One Year Out: Still Gay, Still Republican
James Richardson

How Can Gay Republicans Help?

[TL;DR: Freedom to marry aside, how do conservatives (especially conservative gay people) plan to solve LGBT problems like poverty, job discrimination, police brutality, detention center/prison abuse, youth homelessness, systemic racial and sexual discrimination?]

Once we depoliticize social issues, we can talk about equality — it should be normal that the Conservative party (or parties, in a better political situation) is as much a home for gay and black and trans people as it is for straight, white, rich men (don’t even try to deny it). For those who impulsively make you the enemy, a mindset which I saw manifest after Jillian Michaels made an off-hand realistic suggestion that her life would be easier if she were straight, they ought to be challenged. The Democrats have not exactly been friends to gay and bisexual people either, only accepting marriage equality when it polled well and became inevitable. It was a Democratic president (albeit Neoliberal), after all, who gave us DADT and DOMA.

To be sure, Republican rhetoric has certainly been vitriolic; anybody complicit in allowing those views to go unchecked and remain acceptable, in fact mainstream!, shares a responsibility. But let’s really talk about gay people: Democrats gave us the right to marry (or did they?) thanks to the Human Rights Campaign and their blanket whitewashing and heteronormatizing of a movement started by trans women of color. How does same-sex marriage help children and teenagers whose parents kick them out for being attracted to the same sex? Those who make up between 20–40% of the homeless youth population, and are more likely to live on the streets rather than shelters (which can often legally discriminate on religious grounds), have no interest in gay marriage. They have to worry about surviving. These questions are even more valid to ask of Democrats, who should not have the privilege of deflecting the blame to the worse party on the right.

Not that government-recognized same-sex marriage is bad (after all, we have a separation of church and state), and there are legitimate pressing needs for inheritance rights, etc., but my point is this: Gay has been made palatable to people through the “normalization” of LGBT people via erasing the narratives and needs of LGBT of color, trans, immigrants, those in jail, and the intersections of the aforementioned all so wealthy rich gay men can pat themselves on the back and distract people while they stash their money in Panama and the Cayman Islands. “Why should the street kids have access to my money? They’ll probably just buy drugs, anyway.” Let them be beholden to survival sex for food.

My question for you, Mr. Richardson, is how do you see the Republican Party assisting those most marginalized under the LGBT umbrella? What are the conservative solutions to poverty, job discrimination, police brutality, detention center/prison abuse, youth homelessness (I can’t stress enough that these are fuckin children! 9-year olds, 12-, 14-year old kids literally kicked out with no place to go), and systemic racial/sexual discrimination?

Will life be better for gay people with more LGBT visibility in politics, in the Republican Party especially? Probably. But it leaves the homeless youth wondering when will their lives be prioritized?

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