” and a “hateful turncoat.” Another read: “[The senator] isn’t a terrible person because he’s gay. He’s a terrible person because he has spent his life legislating against gay rights.” Meanwhile, many ostensibly “progressive” Twitter users circulated crude photoshopped images and memes demeaning the senator on the basis of his sexuality—an adult version of the sort of vicious bullying tactic that gay boys endure from bullies at schools across the United States. Even the mainstream LGBT media—including the Los Angeles Blade and Towleroad—jumped in on the story. Sadly, so did the Washington Post.

If reports are to be believed, the senator was allegedly not just sleeping with men, but soliciting prostitutes. That’s illegal, even if such laws are the subject of debate (especially within LGBT and progressive circles). But the prostitution angle didn’t feature prominently in the online hate campaign. The senator’s enemies don’t really care about the sex work. What they care about is the thoughtcrime committed by a gay politician who disagrees with progressive views and supports Donald Trump.

Let’s cut through the idea that these sexual doxers are doing angels’ work because they happened to be targeting a conservative. Political disagreement doesn’t justify this sort of cruelty. Ever. We are all human, and are morally obligated to treat others with a basic degree of dignity and respect—yes, even if you feel that a person hasn’t afforded you the same. Progressive LGBT activists who abandon their values so they can go all in on a digital hatefest are no better than the bigots they purport to oppose.

Still, it’s worth considering: Is the senator in question really a vicious “anti-LGBTQ” bigot who deserves to be taken down by any means necessary? Well, sure, “Lady G” has opposed gay marriage. And he voted against gay integration in the military during his many years in the Senate. But so did the current Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden—you know, the same guy most of these hashtaggers now openly endorse. The idea that this Republican senator has gone out of his way to vilify the LGBTQ community is unsubstantiated. He’s pretty much toed the Republican party line over the years. Yes, it happens to be a party line that’s out of step with most Americans on social issues. But if you don’t like it, vote it down at the polls. Don’t humiliate a man for his sexuality.

But even if “Lady G” had made opposition to LGBT rights the central theme of his political career, that still wouldn’t validate the cruel treatment that’s been meted out to him. People of good faith can disagree over issues such as gay marriage without necessarily being hateful bigots. Barack Obama opposed gay marriage as recently as 2011. Was he, too, the devil incarnate?

And here’s a larger question: Who gets to decide which politicians are “anti-LGBT” and which aren’t? The most powerful activist group within the US LGBT activist establishment, the Human Rights Campaign, has declared Donald Trump—the first president to enter office supportive of gay marriage—to be the “worst president on LGBTQ issues ever.” The group also regularly stakes out positions on many issues that many ordinary LGBT Americans find extreme.

That includes me. I support gay marriage, equality under the law, and advocate for LGBT inclusion and tolerance in the conservative movement as a right-of-center journalist. However, I don’t support the medical transitioning of young gender-confused children, or accept academic doctrines that postulate an infinite number of genders. Within Washington LGBT activist circles, this marks me as a mini-“Lady G.” My views even got me chased out of a gay men’s soccer league. I can only imagine what these trolls would do if someone offered them incriminating dirt on me. Just as they were quick to create a loophole that allowed them to out a senator they didn’t like, I’m sure they would have no problem creating a similar exception for me—or, indeed, for any LGBT person whose views they dislike.

More and more, you can always tell who the most puritanical social-justice advocates are. Gay or straight, they’re the ones doing logical backflips to justify viciousness and cruelty in the name of diversity and tolerance.

 

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is an American political journalist and an opinion columnist at the Washington Examiner, a conservative political magazine based in Washington, D.C.

Comments

  1. “Outing is a brutal tactic that should be reserved for brutes,” wrote LGBT activist Dan Savage. “Lady G more than qualifies.”

    That’s a quote for the ages. Nicely parallels this one;

    Pas de liberté pour les ennemis de la liberté.
    Louis Antoine de Saint-Just

    I think we can all agree that we must brutalize these brutal brutes, lest we ourselves become brutally brutalized.

  2. I do not treat the word “gay” as a synonym of homosexual. There are homosexuals, and there are gays. It is a question of ideology, and politics.

    Likewise, BLM is not a synonym for black people.

  3. What do you wanna bet the people doing this to the senator would tell you that ‘hate’ is a real problem in our society and mostly comes from the right

    For the record, many of us righties revile this senator’s crappy positions on war, trade, immigration and so much more. He embodies the awful Bush-era cuck wing of the Republican party; he’s ‘the Swamp’ incarnate. But I doubt you’ll see a pile on from the ‘hateful’ anti-gay right wing. Just disgusting…

  4. When we’re done checking our privilege (relax, I’m just kidding) we should check our impulse for cruelty as well before opening our laptops. All this gleeful, career-destroying mayhem happens on-line where you are spared the sight of another human being suffering.
    The always excellent Coleman Hughes was asked in an interview how much push-back he got for his views. He replied that face-to-face discussions with critics were usually polite and constructive, while the hate only came pouring in through social media.

    It is disturbing to see this callousness towards another gay man coming from the gay community who have always struck me as more forgiving and sensitive towards the plight of others.

    VV

  5. That was always a mirage. What was once cruelty reserved for and displayed within the confines of the community-only spaces is now spilling out. That’s all.

  6. Really ? It’s not my scene but I thought they were proverbial for bitchiness and infighting in their cliques.
    I remember watching “Paris is Burning” (1990 Jennie Livingston) and trying to work out what these gay and trans “Houses” like The House of Xtravaganza and The House of LaBijia were all about.
    Some character described them as gay street gangs. Which I thought was fair enough, so I thought I knew how they would organize themselves.
    The Italian Mafia, the Chinese Triads, Hell’s Angels, the Masonic Lodges, the Rotary Club, Parish Councils, all pretty much organize themselves along the same lines.
    You have a collective hierarchical command structure, with special roles and areas of responsibility, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant at arms, Dragon head, Master of incense etc.
    Then you have a bunch of rituals to encourage collective solidarity, the ringing of the bell, recitation of the sacred oath, drawing blood and burning the picture of a Saint and so on.
    All classic stuff.
    Apart from their parties and balls, these gay and trans “Houses” didn’t seem to have any of that. They were constantly engaged in petty squabbles, subtly insulting and belittling each other, which they called “throwing shade”.
    It took me a while to work out what was going on.
    Not only were they following a female style of status competition through character assassination, they were also in a constant intra-group competition for the most desirable sexual partners.
    That’s why they couldn’t get any real work done.
    if you tried any of that nonsense in the Sun Yee On New Righteousness and Peace Guild and the Dragon Head found out about it, he would tell Straw Sandal to get Red Pole to bury you in a landfill.
    It’s worth noting that they never did find out who killed Venus Xtravaganza and (unless I am very much mistaken) her murderer went unpunished.

  7. What you want to believe about Trump doesn’t change reality.

    The Left is upset that Trump has undercut their talking points by not being the bigot that they need him to be. That is why they particularly harp on the idea that gay and transgender are inseparable, even though a gay person actually cares about the plumbing of the person he’s having sex with as much as a straight person.

  8. Please back up your claims with actual evidence.

  9. Trump appointed Ric Grenell to multiple high positions.

    But if by “LGBT community” you mean the confused pronoun-spewing commies on Twitter, god I hope he’s not a friend to them.

  10. Outing people is particularly egregious, though. It’s one of those things like doxxing – there should just be zero tolerance for it.

  11. I just spoke with a friend who believes that outing is despicable, and that laws criminalizing prostitution are “stupid and wrong”. This same friend is also giddy that LG was outed, and said he thinks LG should be charged for soliciting prostitution on the basis of credible accusations.

    Do you think prostitution should be illegal? If not, do you think LG should be charged under those laws?

    There is room here to oppose the law and also want people to be charged under that law whilst it remains on the books. I’m curious about your nuanced position in this case.

  12. @Ella-b

    There is nothing consistent about the concept of “nuance”.

    Nuance for Democrats and nuance for Republicans is always different.

  13. Absolutely not.

    I would hold the mail man to the same moral standard.

  14. The notion that different people should be held to different standards is kinda important to left-wing people.

  15. I guess it’s a not-so-serious comment on just how obscenely shitty it is for somebody you’re engaged in a consensual illegal act with, to rat you out to the press. Surely there has to exist an expectation that prostitutes have something like a doctor-patient privacy relationship… out of curiosity, where sex work is legal, do prostitutes have a responsibility to maintain the anonymity of their clients? Or can they blackmail with impunity?

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