Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Larry Craig: Is he gay, bisexual or a straight man who has sex with men (SMSM)?

If you have not heard by now Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom.

An associated press writer Todd Dvorak writer writes this:

Craig, 62, has faced rumors about his sexuality since the 1980s, but allegations that he had engaged in gay sex have never been substantiated. He has denied the assertions.

Why does the act of men having sex with men have to be labeled immediately as gay sex?

Gay is an identity not a behavior. To be a gay man describes a sexual orientation characterized by lasting aesthetic attraction, romantic love, or sexual attraction exclusively for others of the same sex or gender. To be gay man means that his thoughts, fantasies and behavior are in aligned. It is an identity based on affectional, emotional, spiritual, psychological and sexual feelings exclusively or mostly to men. Men who have sex with men in public places are not all gay or even bisexual.

Straight people do not want to believe that men can seek and have sex with other men unless he is gay or bisexual. They immediately dismiss all the reasons that are not about homosexuality because to believe otherwise means that any man is "at risk" for having sex with other men. This is intolerable in the homophobic times in which we live to most non-gay people.

But why are gays so quick to label Craig as gay? Perhaps Andrew Sullivan understands best when he writes:

Craig seems to have made a habit of voting against laws that would secure the rights of gay men and lesbians. In addition to supporting the Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, he voted against a bill that would have banned job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, against expanding the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation, and was rated zero by the Human Rights Campaign in each of the last three Congresses (1, 2, 3; all pdf.) I truly can't imagine what it would be like -- how little self-respect a person would have to have -- to amass that sort of voting record while cruising for gay sex in airport restrooms.

We want to believe that only a self-loathing closeted homosexual would do this sort of thing. This would help make sense as to why someone would vote against gays and be so prejudice.

And this might be true.

But it also might be true that Craig struggles with sexual compulsions, desires and interest in men that have nothing to do with a closeted gay identity. He may be fighting with concerns that he is gay and does not want to be. He might believe the popular press that if he is sexual with men he is gay when he knows he is not.

Perhaps if there was room for men to explore their homosexual interests and desires without having to label it, there would be little to no public restroom sex and few to no people fighting with themselves about sex sex behavior and a gay sexual identity

There needs to be room for other opinions than simply he is gay!


Steve Boese said...

Maybe you've already noticed, but Queerty has a pretty good article today.

Anonymous said...