The New York Times set the tone for their article by using my company and a product that I am proud of, Boy Butter, as a representation of all that is wacky, gay and liberal standing in stark contrast with Ann Coulter, or all that is right-wing, Christian and conservative.
I was invited to Homocon by one of my closest friends, Steve Yuhas, a proud gay, Jewish, conservative, former Marine radio talk show host from San Diego’s AM 600 KOGO Radio. It was an exciting event to attend, because it was the first political event I have been to since seeing Hillary and Bill at the Abyssinian Baptist church in Harlem during the 2008 campaign. At Homocon, I had the rare opportunity to rub elbows with major gay and straight figures of media, business, and politics; some of whose work I admire and respect, but not always agree with them on their views. That respect should not be construed as tacit approval but in my quest to be more aware I like to expose myself to people that I don’t always agree with.
The star of the night, Ann Coulter, lived up to her image as a brash, bold, opinionated, and strong woman - all things that gay men have long-adored in their iconic women. Homocon even billed Ms. Coulter as the Judy Garland of the gay right-wing, a term she herself has coined in an email exchange. Ann had no problem speaking her politically incorrect mind and her presence was exciting for me not only because she is infamous for rubbing liberal America the wrong way but her political shtick is more conservative comedy and fun-poking than it is terribly serious.
I myself do not subscribe to all of her opinions, but I do like some of her stances on the economy, federal spending, foreign policy and limits on the power of the government. Like most people I meet in this world, I took Ann Coulter’s views with a grain of salt and for all those who are worried, my physical proximity to her that night in no way means that we are always on the same page, politically speaking.
My personal political viewpoints are as complex as most people’s, but if forced to choose a political label, it would be a quasi-Libertarian; socially progressive, yet fiscally conservative without being isolationist internationally. Like many people today my beliefs overlap with the left and right-of-center politics because being a gay man makes me more complicated.
On social level I relate more with social progress and liberalism; however my identity as a businessman also endears me to believe in being strong on fiscal and personal responsibility.
I am a hodgepodge of opinions and beliefs and there are many factors in my life that have led me to choose one path over another. Sometimes I have multiple paths driving me at the same time. I have no difficulty in reversing course, admitting when I’m wrong and changing my mind. I believe in gay marriage, in repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” legalizing Marijuana and litany of other things that would stop anyone from painting me as one thing or another. Heck, I even voted for every Democratic presidential candidate from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, though I do share a bit of buyer’s remorse over the last one. I’m sure many in the country agree.
The idea of a gay conservative movement is not new or unique, but it does exist out of perceived failures or mismanagement of established gay organizations to champion our rights; realize our wishes; or speak with a clear and unified voice. We should welcome gay conservatives as we do gay liberals, because a variety of viewpoints is more preferable to too few of them.
I wanted to thank the NY Times for juxtaposing Boy Butter as a product with the appearance of Ann Coulter at Homocon, because (yes, I love the press) I think it is healthy to see people of different viewpoints debating, sharing ideas, and just being together. I only hope that more of this kind of idea sharing happens because nobody is going to dissuade me from my beliefs any more than I will be able to convince Ann Coulter that gay marriage is a good idea.