Thursday, May 6, 2010

Anti-gay Family Research Council co-founder in gay tryst

Are Venango County's right-wing leaders listening?

Diane? Jane?

Your turn! Come on out!

from Religious Right Watch:

Yet another religious leader who fought gay rights apparently doesn’t practice what he preaches.

George Alan Rekers, known in conservative circles as a staunch anti-gay activist who champions “curing” homosexuals, solicited a 20-year-old male hooker online from a website called, according to a published report. The Baptist minister then reportedly took his escort for a 10-day romp through Europe last month, according to a published report.

The allegation drew parallels to former Florida Rep. Mark Foley, evangelical pastor Ted Haggard and other leaders who opposed rights but were either pursuing men or having trysts with them.

“He’s a spectacular hypocrite who’s done great harm to our community,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out of Rekers. “He spent his entire career demeaning and demonizing our lives.”

Careful discussion and simple truth-telling about the abominable, twisted reality of the closeted life is lacking in popular discourse. Works like Sedgwick's ground-breaking The Epistomology of the Closet are very seldom read by--and few are even intended for--people outside of academic circles.

Twisted as it is, the closet is exactly where the Religious Right wants to keep incarcerated the humanity of someone who happens to be gay. It's a place--this closet--of self-destruction the consequences of which can have residual effects even on the gay person who escapes it. It is a panopticon of one-way mirrors instead of bars: the captive trapped at the center, policing himself or herself in the reflections, with the guardian watchers all around, each a warden, but each in his or her own cell behind the glass--the entire structure like the combs of a hive, a communally supported, fantasy-based worldview of pseudo-Freudian (and repeatedly discredited) notions of "curing" gay people and "praying away the gay," buttressed by scapegoating and quasi-conspiracy narratives of national (whatever the nation) or cultural (be it East, West, African, Islamic, Christian, or anything else) decline or threat because of homosexuality as they define it, and tiled and painted with the notion of gender confusion (a notion laced with misogyny) and the offensive and ignorant conflation of homosexuality and pedophilia.

As the Jews were dehumanized as a flood of rats in the Nazi film Der ewige Jude ("The Eternal Jew") and depicted in the myth of the blood libel as seeking Christian children to sacrifice--so "the gays," like some sort of monolithic bloc, are supposedly intent on "recruiting" children, and tales of pedophiles' crimes are held up as evidence. Such unreason is a bit like seeing the fire department as the cause of fires because they always seem to be at the scene of them. Pedophilia is pedophilia; it is not homosexuality; but, it is a justly criminalized act of exploitation. The vast majority of human beings--straight or gay or bisexual--simply are not sexually attracted to children, and have impulses to protect them, not use physical, social, or psychological power against them.

The gay person must flee this panopticon if he or she truly aims for a life of integrity and intellectual honesty; and any wardens who would wish to help must also walk away from the insidious structure.

Is it little wonder that the self-loathing of a closeted anti-gay crusader might eventually bring him or her to cravenly self-destructive escapades--ones, ironically, atypical for gay men who are out and thus usually far more emotionally healthy? No, it is not. And yet the hypocricy of a closeted anti-gay crusader when publicly exposed ends up only fueling the fantasy that the Religious Right and many social conservative narratives require: that a single so-called "gay lifestyle" exists, and that it is exploitive, amoral, and destructive; when in fact it is more the evidence of The Closet's consequences that are being witnessed--and they are as briefly compelling as any car crash, but similarly harmful and tragic, too, and ultimately upsetting to any right-minded spectator.

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