Conservatism, the LGBT Community, and Nuance

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Looking over my writing over the past few years, some would probably get the impression that I’m not a big fan of homosexuals or transgendered people. The frequency with which I write on these subjects could leave those who don’t know me to believe that my dislike of this community is far more intense than my dislike of many other things.

For many of the people who would think that I wouldn’t necessarily blame them for it. Not because I’m giving off that vibe but because they’ve been conditioned to see it that way.

Modern mainstream pop culture tells us that any resistance, complaint, or criticism against the LGBT community is a result of things like “transphobia” or “homophobia.” The only reason anybody would do such a thing is that an intense hatred burns within their hearts. A hatred that stems from ignorance, and probably some sort of support or obedience to the white patriarchy.

It’s all, of course, a bunch of bunk.

Firstly, I don’t know anyone who is homophobic or transphobic by definition. A phobia is an intense fear of something that can send the person with the phobia into an irrational state of fight or flight mode. The person must work very hard to overcome the phobia and maintain a rational state of mind.

Take this video of a man attempting to overcome his fear of dogs and devolving into a state of absolute fear around a simple puppy.

I do not know anyone who devolves into an irrational state of fear around a member of the LGBT community. The idea that Americans everywhere are somehow suffering from an intense fear of homosexuals is pretty ridiculous. I don’t see them cowering in fear or exhibiting any kind of irrational moments of high anxiety around gays or lesbians.

So let’s do away with that phrase as it’s as manipulative as it is stupid.

Secondly, what’s often bypassed completely in any given situation involving denunciations or flat-out resistance against LGBT things is the reason people are doing it. People may have a very solid reason for resisting the efforts of LGBT activists but it’s never given thought. It’s always boiled down to blind hatred.

This is pretty unfair. For instance, LGBT activists want to push books on kids that feature gratuitous depictions of gay sex acts, and parents are rightfully angry about it. Their kids don’t need to have pornography available in schools, gay or not. Moreover, it’s not the school’s job to teach kids about sex except in a scientific manner. Yet the parents who are angry about this are being labeled homophobes.

Girls with high amounts of depression and anxiety are walking into places like Planned Parenthood clinics and having their hormones altered to “transition” into boys in the same manner girls would go out to get their nails done. They’re not being questioned in the clinics or advised that they may just need counseling for other matters. They’re not being thoroughly warned that these hormone treatments could have long-lasting effects on both their mind and body.

When people raise a fuss about this, they’re simply written off as transphobic.

Whether or not you are gay or trans, these things should be viewed as wrong. Taking advantage of children and introducing them to adult concepts that may not be healthy for them as children, or worse, putting them through medical treatments that could radically alter their mind and body should be denounced by every group in our society regardless of their political affiliation.

Here’s the truth.

I don’t know a lot of people, even in the conservative movement, that hate gay people. In fact, I know quite a few gay conservatives, one of which is highly celebrated among the general conservative population. I also know and am friendly with transgender people, and even admire one transgender conservative who is also quite popular.

If conservatives truly hated gay people, none of these people would get the time of day, yet conservatives watch their videos, listen to their interviews, and read their writing. The same goes for me.

I do not hate gay people, in fact, I consider a few of the LGBT community to be good friends of mine whom I love dearly. I may not agree with their lifestyle, but they don’t agree with mind and we still manage to maintain good friendships.

This is because being gay or trans is not the sole defining trait of any person. A person is a myriad of experiences, thoughts, fears, loves, opinions, talents, and connections. Whether or not they’re a good person doesn’t boil down to whom they like to have romantic relationships with, but how they treat others. The same can be said about a person’s politics. I’ve met gay people who lean to the left whom I actively liked to hang out around and straight conservatives that I couldn’t stand to be around for more than a few minutes.

Nuance is the key here. Of every gay, lesbian, or trans person I’ve met, the vast majority have been lovely, wonderful people, and I think it’s time we as conservatives leave behind this all-or-nothing idea when it comes to the LGBT community. We can disagree on many things, but we are not required (nay, we’re discouraged) to hate. We can leave behind this idea that every time political activists from the LGBT community do something insane that this is done with the approval of the general LGBT population.

In fact, you may not be surprised to find some of this population fighting alongside you.

The LGBT community should definitely spend more time speaking out against the extremes its activists go to, but conservatives should also be more welcoming to those who would and encourage them to do so. It’s likely that many of them feel afraid to speak out as there’s a very good chance doing so may lead to their ostracization from their community.

These people should know that they have a safe place to land, and it’s in the big tent.