A gay dad sounds off on the candidates who decided that penises, over policies, were appropriate campaign dialogue. Will our sons lose sight of a culture that valued being a “gentleman?”
So, Marco Rubio’s campaign has petered out. Pardon the expression. Or not. It may be the first time in history that a presidential attempt went down in flames around an attack of penises. I guess they all do in a sense, but not in so many words.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate male physique and anatomy. That would define the “gay” part of being a “gay dad.”
I have a healthy appreciation. I don’t particularly like when male genitals are referred to as “junk”. I consider them anything but, and quite frankly, I find that label homophobic.
As I was growing up, I was told that penises were no big deal — that “every guy has one” and “they are all the same.” As a grown up, particularly one with great transgender friends and associates, I can tell you that neither of those statements is true.
I also know that many guys seem to like to talk about their penises. Over the course of the social media adventure, I have been a happy member, pardon the expression, of a number of online communities of men and dads. I’m on a couple of mostly straight guy communities, and another that is made up of gay dads. While the straight guy communities have frequent penis references, the gay dad group never does. And I mean NEVER. That is not to imply that all gay “community” sites are that way. There are obviously certain apps where people are more likely to represent themselves with an image of their intimate parts than they are of their face. In the gay dad group, private parts are not what we are about.
Ahhhh… “private parts”…. Remember when the penis was treated that way?
That is still the standard I have set with my sons, who are both 13 years old. I have raised them from birth and infancy after each was born to drug addicted parents. Throughout my goal has been to inspire self worth, self respect and a sense of self dignity in them. They understand that their bodies are private and worthy of protection. They also know to extend that respect and dignity to others.
It is a lesson that apparently several of the GOP candidates of this season never got, or if they did, have chosen to ignore. Here is my letter to them.
Dear Mr. Rubio and Mr. Trump,
Gentlemen, and I use the term loosely, put your phallic allusions away. I cannot imagine what you each sought to gain by going to the genitals, but whatever it was, you are not getting the rise from it that you had hoped. In fact, for Mr. Rubio, it has been less erection and more ejection.
Mr. Rubio, I blame you for this. You started this conversation with a likely calculation that reality TV star Trump could not resist the invitation to follow you. Your strategy to literally sink below the belt is actually pretty fascinating.
Of all the candidates on the roster, you have been one of the most outspokenly homophobic. You have heralded people who would discriminate against LGBT people and expressed desire that they not be condemned for it. You unabashedly would love to see LGBT people stripped of our civil rights and ushered out of polite society.
At the same time, you have been dodging those darn gay rumors about you. Most do not give them credibility. No man has claimed to have had sex with you. The rumors are based on reports that you allegedly were in some pretty raucous male erotic environments. Was it you, or a look alike? Those who reject the conjecture that you might be secretly bisexual cite the facts that you fathered children and you have built an anti-gay political career as proof. For many of us with experience in LGBT civil rights, we see both facts as typical covers for a closeted man with intense internalized homophobia.
In any case, here is a tip for you. If you are trying to skirt rumors that you may be secretly attracted to men sexually, it would be advised that you not signal that one of your main thoughts about a fellow candidate is how big his penis is, or is not.
So yes, Mr. Trump, you were goaded into the temptation to talk about your penis. Since you had previously speculated on being sexually attracted to your own daughter, anticipating you might jump on this was not a leap. It does not excuse your behavior.
Mr. Trump, make me embarrassed. You make me ashamed of being an American. You make me ashamed of being a male. You make me ashamed of being a leader. You do not deserve to be in contention of representing me as any of those things.
I don’t agree with you on your law, immigration or economics agendas, but those are not the only things I look to a President to be about. I also look for a person who brings a sense of decorum, class and inspiration.
The women in this race seem to understand the concept. I cannot imagine Hillary Clinton or Carly Fiorina going on about each other’s body parts. (Full disclosure: Ms. Fiorina was caught on live microphone criticizing Barbara Boxer’s hair in their California Senator race. So, Mr. Rubio, you couldn’t have gone after the hair, such an easy target? No, you had to go for the penis.)
As my sons grow into the men that I hope they become, I do not want them influenced by public leaders with no sense of propriety. I want them to emulate men with heart, compassion and who embrace others, even their competitors with decorum and grace.
My dad was a Republican man. He embodied those qualities. I would be proud to have my sons emulate him, but not you, the men who see themselves as the ultimate Republican male of today.
I hope, they look to the gay dads of the world instead. The men who inspire are the ones who respect the physical being of others, strive towards compassion for their essence, and work to understand their principles even in the effort to refute them.
That does not describe either of you.
If we are what we think about, you two, are apparently a pair of…..
Well, I think you get the picture.
Photo: Flickr/Michael Vadon