Author: Brad Polumbo

Trailblazing Pete Buttigieg Revealed the Extent of ‘Progressive’ Homophobia

On Sunday evening, Pete Buttigieg announced that he was ending his campaign to become the Democratic nominee for the U.S. presidency. The former South Bend, Indiana mayor made history as the country’s first openly gay politician to become a legitimate presidential contender. In the Iowa caucuses last month, he bested every other candidate, and came a close second to frontrunner Bernie Sanders in the subsequent New Hampshire primary. As a gay conservative journalist covering the 2020 campaign from Washington, D.C., I’ve followed Buttigieg’s campaign with special interest. Over my lifetime, I’ve certainly seen my share of traditional right-wing homophobia. And so I never imagined that when a gay man finally had a legitimate shot at becoming president, the loudest attacks on his identity would come not from the Right, but from the Left. While Buttigieg’s politics, qualifications, record and platform all were open to good-faith criticism, many of the “woke” progressive journalists and activists who opposed his candidacy went beyond this, and resorted to personal attacks that blurred into outright bigotry. Yes, there were some …

#Red-Carded: How I Got Pushed Out of an LGBT Soccer League for Gender WrongThink

The high-school years can be a painful time. But for me, the normal adolescent angst was exacerbated by a slow-motion mental struggle over the fact that I was attracted only to other boys. I came of age in the early 2010s, when the shame and stigma attached to homosexuality had started to fade in the United States. Barack Obama was president, the Supreme Court had ruled to legalize same-sex marriage, and gay rights were ascendant across the commanding heights of Western culture. Yet my high school, situated in a largely rural Massachusetts exurb, hadn’t yet caught up. There were few gay students and staff. And my knowledge of gay life emerged from media stereotypes, like the effeminate, high-voiced Kurt on Glee. I never saw myself in that archetype, and so my journey to self-discovery was complicated and protracted. No, I never worried that I’d get beaten up by jocks and stuffed in a locker. At 6’4” and 200 lbs, I was a jock. But I truly believed my soccer and basketball teammates wouldn’t look at …

It’s Time for ‘LGB’ and ‘T’ to Go Their Separate Ways

The growing rift between increasingly radicalized transgender-rights activists and the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) communities has finally come out into the open. This week, Europe’s biggest LGBT-rights organization, the London-based Stonewall charity, was publicly accused of subordinating LGB rights to the group’s increasingly single-minded goal of replacing sex with gender as a marker of identity. As Helen Joyce recently wrote in Standpoint, “Stonewall went all in for gender self-ID. Its online glossary now describes biological sex as ‘assigned at birth’ (presumably by a midwife with a Hogwarts-style Sorting Hat). ‘Gay’ and ‘lesbian’ now mean same-gender, not same-sex, attraction. ‘Transphobia’ is the ‘fear or dislike of someone based on the fact that they are trans, including the denial/refusal to accept their gender identity.’ At a stroke, anyone who declares themselves exclusively attracted to people of the same sex has become a bigot.” As a gay man who lives in the United States, I have no direct stake in Britain’s intra-LGBT politics. (“LGB/T” might now be a more apt term.) But I am surprised that it …

Trump, Partisan Politics and Gay Rights

On February 19, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced a new international gay-rights campaign, which will focus on fighting laws in 72 countries that still treat same-sex relationships as criminal acts. “Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it’s likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights,” reported NBC News. Most of the targeted countries are in the Middle East and Africa. But it is widely suspected that the policy was formulated with one specific country in mind: Iran, a long-time U.S. adversary that ranks as one of the worst gay rights abusers in the world. Indeed, Iran is one of only four countries where the death penalty for homosexuality is codified under Sharia and implemented on a countrywide basis (the other three being Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen). This is not simply a case of archaic old laws that the Iranian …

The Politically Homeless Life of a Gay Conservative 

I knew I was gay when I was eight years old, at least subconsciously. That was the first time I had that feeling, the one deep in my chest that took me decades to understand, for a boy named Ben at summer camp, and his deep blue eyes. I didn’t know that I was a political conservative for many more years, until I came of age in an era of political correctness and resurgent socialism, developments that pushed me away from modern liberalism. When I realized I was both gay and conservative—that’s when I knew that I was a sort of living contradiction, at least insofar as how much of the world would see me. The modern conservative movement still isn’t an entirely welcoming home for gay men. That much is widely known. But the true disgrace is that the progressive movement, to which most gays reflexively adhere, is too deeply ensconced in identity politics to reliably champion real progressive values. They see gay people like me who cross party lines not as independent thinkers …