Because sexual orientation is NOT private

by CynthiaYockey on April 24, 2009

That nice Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air, whom I have met and think is a very sensible man on the whole, has some thoughts about a documentary called Outrage that purports to out closeted gay Republicans, which was brought to his attention by the perpetually outraged Rick Moran, who spotted a post about it at Towleroad, a blog for gay men (which is so unreadable due to its chic grey-type-on-black-background that it constitutes a very minor threat to the republic — although suddenly I’m very curious about what brought Moran there).

I gather both Ed and Rick think the purpose of the documentary is to shame the individuals profiled in particular and embarrass Republicans and conservatives in general.

Well, yes and no.

I think it’s really a healthy declaration on the part of the lesbian and gay community that there are some vipers we will no longer shelter in our bosom. What with them being poisonous, and all.

This is really pissing off the vipers and their claques and dupes. They are slithering all over everywhere looking for pits to hiss in.

Closeted gays and lesbians generally truly are dangerous vipers to open gays and lesbians wherever we encounter them. When my late life partner of over 20  years, Margaret Ardussi, was dying, two of the three medical professionals who were vicious to us were women who tripped my gaydar. One was as conspicuously a dyke as it is possible to be without wearing explicit slogans. I think they were cruel as part of their “Being mean to this couple proves I’m not a lesbian” act. (The third was a nurse who was just a garden-variety narcissist who felt the need to shame and put down everyone in eyesight. I got someone else assigned in her place.) In contrast, straight people were very respectful of our relationship once they knew we were a couple and quite obviously touched by our devotion to one another.

Oh, and just so you know, the more anti-gay you are, the more certain most homosexuals become that you are putting on an act to keep the world from finding out that you are gay. This certainty is based on the extraordinarily high correlation we have observed between anti-gay behavior and getting caught in, well, gay behavior.

The example that looms largest in my mind is former Congressman Robert Bauman, a Republican, whose defeat I covered on election night from the party for Democrat Roy Dyson. Well, I was a reporter for the Harford Democrat, and Bauman had been caught soliciting sex from a teenage boy during the campaign, so it only stands to reason I was assigned to be at Dyson’s party rather than the one for the incumbent, Bauman. As a member of Congress, Bauman was vehemently anti-gay as part of his cover by day, but cruised Capitol Hill gay bars at night — which Bauman described in detail later in his autobiography. The anti-outing ethic of the time allowed him to get away with this.

The demise of this ethic is about halting outrageous exploitation and abuse of the lesbian and gay community.

The fact that people gays don’t like are humiliated by this is icing on the cake.

Also, there’s a point Ed and Rick raise that I would like to clear up. I think there is a longstanding misunderstanding about what gays and lesbians mean by, “My sexual orientation is my private business.”

We mean, “You don’t get a vote on whether or not I’m gay.”

We do NOT mean, “We have vowed silence about every aspect of our sex lives and will do our utmost to conceal from you that we are homosexual.”

We have NOT vowed silence or concealment because sexual orientation is NOT private.

Heterosexuals are shoving their sex lives in our faces every minute of every day. Every sentence with any of the following words is an announcement about your sex lives: “My girlfriend/fiancee/wife, my boyfriend/fiance/husband, my daughter/son/child/children, my date, my engagement, my wedding, my marriage, my blah blah blah blah.” Your engagement and wedding rings announce your sex lives. “Mrs.” in front of a woman’s name announces her sex life. You never EVER shut up about your sex lives.

Yet somehow, when YOU do it, you don’t think it’s sexual. When WE do it, it is. What’s up with THAT?

There’s another aspect to the belief that homosexuals alone are supposed to hide every possible detail of our lives that would reveal our sexual orientation. When you have to hide that much of who you are, it is enormously alienating to other people. That’s because one of the easiest ways to connect to another person is to ask them about the people they love — if they are dating, engaged or married, and/or have children. Lesbians and gays who are hiding their sexual orientation are forced to fend off these efforts at connection, or to poison the connection by lying. That’s just wrong.

Whether or not they are aware of doing this, most people have their antennae up all the time sensing everything they can about the people around them, including their sexual orientation. This is another way that sexual orientation is never private. Being forced to conceal every aspect of such a fundamental part of your being, which people figure out anyway, is horribly destructive and painful. That so many lesbians and gays still feel they must do this is what is an outrage.


I do think Outrage should have outed Democrats, too, in addition to former New York mayor Ed Koch. For example, in the early 1980’s when I was a reporter, another Maryland member of Congress was in a scandal after returning from some feminist conference or other with a woman from Australia who drove a number of her staff members to resign. I definitely thought then that she was a lesbian, as did the politicians I spoke with at the time, all Democrats. I think anyone in the state who hadn’t figured it out before did then. So in 1986 when Linda Chavez ran against her for Senate and tried accusing her of being a lesbian, due to this woman’s popularity, the nearly universal response Chavez got was, “Shut up! We already know and we’re fine with it! Now go away!” That woman is Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D, Maryland). More details are here and here. Mikulski is the poster politician for the benefits of outing the closeted.

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CGHill April 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Good old Bob Bauman. Didn’t he try to blame that, um, incident on alcoholism or something?

Cynthia Yockey April 25, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Chaz (CGHill),

Yes, I think alcoholism was his opening gambit — very Boys in the Band, if you saw that movie. He flirted with me less than a year after his defeat at a seafood festival in Havre de Grace attended by local Democratic bigshots and Maryland’s Democratic governor, Harry Hughes. He’s about 5’3″ and has eyes that are a startling aqua blue. I was still a reporter then, and in my 20’s and very pretty, but of those three facts I think his angle was my being a reporter.

Bauman goes into a fair amount of detail about his dual life in his autobiography. As I recall, he was beaten up a number of times by men he picked up and his wife or one of their four children found his gay male porn stash at least once. He was able to explain all of this away, somehow, until his arrest. I wonder if Ted Haggard is studying Bauman’s autobiography for tips.


Steve Poling April 25, 2009 at 11:24 am

I once had a government job and a big part of the vetting process was answering questions about sex, drugs and marital fidelity. The reason wasn’t that the federales gave a hoot about who I slept with as much as they wanted me to be immune to blackmail. The word from the inside was that Alan Turing committed suicide because the Soviets used his homosexuality to turn him. I’ve always lived my life so that there’s nothing in my personal life that anybody can blackmail me with.

I dislike the idea of closeted gays in Congress not because they are closeted, or because they are gay, but because these people are security risks. Nobody in a position of authority should be vulnerable to coercion by any reason. Rumor has it that British Intelligence used blackmail to coerce pro-war votes from isolationist Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg prior to US entry into WW2. If another Senator, say, one convicted of tap-dancing in a public washroom, can be blackmailed, then he should resign.

This concern isn’t just about closeted gays. Any skeletons in the closet, youthful indiscretions or ill-gotten gains should be disclosed and aired out, so as to immunize oneself against blackmail.

Cynthia Yockey April 25, 2009 at 3:01 pm


Yes, you are right about the blackmail issue.

Funny you should mention Alan Turing — who coined the term “irreducible complexity,” which was subsequently stolen, and is currently being mis-used, by the faux-scientist/true believer Michael Behe. I see from an online reference a hint of the Soviet spying accusation. However, the Soviets had nothing to do with his original arrest for homosexual behavior and they did not revoke his security clearances and destroy his career all because he was gay. The British get full credit for destroying the man who created the modern computer solely because he was gay. Take a minute and contemplate what the loss of Turing’s vision, genius and unique combination of knowledge has meant not just to Britain, but to the world and all of history. ALL BECAUSE HE WAS GAY!!!


Steve Poling April 25, 2009 at 10:19 pm

when i worked for the federales there were a few people i worked with who were old enough to have been in WW2. None of them knew Turing. I believe he was arrested, like Oscar Wilde, and all that. But his career and reputation weren’t destroyed when he lost his security clearance. I heard from people who’d worked GCHQ that the Soviets did try to turn him prior to his suicide.

Turing’s biggest contribution were his designs for the Bombes that were special purpose devices to run through hundreds of Enigma keys mechanically. The US designs coming out of NCR in Dayton were better. There is plenty of credit to go around for the invention of the digital computer. Where Turing had a long-term impact was in the Theory of Computing.

I never knew about “irreducible complexity” coming from Turing, but it is not surprising. He’d think like that.

I’ve read Michael Behe’s book “Darwin’s Black Box” (parts of it at least) and I didn’t find him particularly faux-scientist-ish or true believer-ish. A lot of my Creationist friends don’t like Behe for not being enough of a true believer. I dislike the tendency of Creationists to be more interested in winning arguments than figuring out what happened, and I don’t find Behe guilty of that.

The problem Behe raises is that Evolution needs a mechanism to swap in and out larger micro-biological subassemblies than will fit into random mutations. This is consistent with the theories of “punctuated equilibrium” which seem to fit the fossil record that seems to be lacking a few missing links (Given N distinct species, you need a missing link between each transitional form. I’d like to see a few more of those transitional forms dug out of the fossil record. Punctuated equilibrium supposes non-Darwinian “jump” discontinuities in speciation. (Please don’t take this as a brief for Creationism since this paragraph has discussed post-Darwinian theories that my Creationist friends find equally abhorrent.)

Cynthia Yockey April 25, 2009 at 10:56 pm


The answer to the problem Behe raises is on my father’s blog, Briefly, the genome — which is the non-material information recorded digitally in DNA — is what answers objections of gaps and missing links and the belief that an Intelligent Designer is required to build anything. There have been no gaps in the genome from the origin of life to now and there won’t be any until life is extinct. The origin of life is an axiom of biology, but after that, the genome has been running the show.

You might be interested in my father’s book, which is advertised on this blog. Thank you for your remarks on Turing and his contributions to the origin of the modern computer.


Steve Poling April 26, 2009 at 12:24 am

I’ll check out your dad’s blog and book. (I did; he’s interesting.)

The news of the Mexico City flu outbreak, suspected to be a H1N1 variant, got me reading an old NYT article about the 1918 influenza outbreak. In it I read of some genetic jiggery-pokery that might just provide that mechanism that’s needed to overcome irreducible complexity arguments. (Notwithstanding your father’s arguments that I’ve not yet perused.)

You also need to consider epi-genetics. Sometimes in identical twins one gets sick and the other doesn’t. And also they’ve seen a famine in one generation will cause maladies in the next generation. These phenomena point to more-than-genome. But I digress…

Cynthia Yockey April 26, 2009 at 9:31 am


I do not know what you mean by “more-than-genome.” But I DO know that very few people really have a grasp of the definition of genome and I suspect they make up things to fill in their own deficiency or to torture the facts to match their ideology — this is true both in science and from the religious angle.


Steve Poling April 27, 2009 at 12:10 am

If my skim of your dad’s work is accurate, he distinguishes the “code” or “information” in the 42 chromosomes from the materials themselves. Since I’m a geek, when I hear “genome” I think “the information in that particular set of 42 chromosomes.”

There was a Nova episode last year wherein they found that gene activation is regulated by various chemical factors. So that although parents might supply a particular gene to the kid, the environmental factors present at some time or another produced “other stuff” (remember i’m a geek) that silences that gene.

I’m altogether comfy saying a “genome” is a mere pattern (albeit a complex one) of DNA base-pairs. I don’t think this contradicts the Bible or anything. If we took your DNA, wrote down all the base-pairs, then generated a fertilized ovum from that record (what a 3-d printer THAT would take!) the resulting individual would be no different than your identical twin. Am I manifesting that deficiency or perpetrating that torture of facts you have in mind?

When I was a kid I was taught John Conway’s “life” program and wasted several good pieces of graph paper messing with it. This was my first finite-cellular automata. This simple set of rules of filling in cells on graph paper gave rise to some remarkable emergent behavior. So that one could fabricate NAND gates therefrom and (circling around to Alan Turing) to building a Turing machine. I’m convinced that our humanity is an emergent phenomena of various biochemical automata that are programmed via DNA base-pairs.

When Theists and Atheists argue, we often talk past one another. Or quibble over points where we are largely in agreement. I apologize for drifting away from the original topic.

Cynthia Yockey April 28, 2009 at 12:05 am


I will have to take this up on my father’s blog. But please go and read the definitions of the terms there.

The bottom line is that there is only ONE explanation of the origin of life that is NOT based on faith, which is that the origin of life is UNKNOWABLE, as my father’s work demonstrates.


Steve Poling June 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Today a Republican Senator has disclosed that he had engaged in an extra-marital affair. When the possibility that he was a blackmail target was mentioned, I remembered this thread. I think that everyone should live in such a way that s/he’s 100% blackmail proof.

Though I think one of the rings of hell is reserved for those who invade others’ privacy to “out” them, I think a much hotter one belongs to blackmailers.

If he was being blackmailed, the Senator did the right thing. And even if he wasn’t, ‘fessing up is the right thing, too.

Cynthia Yockey June 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm


“Outing” is legitimate when it is done to reveal the true identity of gays and lesbians who work hard to violate the rights of other homosexuals, or in various ways keep them down. Often, they are extremely vicious to homosexuals in order to prove that they themselves are not gay. Rather like Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel are doing. Check HillBuzz’s 6/16/09 post on the Man Country bar and the tall, thin state’s representative with the coffee-colored complexion that used to, pardon the expression, come there.

Revealing the extra-marital heterosexual affair of anyone is not comparable to outing, unless they are constantly preaching against infidelity and fornication. In that case, it’s news.


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