February 16th, 2017

Coming out as a gay conservative

Since I’m always interested in political changers, I want to draw your attention to this brave soul. Chadwick Moore is a gay man of 33 who lives in Brooklyn, a “lifelong” liberal (I guess 33 years seems long when you’re 33) who recently wrote a piece for Out magazine on Milo Yiannopoulos. The article was neither pro nor con; he merely tried to be fair to him and present the facts.

Well, your can imagine the reaction. Yes, indeed: “Moore found himself pilloried by fellow Democrats and ostracized by longtime friends.” Here’s some of what Moore has to say about it:

Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my longtime mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” A dozen or so people unfriended me. A petition was circulated online, condemning the magazine and my article. All I had done was write a balanced story on an outspoken Trump supporter for a liberal, gay magazine, and now I was being attacked. I felt alienated and frightened.

I laid low for a week or so. Finally, I decided to go out to my local gay bar in Williamsburg, where I’ve been a regular for 11 years. I ordered a drink but nothing felt the same; half the place — people with whom I’d shared many laughs — seemed to be giving me the cold shoulder. Upon seeing me, a friend who normally greets me with a hug and kiss pivoted and turned away…

My best friend, with whom I typically hung out multiple times per week, was suddenly perpetually unavailable. Finally, on Christmas Eve, he sent me a long text, calling me a monster, asking where my heart and soul went, and saying that all our other friends are laughing at me.

This got Moore to thinking, as well it might. He decided that maybe liberals weren’t as tolerant as he’d previously thought. And as he sought out more people on the right and spoke to them, he discovered they weren’t as intolerant as he’d previously thought. And he ended up here:

I finally had to admit to myself that I am closer to the right than where the left is today. And, yes, just three months ago, I voted for Hillary Clinton.

I’ve written before many times about political changers, both my own story and those of others (see right sidebar). All stories are different, and all are somewhat alike. Moore’s story is marked, I think, by its speed, but that sometimes happens (mine was slower). Sometimes political affiliation is a sort of house of cards, and knock one of the supporting pillars down and the whole thing collapses.

I think Moore’s experience was relatively quick because it began with the personal: his ostracization by people he had thought were his friends. This was a wake-up call—pow in the gut, where it hurts. For most changers, including me, it happens the other way around: first the political change (perhaps for reasons more abstract), then the coming out, and then the angry reaction of people once thought to be friends. For me, that angry group was neither as large as for Moore nor as vicious for the most part as what he reports, but it was still a very distressing and even shocking experience.

The sentence of Moore’s that struck home the most powerfully for me was this one, because it points out the surprise of seeing something one has never really seen (or experienced personally) before:

I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I was outside of the liberal bubble and looking in.

Moore adds that what he saw was ugly. I don’t run in circles as extreme or as politically-oriented as Moore does, and my experience occurred around 2003-2004 in an atmosphere that was somewhat milder in general in terms of political polarization. However, it is a strange experience to be on the outside looking in, for the first time.

I kept wanting to say to my friends, “You know me! You know I’m not mean, or stupid. I’m the same person I always was!”

Sometimes I did say that. Sometimes (actually, most of the time) we remained friends. With some people I still can discuss politics without it turning into a confrontation. With some, we avoid the topic. But since I never really did discuss politics that much with people in general, it’s not that hard to avoid doing so now. Some people did stop talking to me, but it was a minority.

In that I’m more fortunate than Moore, who is a journalist in 2017, and a gay journalist at that. His friends are probably highly political and even more activist and to the left than most of my friends, and many of them are probably younger as well. That makes it harder for him. I applaud his courage. He’ll find a home on the right, I think, and realize it can for the most part be a welcoming place. Maybe he already has realized that.

28 Responses to “Coming out as a gay conservative”

  1. parker Says:

    Young Mr. Moore had a painful lesson about the intolerance and hatred of the left. He will be welcomed by many on the right, I wish him well.

  2. n.n Says:

    Individual human lives can be modeled as a constellation of principles or biases, intrinsic and learned. After a life-time of experience, Moore developed a character and judgment that is closely aligned with American conservatism, which is centrist or moderate in a globally-aware spectrum.

  3. Griffin Says:

    The hatred of all things Trump by gays are big time tells that they are LEFTISTS first and then gay because I for the life of me can’t figure what he has ever done to the gay community to warrant the hate they reign down on him. This talk by Maddow and others about Trump throwing her and her friends in camps is so ridiculous. As has been pointed out many times Trump has been for gay marriage for a hell of a lot longer than Obama and certainly Hillary Clinton.

    So I guess this gentleman’s biggest mistake was an incredible naivety to what his friends were really for and against.

  4. Physicsguy Says:

    He left the almighty church of the left. All heretics must be burned.

  5. Brian Swisher Says:

    No, not heretic. Apostate.

  6. j e Says:

    It is truly a fascinating phenomenon that over the past century almost all political conversions involving well-known public figures (writers, intellectuals, politicians,etc) have been from left to right. Conversions from right to left remain extremely rare.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    j e:

    See this.

  8. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Griffin and Brian have the right of it. The same dynamic applies to blacks, women, Jews and any other victim group and of course, especially to environmentalists.

    j e,

    Those on the left, to one degree or another, reject basic aspects of human nature and fundamental operative principles of the external reality within which we all exist.

    Those on the right accept them however much we may wish they were otherwise.

    “The facts of life are conservative.” Margaret Thatcher

    Once reality is accepted, investing in an imagined reality is not possible for anyone who retains their sanity. Whereas, those who reject aspects of reality may in time come to accept the truth expressed in a Sam Cooke lyric from the song, “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You”

    You’re nobody till somebody loves you
    Oh, you’re nobody till somebody cares
    You may be king
    You may possess the world and its gold
    But that gold won’t bring you happiness
    When you are growing old
    The world still is the same
    You’ll never change it

    IMO, an infantile/juvenile protest against what Winston Churchill labeled life’s essential “inequality of blessings” lies at the heart of liberalism’s idealism.

    The irony becomes literally biblical when one considers that evolution itself is driven by the ultimate ‘inequality’ of individual beneficial adaptive mutation passed on strictly to one’s descendants. As without that essential and utterly necessary ‘inequality’, life on earth never would have evolved beyond the stage of the amoeba…

  9. Gringo Says:

    It is truly a fascinating phenomenon that over the past century almost all political conversions involving well-known public figures (writers, intellectuals, politicians,etc) have been from left to right. Conversions from right to left remain extremely rare.

    Conversion from right to left has actually been rather common over the years using the following scenario: young person from the provinces goes to university and gets “enlightenment.” Consider Hillary Rodham Clinton, everyone’s favorite Goldwater Girl.
    [These days, it isn’t enlightenment, but indoctrination. ]

  10. Gringo Says:

    Geoffrey Britain
    Whereas, those who reject aspects of reality may in time come to accept the truth expressed in a Sam Cooke lyric from the song, “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You”

    I had always associated that song with Dean Martin.

  11. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    I didn’t hear it, but NPR had a segment on this guy on Morning Edition. I’ll track it down, just to see how they slanted it.

  12. Ackler Says:

    Conversion from right to left (or center/indifferent to left) is fairly common for those under thirty. For those over thirty it is quite rare. David Brock, I suppose. But it’s very hard to say if has ever been sincere in his beliefs.

  13. AesopFan Says:

    Back when I first started reading poli-blogs around 2007, I noticed that the conservative gay community often remarked that their conservative friends were much more accepting of their sexuality than their gay friends of their politics.

    I wonder if he’s encountered Milo yet?

  14. AesopFan Says:

    I popped over to your GayPatriot link to see if they were on this story yet, and found a gem of a quote, although on another subject.

    The Changing Face of Scandal
    Posted by V the K at 8:38 am – February 15, 2017.
    Filed under: Democratic Scandals,Democrats & Double Standards
    As Obama prepared to leave office, the Narrative being flogged by the Democrat Media Complex was that his had been a “scandal-free administration.” They repeated this “scandal-free administration” meme so often Joseph Goebbels was on the verge of rising from the dead to demand royalties.

    This one doesn’t name Moore, but it’s on point, as is the prior post:
    What Again?
    Posted by V the K at 11:40 am – February 14, 2017.
    Filed under: Gay Politics
    Another gay leftist drama queen shrieks out against gay people who leave or are thinking of leaving the Democrat Social Justice plantation.

    Here it is, finally:
    And Another One…
    Posted by V the K at 9:17 am – February 13, 2017.
    Filed under: Gay Conservatives (Homocons)
    An urban homosexual leaves the left for the center-right and discovers there is more… much more… acceptance of gays in conservative circles than there is of conservatives in gay circles.

    The impetus for his decision was writing a fair and objective article about Milo Yiannopoulos… the current Emmanuel Goldstein of the stupid, violent left. His longtime liberal “friends” turned on him, called him a Nazi, and in the manner of spoiled middle school girls everywhere, began ostracizing him from their clique.

    (DUH moment, of COURSE he’s met Milo!)

  15. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Gringo,

    I too had always associated it with Dino, in looking up the lyric I landed on a site that implied that Cooke was the songwriter. In looking up the song directly, I learned that Cooke did cover the song but Martin popularized it.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Ackler:

    Having read Brock’s memoir, I’ll say it: I don’t think he was ever sincere in his beliefs. Seems like a shape-shifting opportunist to me. His beliefs were never explained very well, even in his own book, and seemed quite shallow.

  17. SLR Says:

    Gringo Says:

    “Conversion from right to left has actually been rather common over the years using the following scenario: young person from the provinces goes to university and gets “enlightenment.””

    Seems like it (the college argument). But almost all the founding members (intellectuals) of the conservative movement were former leftists…

  18. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    What Moore may not realize yet is that he must already have done some changing — or was already, by nature, closer to the ideas of the right than he realized before he wrote the article — simply because of his willingness even to consider writing an article about Yiannopoulos in which he “merely tried to be fair to him and present the facts.” Your typical person on the left would not be capable of imagining such a concept.

    I say this because it’s a fact I realized about myself after my own political change – that long before I consciously realized that my political affiliation was changing, I was already partway outside the liberal bubble in that I had always been willing to consider the ideas of people who disagreed with me and interested in trying in good faith to understand why we disagreed. That’s a trait that Moore obviously had before he changed his political ideas, and it’s not one that he’s going to find in many of the liberal gay friends who are snubbing him now.

  19. physicsguy Says:

    I have a former college roommate and close friend who always was center right. All of a sudden this past year he became a, literally, raving leftist. He suddenly repeats all the Trumpisms that make the left circuit, etc. It’s really quite remarkable to see this happen via facebook and via emails. I really want to visit him face to face to find out what happened. It’s been very unnerving for me. The only major life change I’ve seen is that he retired a year or so ago.

  20. Kyndyll G Says:

    “Conversion from right to left has actually been rather common over the years using the following scenario: young person from the provinces goes to university and gets “enlightenment.”

    I think the idea behind the comment is assuming people with a conscious and developed belief system. “People going to university” are pretty much by definition teenagers, and few teenagers have sufficient life experience, or knowledge of (much less interest in) political and historical events to have deliberately and clearly thought out belief systems. I would suspect that teenagers believe in what they were raised with; or believe what their friends/social media believe; or are in blind rebellion against what they were raised with. Teens and young adults are very susceptible to peer pressure, so shrugging off default conservative values they casually picked up while growing up in their household on arriving at a university is not the kind of “political change” that’s being referenced.

  21. Ray Says:

    Leftists believe they are intellectually and morally superior people, therefore if you disagree with them you are stupid and evil. Remember what justice Kennedy said about people that disagree with him on gay marriage, you have an irrational animus. In other words, you are stupid and evil.

  22. DNW Says:

    “Left” as a political term is just another word for people who have a more collectivist system of values and reinforcements: whether it’s reflective of a sincerely altruist/termite-like and other dependent mentality, or whether it’s a cynically manipulative stratagem advanced for gaining what they want in the particular environment which they find, or suspect will be, easier farming for them personally.

    One thing I have noticed is that “friends” seem to have a much deeper meaning, for liberals in general, and their reaction a much greater impact in their lives, than is the case for conservatives or libertarians. Who seem to me to have on average the attitude that one amiable and trustworthy beer drinking companion is almost as good as another … after all you’re not marrying the son of a bitch.

  23. GRA Says:

    The psychology of the left is a strange thing. Feelings. Add in exceptions. Add in outiers of the opposing view. Claim prestige, intelligence and worldliness. Add an instagram filter to it all with whatever word that’s trending on the left in big bold white letters.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Mrs Whatsit:

    I was just saying that to a friend the other day.

    Moore was already outside the liberal box in order to interview Yiannopoulos. Moore just didn’t realize that he was already unusual.

    He believed that liberals were liberal. That already marked him as somewhat apart.

    The same was true for me. I was always “different,” but I had no idea that was so.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    SLR; Kyndyll G:

    In my pieces on political change, I have discussed the fact that change as a young person (college age, for example) is not what I’m talking about. A 17-year-old or 18-year-old at college, first time away from home and family, is just beginning to form a political identity, which is quite fluid. That person is also subject to a lot of propaganda at college, at a vulnerable age. I count the beginnings of political identity for most people as being a few years out of college and out in the world.

  26. Gothamite Says:

    Did you see this study?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mri-brain-study-usc-political-beliefs-challenged/

    I had to laugh when they said the subjects were all people with a liberal bent. I guess they couldn’t find a significant sample on or near the USC campus. Nevertheless they said they are seeking out conservatives to see if there’s a different response. I be there will be, but will they report their findings or just tweak the test?

  27. Gothamite Says:

    I meant to say they couldn’t find a significant sample of conservatives on or near the USC campus.

  28. Liberty Wolf Says:

    Yes, I know this story well and it is very tough for someone in the LGBT world since the leftism there is so rampant and just part of the texture of that world. It is the atmosphere — the cultural fabric. I feel for this guy and I know how much it hurts to have people treat you coldly suddenly and to feel so alienated but — I do think also that it’s good he is “coming out” right away. He will find new allies and also help other people crawl away from the indoctrination that poses as liberation.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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