Homo Meet Tyler Whitney: 18 and Already Outed
posted by June 12 at 10:15 AMon
Tyler Whitney is a young conservative activist—he’s serving as webmaster for the GOP’s most rabidly anti-gay presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, leads an anti-gay group on his college campus, carried a “Go Back in the Closet!” sign at anti-gay protest. On his MySpace page, Whitney says he’s interested in meeting, “any conservative college student in the DC area that is interested in fighting the left.”
And Tyler Whitney is gay, and he’s just been outed.
Well, not so much outed. Whitney had begun quietly coming out to friends—presumably his more tolerant “fight the left” buddies—and Between the Lines, a gay paper in Michigan where Whitney goes to college and works with that rabidly anti-gay student group, got wind of it and decided to hurry Whitney’s coming out process along.
Bay Buchanan, Senior Advisor to Tancredo, says Whitney’s “sexual preference is a personal matter,” and that it should have “nothing to do with the campaign.”
Sorry, Bay, but gay-bashing conservative thugs—people like you, your horrible brother, your vile candidate—can’t have it both ways on the gay issue. If Whitney’s sexual preference is a personal matter, if Whitney’s sexual preference shouldn’t have anything to do with the campaign, then neither should mine—or the sexual preferences of any other Americans. Until your candidate lays off the gay bashing, until the GOP stops attacking the rights and humanity of gay and lesbian Americans, then Tyler Whitney’s sexual orientation—it’s not a preference, Bay, and you know it—is fit for public debate.
Or is sexual orientation only a private matter when a Republican is being sodomized?
Responding to Bay Buchanan, Michelangelo Signorile says…
In other words, if he wants to work against his own kind—for a man who’s railed against gay rights and has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign—we’re happy to have him!
Some folks will question the ethics of outing a messed up 18 year-old. Like lots of young ‘mos from conservative backgrounds, Whitney seems to have compensated for his sexuality by going off the anti-gay deep end. What better way to cover up for your homosexuality than working against the rights of gay people?
But by eighteen you’re old enough to know better—if you’re 18 and gay in America, you’re old enough to know that you don’t have to live a lie. If you’re 18 and gay and not ready or willing to come out, you’re old enough to know that keeping your closeted mouth shut about gay issues is the option that doesn’t make you a flaming hypocrite.
And if you’re 18 and closeted and gay and politically active, as Whitney was, you’re old enough and savvy enough to know that aligning yourself with anti-gay politicians, marching with assholes that carry “Straight Power!” signs at anti-gay rallies, and being best buds with a guy that thinks gays should be imprisoned is as good as painting a bulls eye on your back. You not only risk being outed, you invite it.
Hell, you’ve earned it.
And I say this as someone who… how can I put this? I say this as someone that recently talked someone else out of outing someone in the public eye. A “Savage Love” reader was contemplating outing an innocuous celeb back in April. I advised him against it because, as I wrote to him privately, outing is brutal and it should be reserved for brutes.
Tyler Whitney qualifies.