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Straight 'Daily Caller' Reporter: Gay People Were So Much More Fun Before They Had Any Rights

PatrickhowleyThe Daily Caller, a conservative blog, recently posted an op-ed piece from straight reporter Patrick Howley lamenting the loss of 'fun gays' at the hands of a progressive agenda interested in, you know, at least trying to push ENDA through Congress.

Titled, "Gays now totally boring, ENDA struggle reveals," the sneering piece longs for the days when "gays were subversive adventurers, trolling the city streets at night on a lustful quest for experience and with an outlaw mentality not seen since the days of the Wild West..."

Writes Cowley:

They were decadently-dressed sexual superheroes, daring Middle America to condemn them as they pranced their corseted, high-heeled bodies around to midnight screenings of great American movies like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Pink Flamingoes,” and “Mommy Dearest.” They had an ingrained creativity, a patented sense of irony. They had a brand. They had an identity.

Of course, those days before gays became, as Cowley states, "a bland, tedious, grievance group eagerly seeking government approval," did hold a certain level of freedom, but not without a serious cost.

Equality Matters points out:

What Howley fails to mention, of course, is that much of the gay community’s “outlaw mentality” probably had a lot to do with the fact that gay people were frequent targets of harassment and legal discrimination.

It’s unclear what time period Howley is romanticizing, but the history of the gay community in America is littered with examples of police brutality, government persecution, and intense societal rejection. The Stonewall Riots, widely considered to be the birth of the modern gay rights movement, were sparked in response to regular police raids and harassment at a New York City gay bar.

As a straight man, Howley has the privilege of reminescing on the fun, flirty, and fabulous past associated with post-liberation gay life without concerning himself with the realistic struggles faced by a minority group with which he has no connection.

He finishes his rant with this set of instructions which you're free to take....or not:

To the gays, whose plight and whose stories in this free country are inextricably bound to mine, I say: be yourselves. Live your lives free of the anger and the division that has been forced upon your community by political interests that don’t see any color in life at all, let alone the colors of the rainbow flag. Embrace the freedom this country has to offer, do your part to expand freedom and liberty for others, and cut ties with the unlikable political brand you’ve become attached to.

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  1. This Howley guy looks like he's about 15 years old. I guess he also thinks black people were more fun before they got rights too.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 8, 2013 8:15:27 AM

  2. I have to partly agree with Patrick Howley on the disappearance of the subversive, influential gay male. It's partly due to the fact that we've become too PC, too academic, and too segregated as gay men.

    One of the most obvious examples of how we've lost our subversive influence is reflected in today's music scene. Forty years ago, when Lou Reed and Bowie were hitting big, the idea of gay male sexuality permeated the popular music scene. Today, it’s completely absent. Even today’s dance music scene has been taken over by straights.

    This is my theory: as we’ve become more and more segregated into the “gay male scene”, we’ve become less and less influential in the mainstream. Thus, although today we have a thriving gay male scene, our “withdrawal” into this scene has effectively diluted our influence in the arena where influence really matters – ie Main Street.

    As gay men, we’ve basically ceded control of the mainstream to straight guys and their bisexual female enablers, hence the abundance of fake-bisexual women in the music charts.

    Posted by: jimbryant | Nov 8, 2013 8:18:55 AM

  3. What a condescendent piece of crap

    Posted by: jjose712 | Nov 8, 2013 8:20:26 AM

  4. "...cut ties with the unlikable political brand you’ve become attached to."

    you first, Howley, you first.

    Posted by: tbd | Nov 8, 2013 8:23:33 AM

  5. Oh honey I couldn't be boring if I tried.

    Posted by: jay | Nov 8, 2013 8:26:37 AM

  6. In some ways, I understand what he's saying. His ham-handed, sophomoric expression leaves something to be desired, but I've discussed this same thought with friends over the years. The transgressive "otherness" I felt in the 80s and early 90s, the sense of being free from the constraints and expectations associated with conventional "straight" life was intoxicating... possibly because that sensation coincided with my own coming of age, when the enjoyment of it wasn't tempered yet by injustice or searing loss. It was the realization of the sadness and struggle underlying such in-your-face willful transgression that caused me to start expecting more from my fellow Americans rather than simply ignoring them. Perhaps if this young man had experienced what happened to our community during the Reagan and Bush years... the death, the fear, the anger, the intimidation, the violence, the ostracization... he wouldn't be quite so quick to wax nostalgic for those outwardly "happy and fun" gays whose humor and bravado masked something much darker.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Nov 8, 2013 8:27:06 AM

  7. He's kind of right, although he expresses it in a way I don't particularly agree with...there's a good bit of truth to it. The gays have lost their edge in begging for acceptance which isn't to say I'd give up any of my new rights to go back to the way things were, but it is different. Maybe the lost "edge" is the camaraderie that the gay community used to have, the desire to live in the gay neighborhood, to only feel at ease in the gay bars, or maybe not, maybe I just got old and wax nostalgic like many do.

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 8, 2013 8:34:25 AM

  8. @themilkman...well said, sir.

    Posted by: chuckles | Nov 8, 2013 8:35:57 AM

  9. What an ignorant a--hole. The "freedom" he romanticizes was the freedom to be imprisoned for being gay, the freedom to be harassed for being gay, the freedom to be blackmailed and subjected to police brutality, the freedom to be fired and blacklisted from jobs, and the freedom to be regularly condemned by the likes of him and his "conservative" allies.

    Posted by: Jay | Nov 8, 2013 8:37:50 AM

  10. Just to add to my earlier comment above, yes, I do think we've become too obedient and non-threatening. When we were legally oppressed, we compensated by exerting our influence as gay men through subversive influences in the mainstream.

    These influences were mostly reflected in the rise of the influential Andy Warhol and a myriad of pop music acts with androgynous or sexuality-bending males (Rolling Stones, glam rockers, Bowie, Lou Reed, Village People etc etc). These acts were huge on the charts.

    With the progress in our rights as gay men, the subversive influence we once had has waned. We've had the strait-jacket of social normality placed upon us. Our influence has thus waned because we are no longer outside the tent but, rather, inside it.

    Again, I use the music analogy. There is certainly none of the old derring-do in the music scene today. We no longer hold sway over the mainstream. Our icons are bland, non-threatening entities like Ru Paul and Neil Patrick Harris.

    Posted by: jimbryant | Nov 8, 2013 8:38:27 AM

  11. Who is this blowhard??

    Posted by: Bill | Nov 8, 2013 8:38:50 AM

  12. Another right-wing attention-seeker. Believe me - we may be getting all our legal rights finally but there's NOTHING dull about the lives many of us lead. Guys like this said little twerp are just super-angry because now the gays are really having their cake and eating it!!

    Posted by: Paul | Nov 8, 2013 8:39:06 AM

  13. Jim Bryant, above, has no idea what he is talking about. Howley isn't complaining that we're too "segregated," he's complaining we're not segregated enough. As far as influence in the "mainstream," you can't be serious. The "outlaws" he is talking about had no influence in the mainstream. Perhaps on the fringes, but not in the mainstream.

    Posted by: Jay | Nov 8, 2013 8:40:54 AM

  14. The passing of an established societal hierarchy takes with it both the good and bad. Chekov captured that best.
    And we've seen the same effect in the recent past. The development of jazz and Motown changed the world of music. One could argue those incredible creations were, in part, the product of a group without equal rights channeling their energies to make a statement to the world. Now we have rap or whatever.
    Perhaps I'm too old or out of the scene to say, but it does look like a lot less fun.

    Posted by: Markt | Nov 8, 2013 8:43:02 AM

  15. .... You know, if you take out a few lines, his parting words honestly aren't that bad. Supportive really. Of course, that's if you cut out the B.S.

    "To the gays,- ..., I say: be yourselves.- ..., do your part to expand freedom and liberty for others, -...."

    Okay, in retrospect, I guess it was more than some lines that needed to be taken out.... Monkeys and type writers situation here I suppose.

    Posted by: Cocoamonk | Nov 8, 2013 8:47:38 AM

  16. .... You know, the more I read that last post over, the more I think that all that should be left was the be yourself part....

    Posted by: Cocoamonk | Nov 8, 2013 8:48:53 AM

  17. JIMBRYANT--What? Howley isn't lamenting the loss of a subversive, influential gay male culture in mainstream pop culture. He's probably not even old enough or exposed to gay people enough to even understand what the cultural expression of earlier decades was about. I don't even think he quite *gets* what he wants from us, or how wrong it is to write this kind of open letter in the first place.

    Posted by: Daniel | Nov 8, 2013 8:51:36 AM

  18. I am old enough to have witnessed a major transformation in the LGBT community. Many men of my age self segregated. We had our own bars, sports, and social organizations. While I have heard some gays lament the passing of this scene, I wonder why a straight man would care. I cannot know Mr. Howley's motives, but I wonder, does he long for the days when frat boys could beat up queers and no one cared? And as gays have become more mainstream and straight men have become metro-sexual, you don't know who you can get a BJ from anymore.

    Posted by: Voet | Nov 8, 2013 8:52:22 AM

  19. @JimBryant, I disagree, the radical hasn't gone anywhere in our culture. We are in no way normalized, it's more of an illusion based on how far we have come in such a short amount of time. Big Freedia, L1ef, Maclemore, Katy Perry, Gaga, Adam Lambert, et al. are still queering up the music scene, we still have crazy sex obsessed psychos like TIM and Michael Lucas freaking out.

    Also, I really hope a lot of you try some gay history classes or books, this has happened 3 times now and we still seem pretty queer. I doubt we will ever be homogenous with straights, and if we did who would care as the whole world would have to queer up to meet us there?

    Posted by: Fenrox | Nov 8, 2013 8:58:16 AM

  20. These people are such hypocritical bullsh*tters! This guy is pining for the years past when gay people were at the margins of society whose only encounter with the mainstream was as minstrel trendsetters...How dare gays demand a place at the center of American life? How dare they demand equal treatment under the law? We liked you better when you stayed in your closets and only dared showed your face to be our cultural court jesters.

    Of course he wrote this piece to complain about the ENDA vote in the senate...He reminds me of those people now complaining that gays should not want marriage but instead accept civil unions...yet these same people a decade ago were adamantly against civil unions. What this guy is actually saying in his faux acceptance and condescending manner is " You f*ggots need to get back to back of the bus."

    Posted by: pedro | Nov 8, 2013 9:03:07 AM

  21. I would love to know what his reaction would be if he was fired for being straight.

    Posted by: bkmn | Nov 8, 2013 9:03:13 AM

  22. Piss off! You don't ever get to define me or my people.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Nov 8, 2013 9:07:49 AM

  23. Why doesn't he follow his own advice and give up the political brand he's attached to?

    Posted by: Ken | Nov 8, 2013 9:08:25 AM

  24. and it's "MOMMIE DEAREST," fool!

    Posted by: matt | Nov 8, 2013 9:10:09 AM

  25. and it's "MOMMIE DEAREST," fool!

    Posted by: matt | Nov 8, 2013 9:10:09 AM

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