Thursday, March 05, 2020

You Wanted Former GOP Rep. Aaron Schock to Finally Come Out, and Now He Has

In a lengthy personal essay, former Republican Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock announced to the world for the first time what has long been known -- he is gay. He details a religious childhood, his deliberate avoidance of facing his sexuality (a bad case of "Best Little Boy in the World" syndrome), his time in Congress (including a lengthy legal ordeal that saw him resign to fight for his freedom), all the way up to his being re-outed at Coachella, as he was en route to come out to his mother. He then writes about not finding immediate acceptance from his loved ones.

Full statement HERE.

I accept his apology overture, as a first step toward seeking redemption. I would be a hypocrite to reject something I have long called for. And it couldn't have been easy to finally own up to all of the pain he has caused:
I put my ambition over the truth, which not only hurt me, but others as well. I also, in retrospect, realize that I was just looking for more excuses to buy time and avoid being the person I’ve always been.
While some see the essay as offering more excuses than remorse, I think we can all agree that coming out is never easy.

What I liked was this line:
The truth is that if I were in Congress today, I would support LGBTQ rights in every way I could. 
That is unequivocal and what we need and want to hear from a former lawmaker who actively worked against his own people's interests. (Yes, he is right that being against same-sex marriage was pretty standard on both sides of the aisles when he arrived on Capitol Hill. But John McCain and Barack Obama weren't gay. And not all Republicans voted against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and against hate crime protections for LGBTQ people.)

What I would like to see Schock work past is what came immediately after it:
I realize that some of my political positions run very much counter to the mainstream of the LGBTQ movement, and I respect them for those differences. I hope people will allow for me the same. To that end, I hope that others can respect that for me being gay has not required stepping into some entirely new belief system, disconnected from every other facet of my life’s experiences. I haven’t overcome one kind of repression for another.
We all know people cannot change overnight -- and I choose to praise Schock for evolving instead of criticizing him for not evolving enough. But I would point him to another high-profile LGBTQ Republican, Cailyn Jenner, who managed to go through the entire 2016 election insisting that Republicans -- and Donald Trump in particular -- are just fine and dandy when it comes to our rights. (How ironic that another do-or-die election is upon us the minute Schock decided to come clean.) It's like they've given up control of one aspect of their lives -- their secret -- so they become incredibly invested in another (political affiliation), whether to emphasize that their being LGBTQ doesn't "define" them (whatever that means) or just out of ignorance. Although we all long for the day when the difference between the right and the left had to do with little more than marginal tax rates and regulations, this is no longer the case. Not by a long shot. The sooner all LGBTQ people realize this, the better our chances will be at keeping our rights -- and the planet, and other people's rights, and so on -- in tact.

So I say congrats to Aaron for finally taking the leap -- and would kindly say that a little contrition would go a long way. And I encourage to him to look deep and to let his defenses down and to educate himself about what's really going on out there. People are rightfully angry at him because he hung us out to dry the first time. I'd hate to see him do it again. If a dumb jock like Caitlyn Jenner can finally get it, so can an overachiever from the Midwest.

If  you're going to be gay in 2020, you really need to get up to speed.


Matthew said...

Nicely said.

Alan said...

Three paragraphs is lengthy?

Kenneth M. Walsh said...


Anonymous said...

Does he have a job of any kind to pay for all his travel?

Rix said...

Last thing I saw he had some job with a boutique hotel management company, and was working on turning an old Day's Inn, or other such budget hotel, into a lux stay out by LAX.

James Dwight Williamson said...

We don’t always get what we want, song lyrics , I’m sure. Aaron is now a world acknowledged pole smoker. I hope he can find a way to repair all the damage he has done , instead of leading his vain and vacuous life. Begone Bitch, comeback after working a year with Habitat for Humanity.

The Alchemist said...

His mind and heart might be clearer if he got off of the PEDs.

Erick-O said...

Aaron can politely Fuck Off 👋

And of course no contrition in his statement. Narcissist. He’s beyond redemption.It's ALL about him of course. NOW he seeks acceptance from the very community he railroad for years?

What’s even more depressing is a subset of the community is like, ‘oh it’s okay!’ Because they 1) are also white gays with abs and 2) want the notoriety of being his friend/saying they slept with him.

He is nowhere near redemption so...NO!

Hot guys said...

At least his body is rockin' :)

Because, he's been nasty earlier. As a person, I mean.

Jinxy said...

He really didn't give an apology and he's playing the victim. Which he is not. As many people have pointed out Mayor Pete had a similar upbringing and look how he turned out.