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Outing the Outed
Look what they are doing to Andrew Sullivan
By The Cynic
cynic@politicalusa.com

6
/6/2001

It pains me that I feel the need to jump to the defense of a columnist who more than likely could defend himself better then I could. This is an instance that I can't help myself... I just gotsta do it.

For those of you unfamiliar with Andrew Sullivan, I suggest you hop over to his website and pay him a visit. Andrew is one of only a handful of writers whom I trust to deliver me his thoughts--bullshit free.

Andrew is a bit of an enigma. As an HIV infected gay man, he is in a great position to claim full victim status, but refuses to do so. He pisses off the left, he pisses off the right  (sometimes he even pisses me off, but who doesn't?).  He carries no allegiance to party politics, and both his feature pieces and daily commentary reach his readers in a personal, yet highly intellectual, way. Frankly, the world would be better off with more Andrew Sullivans and less Joe Conasons. His "Daily Dish" commentaries are somewhat addictive and I visit his site at least twice daily to read them.

Andrew has a habit of ruffling the feathers of the gay establishment. He doesn't pull many punches, and he is happy to call a spade a spade when he deems necessary. Andrew's criticism of the activist gay agenda normally falls in the "hey dude, relax" category. I guess for some, this is stepping out of line with their Big Brother approach to gay-rights activism.

Much like all of us and our work, Mr. Sullivan has a life outside of his "Daily Dish" that he'd prefer his readers not to know about. Not that anyone should care, but it turns out Andrew has been trying to find dates on the Internet (shocking isn't it?). Without getting too heavy into detail here, as a busy HIV infected gay man, Andrew decided to use the Internet message boards to find those who are also HIV infected as possible love interests. It turns out that some of these message boards are what some would consider a bit risqué.

Now as a heterosexual, I'd prefer not to think about Andrew and his "love interests." It's uncomfortable to think about. (But really, is it any different from picturing Maureen Dowd's love interests?)  This is information I do not want to know about anyone (unless Jennifer Love Hewitt decided to become a lesbian and ...ahh never mind). Biggest non-story of the year, if you ask me.

Because of Andrew's history of disagreeing with the gay establishment, a few gay journalists have decided to push this non-story as a way to show how much of hypocrite Sullivan is. You see, Sullivan has been quick to promote gay marriage and monogamy within in the gay community. Somehow, they think that by actively pursuing a partner, Andrew has blasphemed his own values. To me, Sullivan is just looking for a match, nothing more.

One of the gay journalists, David Ehrenstein, had shopped the story around to major media outlets. Most of them passed on it. Ehrenstein, it seems, has had run-ins with Sullivan in the past and seems to be suffering from gay AJD (Attention Jealousy Disorder) due to Sullivan's popularity in media circles. On the non-story he said:

"You've heard of head nigger in charge, going back to whole slavery thing. Well, Sullivan has become head faggot in charge, and what better place to do that than at the New York Times. This has to do with a specific industry and a history, and with his statements about sexuality. This is not just Joe Gay Person."

What amazes me, is that folks like Mr. Ehrenstrein do not realize the asset that Andrew is to them. Sullivan, with his common sense approach to writing, could do more to change the minds of fence sitters on gay issues than a boatload of the victimology infected activists and their fiery rhetoric. Sullivan has forced me on several occasions to reexamine my views on the whole gay thing on more than a few issues. His reward for this? The gay left treats him with the same contempt as they do that "God Hates Fags" minister that you see on the news every so often. It's a shame, really.

When you think about it, the only hypocrisy to be seen here would be the gay left's outing of a person's sexual behavior with the intention of smearing that person. How can they justify this? After decades of trying to make certain sexual behaviors socially acceptable, how can they explain the use of the exact same tactics, that they denounce on a regular basis, to smear a gay person with whom they do not agree?

This is becoming typical of the one-issue advocacy mindsets. At some point, it becomes less about the cause and more about winning the debate of the day. Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, once said that it was his intention to work himself out of a job. He left Greenpeace because he felt the organization was becoming more about the politics and less about the solving the problems it was concerned about. His feelings were confirmed when Greenpeace offered a pension plan to its employees after he departed. The gay left agenda seems no different:  Win at all costs.

The result of this attempted smearing, was Sullivan's publishing of a full disclosure of his sexual activities titled "Sexual McCarthyism." In what I would describe as a painful read (nowhere near as painful as it probably was to write it), Sullivan provides us with the details of his so-called private life. Frankly, I don't want to know. I know Andrew is gay. I know he is HIV positive. I know he wears plaid shirts everyday. I know I trust him to give me his unedited views on everything he deems worthy to write about. Beyond that, I couldn't care less.

I'll still read him twice daily.

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