Idaho | Larry Craig | Law Enforcement | News

Larry Craig Incident Puts Closet Case Cruising Under the Microscope

Major Darryl Tolleson, Atlanta Police Dept. on sex in public restrooms in Atlanta: "You would think that it would be a gay issue but more and more, overwhelmingly, we're seeing that these are people with families." That's the key information in this story - it's the ashamed closet cases that are the problem.

Of course, Kyra Phillips tries to drag the unrelated topic of pedophilia into the picture, for no apparent reason except to link it to gay men.

Matt Foreman of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force released a statement yesterday, bringing up a great point at the end: "What’s up with elected officials like Senator Craig? They stand for so-called ‘family values’ and fight basic protections for gay people while furtively seeking other men for sex. Infuriating pathetic hypocrites. What more can you say? There is sad irony that a United States senator from Idaho has been caught up in the same kind of thing that destroyed the lives of dozens of men in Boise in the 1950s, so tragically chronicled in ‘Boys of Boise.’ And by the way, why are Minneapolis tax dollars being used to have plainclothes police officers lurking idly in airport restroom stalls?"

And here's video of Craig's statement to the press, which I posted yesterday.

Pam Spaulding has posted a poll from WingNutDaily over on AmericaBlog. She writes. "These GOP closet cases who cannot reconcile their carnal desires with their desired orientation ('straight') are the real problem."

Well said. Here's a lovely article from ABC News with the misleading headline 'how gay men cruise for sex'. Not some gay men. Not shameful closet cases. All of us. The misinformed demonization begins!

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  1. I'm a gay man. Knew I was gay when I was 12 or so. In my large circle of gay friends, none of them, including myself, know anything about these secret codes. None of us cruise bathrooms and rest stops for sex. If every gay man or most gay men did this kind of thing, there'd be lines of men waiting to get into these places nationwide.

    Like most things these days, the media and some idiotic commenters and bloggers are making this seem like it's sweeping the nation. It's not, a very small percentage of people do this type of thing - gay or straight. The idea that all or "most" gay men even know about these codes is just asinine.

    I see they've already attached a rider of pedophilia, where's the rider of all gay men want to suck straight guy's dicks?

    Posted by: BeeDee | Aug 29, 2007 11:12:49 AM

  2. You obviously didn’t read the same article about cruising that your link, links too. In the article it mentions a few times that cruising is done by deeply closeted homosexuals .. The article goes quite far in discerning the activities of closeted homosexuals vs. non. At most the title should be more narrow, How Closeted Homos's Cruise ...

    Posted by: Jason | Aug 29, 2007 11:14:22 AM

  3. Fuck ABC News. That headline "Secret Signals: How Gay Men Cruise for Sex" is horribly misleading. And they put the most pertinent information at the very end of the story:

    "Cruisers are not sex offenders. They are deeply, deeply closeted. There is a lot of self-hatred and shame and they can't allow themselves to come to terms with their sexuality."

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 29, 2007 11:19:58 AM

  4. "And by the way, why are Minneapolis tax dollars being used to have plainclothes police officers lurking idly in airport restroom stalls?"

    What a stupid question, Matt Forman. It's called a sting, and it has 2 motivations: catch those breaking the law by using restrooms for activity best engaged in privately, and dissuade others from doing the same. Duh.

    Posted by: PistolPetey | Aug 29, 2007 11:25:11 AM

  5. I stopped reading and watching ABC News once they merged with the Family Network. They should retitle their news network "What would Jesus think of the news?" show.

    Posted by: Gary | Aug 29, 2007 11:27:28 AM

  6. well my dears, I guess its a matter of time before they start installing cameras in the crappers (if it hasn't been done already).

    Posted by: the queen | Aug 29, 2007 11:29:31 AM

  7. Here's Craig denying homosex allegations in 1982.

    I'd sure like to get a copy of Valentine's book. Maybe Cleis Press or Alyson will publish it.

    well judging from the media, there will be more toe tapping in toilet stalls than in an Ann Miller double feature.

    Posted by: the queen | Aug 29, 2007 11:40:55 AM

  8. Well, of course! Thank you, George Michael, for placing a well publicied definiation of gay male sex to the world.

    Nobody writes or reports about serial monogamy. God Forbid there is any reference to normalcy. But weenie waving! My God! The fags have corrupted such HIGHLY MORAL and OUTSTANDING people like Senator Craig! Please ignore the past "Mark Foley" like transgressions with the senate pages from 30 years go... this is TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Honest. A man can't ask for a wad of toilet paper these days without getting hand cuffed!

    Posted by: Rad | Aug 29, 2007 11:43:38 AM

  9. If you are offended by the headline and/or content of the ABC news article, you can send a note to ABC's news editors here:

    There's also a comment board where numerous readers are posting their disgust with ABC News about the article:

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 29, 2007 12:13:42 PM

  10. I'm sure it's highly unlikely that this will cause any great uproar, and it probably does play right into achieving web traffic for their site, but I did notice that a majority of the comments to that article were lambasting ABC for their irresponsible journalism.

    My own personal post to ABC:

    Although it has already been noted, I too am deeply offended to the point of outrage that ABC News, in an effort to gain readership, site traffic, and revenue would resort to such irresponsible sensationalism. Only deeply embedded within your article is any mention of disassociative behaviors. To quote:

    "With many other options available for gay men to meet each other, Gershen Kaufman, a professor emeritus of psychology at Michigan State University and author of the book 'Coming Out of Shame,' said public cruising is practiced mainly by deeply closeted men.

    'Cruisers are not sex offenders. They are deeply, deeply closeted. There is a lot of self-hatred and shame and they can't allow themselves to come to terms with their sexuality. There is also the added element of danger and being discovered,' he said."

    ABC should be experiencing a great deal of shame for such hackneyed work and again, irresponsible journalism in regard to social standards. From the network that brings us an only remotely balanced sense of relief from shows like Brothers and Sisters, I am appalled at your lack of intelligence, or perhaps worse, your intentional misdeed. The title of your article may as well have read, "Gays Lurk In Public Toilets. Beware!" Way to go, morons.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Aug 29, 2007 12:16:14 PM

  11. A far better CNN video to post would be of Dan Savage's appearance on last night's (Tuesday 08/28/07) "Out In The Open". He nailed the entire situation as well as pointing out CNN's gross errors in reporting.

    Posted by: JOHN IN MANHATTAN | Aug 29, 2007 12:29:47 PM

  12. Does Atlanta hire their cops right off the street? Do they receive no training in the history and demographics of "crimes" they investigate that might prevent them from spouting off stupidly on TV? Major Tolleson should be assigned to rent-a-cop duty at the Atlanta library where he could thumb through a book published 37 years ago called, "Tearoom Trade - Impersonal Sex in Public Places" by Laud Humphreys." 54% of the men studied were married. [And 4 times as likely to be ranked politically "conservative" as the study's controls. There was a "disproportionately high representations of Roman Catholics and Episcopalians."]

    Gay blogger and all-around-know-nothing "Citizen" Chris Crain might want to look it up, too. In a rambling, incoherent piece protesting homobashing homo Repug Craig's arrest and outing, Crain claims to be totally ignorant of the kind of signals Craig used. That's no big deal for younger gays who came out after gay bars became more ubiquitous but whatever Crain's age as the former editor of the "Washington Blade" and its sister papers and, unfortunately, one of the most quoted "gay experts" he should be better informed, or maybe he is. Is it ignorance or the kind of rhetorical disingenuousness and deceit that his fellow gay conservative Andrew Sullivan frequently employs?

    One hates to mention the more honorable Matt Foreman in the same breath, but his reference to the boys of Boise witch hunt is a bit facile. Most of the sex uncovered wasn't of the random, anonymous kind Craig was allegedly pursuing but a kind of subculture that had grown up among straight-identified teenagers willing to trade [pun intended] their bodies in a variety of places to older gay-identified men for money, gifts, and favors beyond the sexual. In fact, the "morals drive" was actually purely politically motivated, intended to catch and depose from power a publicly closeted local gay man of influence known as "The Queen." Several people went to jail, some fled town, over a thousand people were interogated, and a son killed his father in an argument over the scandal but The Queen was never touched.

    It remains a fascinating story detailed at length in John Gerassi's 1966 book, "The Boys of Boise," and the recent documentary, "The Fall of '55."

    As for ABC, isn't that the network that GLAAD crowned the most "responsible" and gay-friendly?

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Aug 29, 2007 12:34:10 PM

  13. I hear that all straight guys cruise the streets at night looking for so-called "hookers"...

    If it's all a big mistake, shouldn't Craig be suing someone for wrongful arrest?

    Posted by: John C | Aug 29, 2007 1:18:53 PM

  14. Not that this story isn't important, but I think too many times Towleroad omits positive stories like this one (click my name for link). 21-year-old Matt Hill Comer actually gets out there and really makes a difference, and I don't think he gets enough credit. He's not like so many other gay bloggers sitting on their butts in front of the computer preaching to the choir. He's also the only good gay blogger out of NC, though he's liberal, Democrat, and diehard Christian (I'm neither of the three, so this is not an agenda-driven plug).

    Posted by: Joe T. | Aug 29, 2007 1:37:57 PM

  15. When watching Craig's sad press conference, I couldn't help but think of that 'Little Britain' skit where David Williams plays 'Sir Norman Fry', a member of parliament who repeatedly has to deny allegations of gay public sex in front of gaggles of reporters, while Matt Lucas (playing his wife) stands by her man. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Mrs. Sen. Craig bears some resemblanace to Matt Lucas? I'm sure somebody has posted those clips side-by-side someplace by now, but YouTube has the LB skits:

    Posted by: LALALA | Aug 29, 2007 1:47:22 PM

  16. I'm scared to go into toilets now thanks to:

    Click on icon on right hand side "Chris and Jeff recreate Senator's lewd conduct arrest.

    Goodness gracious, now we have no secrets left, now everybody will be toe tapping across the nation.

    Posted by: the queen | Aug 29, 2007 1:50:41 PM

  17. "A far better CNN video to post would be of Dan Savage's appearance on last night's (Tuesday 08/28/07) "Out In The Open". He nailed the entire situation as well as pointing out CNN's gross errors in reporting."

    Agreed - At first all I was like OH MY GOD! It's been 15 minutes and they are STILL talking about tearoom sex (with a freezeframe of a lurid shot of a men's room stall no less)! Thankfully, Savage went a long way in making the subject less mortifying - at least for me - how it played in less adventurous livingrooms is another story.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Aug 29, 2007 1:51:03 PM

  18. "Here's a lovely article from ABC News with the misleading headline 'how gay men cruise for sex'/a>. Not some gay men. Not shameful closet cases. All of us. The misinformed demonization begins!"

    And I was blasted for making the following post two days ago!!! This is exactly what I was talking about. The liberal media will spin this so that it is ALL gays that cruise public bathrooms and not just the closeted, self hating "straight" gays! This will NOT be good for our community...

    Dragging this behavior through a public spectacle will do more harm than good. What no one will get is that a review of all apprehensions in the same restroom will reveal truly disturbing behavior, in the minds of middle America, further undermining the gay community!

    Yes, I know that we cannot rest until every closeted republican is brought to justice, but at what price to the entire community? The best thing that could happen here is that he pay his fines, resign and go away without bringing yet another negative light on our community!!!

    How many more "bathroom" incidents like this will it take to move middle America against the LGBT community at a time when attitudes are changing? We need positive press, NOT this! Hang him if you will, but try not to cut your nose off to spite your face. No one wins here...

    Posted by: RB | Aug 28, 2007 9:22:48 AM

    Posted by: RB | Aug 29, 2007 2:00:32 PM

  19. RB, the "liberal media"?!? I'm saddened that you, or anyone, would believe such tripe. The "liberal media" is a myth concocted by conservatives. Turn off Fox News for a moment and educate yourself:

    Posted by: JOHN IN MANHATTAN | Aug 29, 2007 2:17:55 PM

  20. It's not just closeted men who cruise in public bathrooms. Out gay men do it too. Straight people cruise in public (maybe not in a public bathroom) and have sex in public as well.

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 29, 2007 2:20:12 PM

  21. I think the media is generally more liberally-bent, too, John. Or, rather...more of them are than not (certain culprits like NY Newsday and the NY Times, which actually invent stories are the worst). It's a term of generalization, true, but I think its more true than not. One just has to be aware that some media is slanted-Left as much as some being slanted Right, and always be aware of the source when you're getting a story. Then it's fine, as long as neither makes up facts. ("We're all entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts.")

    Posted by: Joe T. | Aug 29, 2007 2:29:45 PM

  22. Http://

    A unique, queer look at the media.

    Let's go cruising!

    Posted by: Media Cruiser | Aug 29, 2007 2:40:34 PM

  23. Who am I to actually imagine that some people are willing to learn something other than the propaganda they've already swallowed?

    But for those interested in a documented examination of what the media is actually like, read Eric Alterman's, "WHAT Liberal Media?"

    And, as discussed way back, see Bill Moyer's PBS expose "Buying the War" about how even the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post" and 90% of the rest of the papers in the country totally bent over and spread their cheeks for Bush and his lies about the need to invade Iraq.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Aug 29, 2007 3:49:21 PM

  24. "I'm saddened that you, or anyone, would believe such tripe". John, I am saddened by your ability to change the subject and ignore the facts! THE MEDIA, liberal, conservative, etc. is using this as a feeding frenzy against the gay community! Seriously, how can you not see that?!

    I am amazed that there is anyone out there that thinks this type of coverage and media publicity can do anything other than harm the gay community! And as usualy, we turn on ourselves and battle internally over the usage of the words "liberal" and "conservative" when the damage is still being done. Wake up and listen to what they are saying...and it is NOT just Fox news my friend! The media is going to use this to spear all of us and the more they talk the more middle America will listen. Why is that so hard to understand?!

    Posted by: RB | Aug 29, 2007 4:23:49 PM

  25. RB: I dont think there is a liberal media. Most of the media outlets are right or right of center, CNN, ABC, and other major US newspapers included. This notion of *liberal media* is just formulated to create a perception of bias, which helps shift the landscape towards the right-wing agenda.

    Posted by: Landis | Aug 29, 2007 4:55:35 PM

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