Conservative UK Minister Crispin Blunt Comes Out, Leaves Wife

On the heels of Ken Mehlman's coming out earlier this week…

Conservative minister Crispin Blunt has separated from his wife of 20 years and issued a statement on his coming out:

Blunt "Crispin Blunt wishes to make it known that he has separated from his wife Victoria. He decided to come to terms with his homosexuality and explained the position to his family. The consequence is this separation.

"There is no third-party involvement but this is difficult for his immediate and wider family and he hopes for understanding and support for them. The family do not wish to make any further public comment and hope that their privacy will be respected as they deal with these difficult private issues."

Blunt's friends tell the Daily Mail that the politician, who is 50, has been undergoing a '30-year journey' wrestling with his sexuality

His voting history on gay rights is mixed. While he did vote in favor of adoption rights for gay couples, in 1998 he was opposed to removing the ban on gays in the miltary saying “Military ethos has been progressively undermined. Letting overt gays in is another stage in the process.” The UK lifted that ban one year later.Blunt himself served in the British Army for over 10 years.

Click here to see how he voted on other issues related to gay rights.

Some of his past viewpoints on homosexuality: "I believe it right that our law should discriminate in that limited way between homosexual and heterosexual practice…While I accept that, in law, we should tolerate people's choices to follow a homosexual life style and practice, I maintain that those are not equivalent to heterosexuality – nor should we pretend that they are."

Blunt's niece is actress Emily Blunt, who while promoting the movie Sunshine in which she played a lesbian told the Guardian she wanted "to become a gay icon."

Comments

  1. Raul says

    if it is kind of complicated for this generations to come out. I can only imagine how it is for the folks in their late 40ish and 50ish to leave the shame and say it as it is. VERY GOOD FOR THEM. ITS NEVER LATE TO BE A HOT DADDY. :)

  2. SSCHIEFRSHA says

    OK, my generation [I’m 25] doesn’t quite understanding these elongated periods of sexual “struggle and discovery” that seems to plague members of Generation X. I simply cannot begin to fathom why anyone will actually marry a woman to deny himself happiness. It’s not as if homosexual tendencies sneaks up on one at a moment’s notice. Your first sexual awakening should have been a childhood crush on a boy, yes? Historical context aside-if you did not feel secure to come out say in the ’60s, then all you must do is neither confirm nor deny to everyone upon speculation and wait in the shadows until you feel necessary to come out. But to go to lengths to assert your heterosexuality by oppressing that which you secretly are is indecorous. There in lies my contempt for closeted aged men. Am I wrong in thinking so?

  3. Jeff says

    Right on, SSCHIEFRSHA. I’m a 53 year old gay man, hetero virgin. I don’t understand these people, either. Peer pressure to the max…!??

  4. Bambam says

    I read the info. chart about how he voted but don’t understand enough about brit. politics to make heads or tails of it. Can anyone over there explain whether or not he’s been decent to us?

  5. Mike in the Tundra says

    Do you guys have any historical context? Why do you think there was a Stonewall Riot? Homosexuality was illegal in most places in the 60’s. It was considered a mental disorder. My gay history isn’t all that good, but I can remember that. You need to read up and try to put yourself in those guys shoes. These early pioneers of gay liberation made things so easy for us. Many people back then were just plain scared.

  6. Kevin says

    Bambam: that page shows green when he voted in a gay-friendly way, red when he voted against us and yellow when he didn’t bother turning up.

    The majority/minority thing is all a bit confusing. The summary at the bottom of the page might make things a bit clearer.

    Their FAQ’s fairly informative:
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/faq.php#ayemajority
    British people don’t usually how understand how parliament works either 😉

  7. Zlick says

    And besides the historical context – not everyone is either a 1 or a 100 on the so-called Kinsey Scale, nor are many who are in between precisely at 50. It’s more common than you might think for people who identify as gay to nonetheless form romantic and sexual attractions to people of the opposite gender … and to act on those if love takes over, and flow with the easy glide of societally approved and reinforced heterocentrism.

    A long-winded way of saying that not every gay guy who marries a woman is a fraud.

  8. kodiak says

    I just had this wild fantasy: what if this was the beginning of a gay avalanche of right wing (and others) power politicos coming out of the closet en mass? That would so rock the world!

    And have some compassion for these guys, it takes strength to do what they are doing. If you don’t understand it, try to anyway. Empathy, that’s the word I’m looking for. they are asserting their
    nature, at the risk of losing what they now possess. It’s like their eyes are finally opening and seeing the world. Friends and family?
    Some will fall away, some will stay.

  9. Raul says

    @SSCHIEFRSHA Yes, you are wrong….kind of… Since we are little boys and we realize that we are different from the other boys… its when we all start to hide our gay “issue”, either we became as macho as we can or if we can hide it, we do things to “pleasure the ladies”(hair, make up, other gay stuff)… So we became liars since we are 4 or 5.

    Thats why many gay guys are the BEST at telling lies. (tv producers, make up artists, lawers, wedd plannings, somehow its all fantasy and lie related.)

    At certain point some of those boys start believing those lies and to prove that they are NOT telling BS…they get a girl pregnant or they get married to continue the crazy behavior. And there are still boys from your generation that are not really out…specially the macho type that are the ones that try harder from hiding the truth.

    Its more complicated than this of course and nothing is black and white… i suggest you “The velvet rage”. Its a book about gay behavior and why we are like we are. For me it was an OMG Book.

  10. Tone says

    Congratulations Minister Crispin, I celebrate your journey. How lucky to be connected to the wonderful Emily Blunt!

  11. BJ Dyer says

    An aside: just proof that we speak two different Englishes. I clicked to read because I thought Blunt was a religious leader.

  12. says

    It depends on more than one factor on how easy or hard it is/was for someone of my generation to come out.

    I’m Mr. Blunts age [51]. What I remember from childhood is pretty tame compared to what I would witness first hand, around me and worldwide later on.

    You have to remember that not only were acts of homosexuality illegal, but that even the psychological community saw it as a form of ‘mental illness’.

    Unless you had some kind of support, you stayed hidden, lest you fall victim to ridecule and condemnation or worse ‘pity’ because you were ‘ill’. And one thing little children didn’t want was for adults, especially your parents, to look at you with disgust, or your religious leader [which I remember having more impact on family’s/ individuals back then] … so you capitulated and hid… some tried to assimulate by denying their orientation… doing the ‘normal’ thing by getting married and having children.

    And again, if you had no support to do otherwise… you either became a maverick [leader] and ‘bucked the system’ or you followed… which let’s face it, humans mostly follow rather than lead.

    Then came the Stonewall riots and Harvey Milk… but lets look at history again… what else came looming on the horizon around that time?

    AIDs

    The “Gay man’s disease”.

    I was living in the SF area at the time. My god it was pandamonium! Suddenly ‘gay bashing’ was hitting the news and every tom, dick and harry hit the airwaves with their viralant tirades against not only individuals, but whole communities who identified as ‘homosexual’ friendly [SF, NYC, etc] I remember attending a protest of an Anita Bryant rally and how scared my friends were for me because of the ‘bashing’ that was going on.

    Can you imagine, someone already intimadated enough to be closeted, coming out during those years????

    Can you imagine that even if you never heard your religious leader giving a sermon on homosexuality before, shit hitting the fan on a NATIONAL scale? A friend of mine was a ‘cantor’ at a synogogue… nothing had ever been said about his homosexuality before this… suddenly, he was no longer their cantor.

    I can definitely understand how my generation felt torn.

    What I do have difficulty with however, is acting against groups of people who deserve the same rights as all other citizens… Unless of course you have turned that timidity into self-loathing.
    Now,THERE is the ‘true’ mental illness and where any ‘pity’ should lie.

  13. says

    oh good grief… I didn’t proofread my entry. Apologies all around for those of you who are spelling/grammar police. Neither could be called my ‘strong-suits’.

  14. Peter says

    1 or 100 on the Kinsey Scale? Sixty-year-old men as part of Generation X? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing . . .

  15. CRG says

    SS: It’s appalling you have contempt for closeted older gay men. It’s amazing you think that being ‘out’ or the ability to be ‘out’, which comes so easy to you, ‘just happened’. Do you think straight people got together and said, “hey, let’s respect homos”? Many gay men & women paid a huge price so that your pretentious, arrogant butt can sashay safely & proudly.

    Perhaps you’ve never been hit, chased or various other indignities only because of SUSPICION. If that’s the case then you are lucky & should be thankful for what others did before you were born. Alas, it doesn’t look like you will miss that experience entirely. The current political climate is heading toward making gays scapegoats again. Since there’s too many Muslims for them to take on & people are scared, homos are first on the list. Why? Well, you aren’t so scary, are you? So, @ 25, you’re an under-educated dick who cares about no one or anything except yourself. From your post, I bet you’ve made your parents proud. Why don’t you run upstairs from the basement and ask them?

    You are dismissed, you may go.

  16. SeriouslySick says

    I was a kid (I’m 44) in the 70’s, so at that time he was an adolescent. I was galvanized by those tumultuous times, bat can understand how guys maybe 10 years older or so than me weren’t. They were working, going to college, etc. And the prospect of homophobia affecting you was total. I mean 100%. You were out, AIDS was emerging, you were going to pay the price socially and emotionally no matter what you did, so some of them just made the decision to stay in the closet and marry a close girlfriend. I couldn’t imagine getting a hardon for a woman, still can’t, but some gay guys can. So at the time, they got married, and stayed “safe”. I’ve always been ambivalent about them, but again, I was a kid, bu they were young adults living in this nightmare plague, with Ronald Reagan calling them perverts, and such. I think it was easier for the younger GenX guys like me, were on a demographic dividing line. Harvey was Silent generation, and they and the Boomers did an enormously good favor for us at stonewall and building the LGBT identity, but those in the middle really were powerless at the time. the early 80’s were a real head trip if you were gay.

  17. van says

    Oh, piffle on all you defenders. I’m 48 and grew up in the sticks – but high-tailed it to the big city at my first chance. Speaking plainly, anyone gay my age or younger who didn’t come out in their 20s or earlier is a coward.

  18. says

    For the record, since several people here seem to think being 50 means you were born in the Dark Ages, many people of Mr. Blunt’s generation have been out for decades. He’s more an exception than a rule.

    Anyone who came of age during the beginnings of the AIDS crisis had good reason to be afraid, but the reasons most conservative politicians have for staying in the closet are usually tied to career ambition and maintaining straight privilege. Having a wife and family adds another layer of complication, but one he chose for himself.

    As is always the case with coming out: better late than never, and those who used their closeted status to inflict damage on gay people (see Ken Mehlman) while protecting themselves deserve a lot less respect than those who stayed closeted while harming no others. Mr. Blunt’s voting record indicates his 30-year journey claimed victims other than himself.

  19. HawaiiBill says

    For awhile there it looked like there might be some actual rational discussion about to break out on here. Communication between the generations? Refreshing. Understanding about different experiences and the fact that everyone has their own story that’s true to them and for them? Great.

    But thank goodness Van showed up to get us back to being judgemental, exhibit just how superior we can be to each and remind us to resort to name-calling. I guess we can soon expect our own special little ageist troll to pop his head out of his hole and set all the old farts straight. At least then the universe will be back in balance.

    But it was nice to see while it lasted.

  20. Raul says

    @CRG Calm down mijo… he is just asking…relax… there is no need to attack.

    Sorry for my english Im mexicano.

    There is also a very interesting theory about gay rejection. and again Theory.

    It doesnt matter how in the “open” the gay issue is. You can live in a very open mined society but still YOU ARE Different, You are a minority. Your parents can be Democrat Hippies and they can say they are OK with homosexuality But there is also a certain level of biochemical, biological rejection.

    SAY WHAT?

    Have you heard of chemical attraction?, well there is also chemical rejection. We, as animals, still react to a lot of things in a primitive way. Our species still acts like ALL the species in the planet: lets fuck and be more. Its the basic instict. We need to reproduce. Unlike other species, we are beyond that problem, we are not as many as mosquitos but there are enough of us. But in our genes there is still that instruction… except of course in gay people.

    So when your democrat hippie dad realize that there is something gay with you… There is a level of rejection based in that male instinct that the reproductive chain might end with you… and the mother also reacts in an instinct way overprotecting the “different” child.

    Some crazy stuff…

  21. GregV says

    @Sschifersha:
    If I calculate right, this guy was born in 1960 and you were born in about 1985.
    When he was 7 years old, a black man and a white woman who got married could get 10 years in prison and there was no such thing as a TV commercial or show with a black person who wasn’t a servant. When you were the same age, blacks were major entertainers and interracial marriages were no big deal.
    When he was 9 years old, gay men were routinely harrassed by police in even the most progressive cities. A man dancing with a man in a nightclub meant arrest and jail. If the law found out you had any consensual sexual experience with another man, you could get life in prison (yes, LIFE!) in some U.S. states. The only time homosexuality was ever mentioned on TV or magazines, it was in the context of warning about these “creepy” boogeymen who were out to get you. (Watch Mike Wallace’s old “The Homosexual” special on YouTube).

    When YOU were 12, the MTV generation had already seen numerous real gay people on shows like The Real World, ellen had come out on her hit TV show, Will and Grace was about to be picked up by NBC and the notorious Sodomy Laws were about to be overturned in court (before you were going to turn old enough for them to have any chilling effect on you).
    For HIM, saying honestly that he was gay would have (necessarily, by law) ruined his career in the military. At the time he was there, it would probably have also cost him his social life amojg a generation that hated and vilified gay people.

    You grew up in a genartion that had gay-straight alliances in high school and where the idea that gay people are human beings is not even debatable.

    I really don’t believe that nobody in your generation can relate to the closet, though. If you live in a big, progressive city it may not seem like a big deal. But why don’t you and another guy take a road trip through the rural South, or even the big cities. Will you do an experiement and hold hands walking down the street in Texarkana or rural Georgia or even Memphis? You can spen a whole summer there and never once run across two 25-year-old males walking hand-in-hand as so many mixed-sex couples do in the same places. there’s a reason for that: they don’t feel safe.
    Things have gotten much better, but for this 50-year-old man it may well have been decades of living in a nightmare that kept him in the closet, lying to everyone in order to feel safe.

  22. says

    Raul, would you mind listing a source of this “Chemical rejection theory” you speak of ? Just interested in reading it since I’ve never heard about it even within the context of “Chemical attraction” [which I have read].

    Also, a democratic hippie dad would have embraced their child even if there were ‘something gay about them’. I’ve known plenty of ‘hippies’ [am one] who easily crossed gender identifiable toys with their children.

    None of my own foster parents were ever hippies or probably even democrats for that matter… so it was frowned upon in my homes whenever my siblings or myself engaged in play that didn’t fit mainstream America’s idea of gender roles. Gads how I hated Barbie and would go play with my brothers ‘hot wheels’ or go and play ‘cow-boy n indians’ or racing around the property on mini-bikes… or climb [and fall-lol] outta the highest trees or have forts and snow-fights. Years later my brother fell into step with his upbringing and started calling my nephew [who is now near 30] ‘wimp’ and ‘pussy’ and ‘whatareya, queer?’… damn near knocked him on his ass [he’s 6’4 -I’m not!] and told him that if he talked like that again I wouldn’t stop myself… it pissed me off so bad. Just because [he was 6] and his favorite toy was ‘glow-worm’… which he did EVERYTHING with [would of dragged his green ass into the tub if the water didn’t ruin it].

    Of course I immediately pulled him aside and talked to him about it… tried to counteract the influence.

    btw…. in some instances family/friends/community are still negative influences on a child’s sexual identity. Going back to my nephew [who is half latino] and who grew up within the latino community- has a friend whom he considers a brother… who is ‘suspected’ by a few to be gay. The kid’s really messed up and frankly I’m concerned for his welfare… I’ve let him know that he can always come to me… but my nephew said “auntie, he’ll never come to you, not if he is gay… its not because he doesn’t love you or trust you… it’s cultural… that he [my nephew] would be even more afraid for his friend.

    Now granted, this community is heavily ‘gang’ entrenched….but I was wondering
    Raul, since you identify as latino, how your own experience relates? Is it different between latino heritages, i.e., mexican as opposed to puerto rican?

    <- ignorant, but interested.

  23. Steve Collins says

    I live in the UK and I have UTTER contempt for this guy.

    Not because he remained in the closet for so long.

    He is contemptible for his homophobic voting record. He has NOT apologised for his disgraceful past homophobia.

  24. TANK says

    I really don’t see the purpose of contextualizing his cowardice…other than an attempt to excuse it…which is a great big fail.

  25. says

    Tank love, the commenter asked… and contextualizing means understanding… not to be equated with condoning or excusing any behaviors.

  26. BobN says

    It’s interesting to see the difference between a “conservative” on one side of the pond and our “conservatives” here. Blunt has a moderate record on gay rights. He’s against marriage but for national civil unions, against military service (at least a decade+ ago he was) but in favor of workplace anti-discrimination laws. And he’s seen as sort of right-wing on gay rights for a Tory.

    His record is better than many Democrats here.

    On a side note, I’m a Kinsey six. I’d kind of like to meet a Kinsey 100. I bet that would be quite an experience :-)

  27. TampaZeke says

    First of all, he voted AGAINST gay adoption.

    Second, don’t care how terrible someone had it in life, it doesn’t excuse, explain or justify attacking gay people and their families. There is NO excuse for that and they should be called on the carpet for it, even when they come out.

    I grew up in rural Mississippi, the son of a Southern Baptist pastor who was an elected Republican official. My parents thought Jerry Falwell was a liberal. Don’t tell ME about having it hard. Fuck that.

    People need to stop acting as if character and courage and integrity, or the lack thereof, doesn’t make the difference between those who act morally, ethically and with integrity, and those who don’t. Those are the ONLY things that make the difference.

    I’m sick of all of this, “but you don’t understand”, “people his age…”, “he didn’t have any choice”, yadda, yadda, yadda…

    That’s bullshit.

  28. HawaiiBill says

    Zeke, you’re absolutely right. There is never a legit excuse for his kind of behavior with his anti-gay crap and working against our rights while he hides in his closet and deflects. Just as there shouldn’t be any for Mehlman and the joker from Central California driving drunk outside a gay bar. Understanding or discussing WHY they did it doesn’t excuse it.

    I’ve tried to think of how I might be convinced to think someone like that has atoned for what they’ve done and I’ve yet to come up with a satisfying answer or heard one from anyone else. It’s probable one doesn’t exist and I don’t really care. They made their own mess. But that doesn’t mean I have to buy into the hatred that some of the other posters on here profess repeatedly. They have a right think and say it, but it doesn’t mean I have to act the same way because they demand that litmus test for purity.

  29. SSCHIEFRSHA says

    @Raul Thanks.
    @CRG Whoa! You need to chill. Just asking. And had you read my comment correctly, you would have had an understanding that my contempt is for men who go to “lengths to assert [their] pseudo-heterosexuality by [politically] oppressing that which [they] secretly are” NOT “contempt for closeted older gay men” as you misquote. By your leave then, Monsieur.

  30. says

    Okay, I had to re-write this…
    I started going off and this really isn’t the forum.

    Suffice to say…

    “By the grace of g-d go I”

    [and yes Tank, I know you don’t hold for any religion… thank yourself if that’s what drives your humanity… your compassion] by all means folks THANK it, for making you so much better than the rest who don’t live up to your standards.

  31. TANK says

    my standard? puhleeze…. My standard’s pretty low. The truth…no life is more important than another. If ya can’t accept that, you can’t live by my standard.

  32. says

    Your right, no life is more important than another… with that I concur.

    There’s just some that really, really test my compassion… in fact, in the case of someone like Hitler, they would probably break it.

  33. Dillon says

    At 62, I’m from the generation where entrances to gay bar were unmarked and off dangerous back allies. Where raids on these same bars resulted in police beatings that went unreported due to fear of exposure. When license plate numbers from cars parked near these bars were recorded by police and employers were often notified that they had employees frequenting these establishments.

    This was shortly after Stonewall but that meant virtually nothing to those of us in “middle America”. Yet many, although not a majority by any means, chose to live their lives honestly and came out before “coming out” was even a term for what we were doing. I have virtually no reason to condemn or vilify people like Chrispin Blunt or Ken Mehlman but I also have no reason to celebrate, support, defend, forgive or try to explain away their decision for waiting until mid-life to “come to terms” with their homosexuality. Many of these mid-lifers have been taking advantage of the gay community by having sex in public places or carrying on secret homosexual affairs while damning us to anyone who will listen (Larry Craig’s of the world I’m talking about you here).

    People do not suddenly wake up one morning and decide (or discover) that they are gay. They wake up one morning and realize that their life is passing them by, that they are miserable, often lonely and have virtually nothing to look forward to than another day of lying to themselves and everyone who loves, respects and supports them. So, with no regard for those they have harmed in the past (hey Mehlman I’m talking about you here) they suddenly jump from the security of their closet screaming that they have almost magically discovered that they are gay and want to apologize for any harm they “might” have done in the past.

    Sorry fellows, personally I’d be much happier if you’d just stay in the closet while you try to correct, or make amends for, the previous damage you have done before you come out expecting to be welcome with open arms by those you’ve attempted to destroy.

    Coming out is never easy regardless of the generation from which you come. However, using their age to somehow qualify their inability to come out earlier simply doesn’t always ring that true to me. Many of these people lived through eras when being gay really wasn’t that difficult (remember the 70’s?) the mid-80’s were pretty good, as was most any time after the late-90’s. If we’re talking about someone over the age of 70 then maybe I get it – beyond that I see it as nothing more than excuses.

    Sorry Blunt and Mehlman -too little, too late.

  34. Tom Stoppard says

    Had he come out in 1980 or 1990 or even in 2000, I would have had some respect for him. As it is – he’s had all the benefits of heterosexual privilege for most of his life. Not impressed.

  35. darkmoonman says

    Ahem. The Kinsey scale goes from 0 (totally herterosexual) to 6 (totally homosexual).

    I’m 55 and grew up in an obscenely oppressive and repressive Southern Baptist household in a tiny (< 1000 people) town in the Bible Belt of the USA. Though “masculine”, I left the closet in 1976 when I turned 21 and never looked back, and went on to have a good career in business plus two LTRs (one for 8 years, the other ongoing at 16 years). I know plenty of folks my age and older who didn’t wallow in the closet.

  36. GregV says

    @darkmoodman: By the age that you came out of the closet (21), my parents had already been openly dating members of the opposite sex throughout high school and college, had already finished all of their dating years and were married.
    Some only “wallow in the closet” until they are 12 years old, some until they are 21, some come out at 50 or older.
    I hope that today’s generation of boys will just be able to say in kindergarten, “I’m going to marry a man someday” without any shame, and just be themselves from day one. But as for the rest of us, we all hid our truths for a while, and whether we waited until high school graduation was done or until the retirement party, it’s all relative.

    @JackFknTwist: Liberace was no gay role model. He pulled a Tom Cruise and sued to assert his heterosexuality.

  37. TANK says

    It’s not all relative, as the normative statement you meant it to be. It is cowardly in this case, and harmful to more than just the closet case.

    Liberace, elton john…not gay role models.

  38. ratbastard says

    If Mr. Blunt is 50, he was a pre-teen, teen, and young man during the 70’s and 80’s…in his 30’s during the 90’s. In other words he grew up and lived as a young man during the 70’s,80’s, and 90’s. He did not grow up in a repressed age….quite the opposite. Now if he was 10 years older (60) or above, I’d understand better. There was a big difference in cultural norms between someone who grew up from the 70’s onward, and someone who grew up in the 60’s and pre-60’s.