The Ghosts of Causes Celebres Past
Wow. The new Book of Matt by Stephen Jimenez really blows a hole in Gay Inc. Matthew Shepard, it turns out, was not a blond cherub killed for being gay. He was unjustly murdered and the victim of a heinous crime. But he was killed by other men he'd had sex with, and with whom he had a drug-dealing relationship.
People are shocked -- shocked! Shocked!
Here's the thing. As I commented in a past American Thinker article -- "Understanding the Viciousness of the Gay Left" -- the LGBT movement is based on one overarching priority: Public image. For various complex reasons, the leaders of this movement did not consider any problem facing homosexuals as serious as the issue of "stigma," i.e., what straight people thought about gays as a class. Individual gays could be viewed as ugly, too effeminate, or embarrassing for their political views -- which explains why Dan Savage has no problem calling Marcus Bachmann schoolyard insults based on conjecture and fantasy -- but the important thing was always for The Gays as a community to be viewed by Everyone Else as good people.
When you systematically ignore the troublesome dynamics within your own community -- i.e., the domestic violence, cruel social interactions, sexual assaults, eating disorders, drugs, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, economic inequality, pederasty, etc. -- in favor of just talking about "homophobia" all the time, as if all those serious problems are the projections or plots of gay-hating outsiders, you lose your perspective.
You get comfortable, in fact, with just straight-up lying. It's okay to lie, to smear, to live in a world of make-believe, as long as you are somehow making gay people look good to the world. Individual gays can even be misrepresented or jettisoned (Google my name to see how I as a bisexual have gotten trashed for believing that children have a right to a mom and dad), so long as the ultimate goal of making gays as a class look good is served.
So the causes célèbres of Mathew Shepard and Tyler Clementi stand out as ghosts waiting to rise from the dead and haunt the gay movement. Matthew Shepard wasn't really a case of homophobia; he was a tragic victim of violence at the hands of fellow meth users who were tied to him through homosexual connections. If anything, the two men would have never killed Matthew Shepard had they been homophobic, because they never would have had any social ties to him at all.
We haven't seen the blowback on the Tyler Clementi case either, but just wait -- that's coming soon. The facts there are even more evident that Gay, Inc., misrepresented the facts about this tragic suicide case that took place in 2010. Tyler Clementi was eighteen years old and three weeks into his freshman year at Rutgers when he jumped off a bridge and killed himself. He had recently had sexual congress with a thirty-year-old stranger he met on a gay Internet site. His roommate, who had only known him for less than a month, was apparently annoyed at being shut out of his dorm room for a booty call between Clementi and a creepy thirtysomething man trolling around a university dorm. So the roommate, eighteen-year-old Dharun Ravi, used a webcam and broadcast images of Clementi and the thirty-year-old man having sex.
Clementi's suicide sparked a wave of consciousness-raising that indirectly boosted the same-sex marriage movement, the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the campaign "It Gets Better." The goal: To fight homophobia so teenage gay boys wouldn't kill themselves.
Here's the problem: Clementi was the wrong poster boy for a narrative of innocent gay boys being driven to suicide by homophobia. The gay community's own structured sex mores had fostered a sexual adventurism in a young man, who was obviously emotionally vulnerable and not equipped to deal with the effects of fast sex with men much older than himself. Our hearts go out to Clementi and of course any decent person would say that it was wrong to broadcast images of him having sex with the stranger he met on the Internet. But Clementi's own judgment was already lapsing severely, and probably perennially. That is to say, a gay subculture that minimizes the significance of sex and dismisses the larger social commitments that come with sharing one's body with another human--a gay culture that shirks the responsibilities that should come with sex--has conditioned and recruited boys into a world of sexual chaos for which they are not prepared.
That's not a problem of homophobia. That's a problem of gay culture.
For the last three years, the official Clementi narrative of "homophobia causes gay teen to kill himself" has held strong against the obvious counternarrative that anyone can glean from the basic facts of the case. Rather than giving gay adults more opportunities to talk to young men and boys who might be gay, we need to keep youth away from the sexual severity of adult gay culture, which is so far gone that most gay readers do not even seem fazed by the fact that Clementi's sex partner was a thirty-year-old who was happy to enter a freshman dormitory and sodomize a boy who was barely even legal, and whom he didn't know, when it was obvious that a roommate had to be put out of his own living space for the duration of their reckless sex.
But it is only a matter of time.
Clementi and Shepard will haunt the gay movement for decades to come, because they aren't merely isolated cases. Over and over again, the LGBT movement has misdirected energies to breaking down stigma and trying to paint the gay community as something it's not, while ignoring the true, serious problems that the community must contend with.
In the 1970s, the goal was to "de-stigmatize" homosexuality by forcing psychiatrists and then the whole medical profession to declare that there was nothing wrong with homosexuality, therefore nothing wrong with men having sex with men, ergo no health risks to the kind of sex men had with men, hence no problem with lots and lots of anonymous anal sex.
Half a decade later, there was an AIDS epidemic. Two decades later, gays had a host of other problems -- depression, personality disorders, eating disorders, anxiety, suicidal ideation, adjustment disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder from sexual abuse or domestic violence -- which were diagnosable abnormalities according to the psychiatric profession. So rather than being diagnosed as "homosexual" and then being given medical help to reconcile their desires with life in a world where the desires pose a risk, they were told that their desires posed no risk, then branded mentally ill for experiencing the logical difficulties that come with engaging uncritically in sex acts that do pose health risks to them.
The latest report from the CDC shows that today, right now, the HIV infection rate among boys aged 13-19 is growing, and 95% of such infections result from anal homosexual sex. The gay movement has made the problem worse by demanding that young boys be exposed to information about homosexuality, which doesn't even fairly inform them of the general health and psychological risks associated with starting homosexual activity so young.
But no matter. The goal wasn't to help gay men stay healthy, live long, or be happy. The goal was for gay men to be presented positively in the press. Stigmas are all that matter.