28 August 2007

Sins of the Closet

... Here we go again!

Craig says 'I am not gay,' did no wrong

BOISE, Idaho - Under fire from leaders of his own party, Idaho Sen. Larry Craig on Tuesday the only thing he had done wrong was to plead guilty after a police complaint of lewd conduct in a men's room. He declared, "I am not gay. I never have been gay."

"I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport," he said at a news conference with his wife, Suzanne, at his side....
According to the prosecutor's complaint, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, airport police Sgt. Dave Karsnia, who was investigating allegations of sexual conduct in airport restrooms, went into a stall shortly after noon on June 11 and closed the door.

Minutes later, the officer said he saw Craig gazing into his stall through the crack between the door and the frame.

After a man in the adjacent stall left, Craig entered it and put his roller bag against the front of the stall door, "which Sgt. Karsnia's experience has indicated is used to attempt to conceal sexual conduct by blocking the view from the front of the stall," said the complaint, which was dated June 25.

The complaint said Craig then tapped his right foot several times and moved it closer to Karsnia's stall and then moved it to where it touched Karsnia's foot. Karsnia recognized that "as a signal often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct," the complaint said.

Craig then passed his left hand under the stall divider into Karsnia's stall with his palms up and guided it along the divider toward the front of the stall three times, the complaint said.

The officer then showed his police identification under the divider and pointed toward the exit "at which time the defendant exclaimed `No!'" the complaint said.

The Aug. 8 police report says that Craig had handed the arresting officer a business card that identified him as a member of the Senate.

"What do you think about that?" Craig is alleged to have said, according to the report.

I think it's pretty sad. And pretty typical of people uncomfortable with their own sexuality. I also think gentlemen like the Senator are the reason why a lot of us are suspicious of those who are so adamantly against gay rights: They're arguing with themselves. The Lady doth protest too much, methinks...and not only me but others as well, including columnist Dan Savage as well, as he says in this CNN interview:

I remember many years ago being *terrified* to pick up one of Time magazine's 'special issues' with some gay (I think they used 'homosexual') topic blazed across the cover, out of fear that someone would see me looking at it and assume....correctly...that I was 'one of them.' IMHO some of the same dynamic is at work here. I can't support rights for 'those people' or else folks will think I'm One of Them (which, of course, I'm not. Just because I like to ....uh....well...you know....in public bathrooms, that doesn't make me "gay"....)

Senator Craig had been called on his extracurricular activites before. Mike Rogers at blogactive made an attempt to drag him out of the closet (the Devil in me wants to say, lift him up off his knees...) back in October of last year, going so far as to track down men who the Senator had had encouters with in other mens rooms, including the one in Washington DC's Union Station.

This is the way The Down Low works (and since I doubt the mainstream media will call the Senator "on the DL" because that term appears to ONLY apply to African-Americans and not white men leading a double life, like former Governor and rest stop enthusiast Jim McGreevey): engaging in risky behavior on the one hand while tossing out homo-hate with the other in an attempt to 'throw people off the scent' (remember Ted Haggard anyone?)

As I said, it's sad. Very sad.

I'm not saying that there would be no Tearoom Trade if everyone suddenly came out and the world shifted into being a better place for gay men and lesbians to live in. Considering men and the way we are sexually socialized, I suspect there would still be some guys who'd adopt the Senators 'wide stance' in the public loo. And having seen a heterosexual couple going at it in a public space usually reserved for same-sex activity, if straight men could go into bathrooms and fool around with women, they'd do it too. (I'm a fan of the idea of 'runs' SF writer Samuel R Delany created in his novel Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, designated areas where humans and non-humans alike went off to have guilt free sex).

I'm more interested in, and have been thinking about, something that my doctor calls 'being out as a sexual being.' People who are more comfortable with sex and their sexuality tend also to be more willing to take care of themselves (i.e. not engage in risky or possibly health-harming behavior). It's not about coming out of the closet, it's about self-recognition, and a comfort level with who you are, what your desires are, and how you like to have them met, and being able to express those desires to your partner(s) and those you care for.


Christopher Hennessy said...

Just wanted to leave a note to say I saw your comment at Esheunetics blog and was glad to hear you also enjoyed my book! Always flattering.

And good to know about your blog!

BronzeBuckaroo said...

Well, I know another book I will now be reading thanks to you.

As for this post, well said, Mr. Reggieh.

Not Mr. Right said...

Not only is it sad that these people cannot acknowledge to themselves who they are, but they also feel the need to keep other people down specifically because they feel threatened by their own similar ideas. :( It amazes me how many conservatives turn out to be just like the people they claim to abhor.