The 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…"
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.
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.