I'm not sure how much national play this story is getting. However, locally, it struck like a bombshell yesterday when the Spokane paper outed Spokane's mayor. The spokesperson for the gay/lesbian community when interviewed did not say what I wanted her to say, which was, "what has he ever done for us, besides vilify and marginalize us? Don't expect us to defend him."
Indeed, even when interviewed for the Spokesman Review Mayor West said "I wouldn't call me gay." Shades of Roy Cohn, the HUAC counsel who considered himself a straight man who just happened to prefer sex with men. It is a vicious, self defeating and hideous way to live. And it's the way conservatives prefer it. They believe, as Dick Cheney demonstrated during the last election, that allowing gays to exist as long as they don't talk about it, is compassionate.
This is the truth that straight people have to realize: although homophobia from straights is unfortunate and shortsighted, it rarely rises to the level of violence or rabid vilification. That is almost exclusively the provence of closeted homosexuals. This is why some in the gay community think it's best to force closeted homosexuals out of the closet--when they are working to limit gay people's civil rights. We don't care about doctors, lawyers, college professors, computer programmers, laundry workers, bricklayers or candlestick makers. But we do care about politicians who live double lives of hypocrisy and work against the well being of the gay community and are directly motivated to do so because of their own sick self-disgust.