The L.A. Times Looks at Fred Karger's Presidential Campaign, and His Closeted Past
The L.A. Times is running a profile on gay GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger who is still being excluded from the FOX News debate this Thursday, even though he has met all the qualifications.
By running for president and trying to get on stage for at least one debate — the overriding goal of his candidacy — Karger hopes to send a message to people like himself: a boy growing up outside Chicago and, later, a closeted adult, shamed by society's view of his sexuality and too scared to admit, even to himself, who he was...
...It turns out he was a lot like his Uncle Buddy, to whom he bore a striking resemblance. When he was 19, Karger visited a gay bar for the first time and in walked Buddy. Karger fled before he was spotted. Two years later, his uncle killed himself, blaming his male lover in a suicide note. He was 42.
The story has become a part of Karger's campaign, shared with audiences. At a San Francisco fundraiser this summer, he looked on impassively as a group of 25 gay men watched his video image, projected on the wall of a small loft, matter-of-factly discussing the tragedy. His calmness belies the trauma at the time. Karger wondered whether he'd see 42; his parents' shame and horror at Buddy's death drove him even deeper into the closet.