kitchen table

ted haggard: hyprocrite and victim?
November 9, 2006, 12:17 pm
Filed under: America, conservative craziness, Uncategorized

I’m about a week or so late on this one, but I want to comment about Ted Haggard. You know, this guy.

One thing that’s missing so far from the discussion I’ve read and heard is sadness. There’s been anger. And shock. And even, as Laura points out, hypocritical snickering at hypocrisy. But there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of sadness and what I mean by that is this: our heterosexist, patriarchal culture has created an atmosphere in which homosexuality is so deviant that gay (or bisexual) men like Haggard dedicate their lives to a mission of self-hatred.

That’s sad, not funny.

I’ll admit to some vindictive giggles when I first found out, especially when he admitted buying crystal meth but not using it and getting a massage from a male prostitute but not sleeping with him. Now, however, I’m ashamed of myself for laughing at a man who is clearly struggling. And while yes, a lot of Haggard’s past statements about the queer community anger me, I also recognize that we, as a society, need to take some collective responsibility.

Haggard’s hypocrisy didn’t grow out of nothing. It came from a culture of gay jokes, of narrow definitions of “real men,” of a denial of basic rights to those who identify as gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. It came from the same culture that claims it is trying to protect the sanctity of an institution that the ends in divorce over 50% of the time. It came from a culture where the physical expression of love between two men or two women was, for years, illegal.

No wonder Haggard hates himself. From the moment he and other gay Americans could talk, they’ve been silenced.


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