Self-haters gonna hate.
Earlier this week, gay Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana made harsh statements about same-sex couples raising children.
We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one… No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.
They further called children born via in vitro fertilization “children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog.”
I suppose it never occurred to them that some straight couples have used similar procedures to have children, but I guess straight folks get a pass.
And, not shockingly, the pair, who were a couple for over 20 years before splitting up, is also anti-marriage equality.
They cite their traditional backgrounds as the reason for their beliefs, but that’s just a smokescreen for their self-hate. They internalized the bullshit that LGBT people are unworthy of raising children or even marrying. A part of me feels for them. Self-hate is very real and very damaging. But my sympathy stops the minute they start voluntarily broadcasting their crazy. By doing so, they add to the homophobic bedlam closeted and questioning people already hear, giving them more false justifications to hate themselves. Out celebrities are potent weapons against homophobia. But when they turn out to be self-haters themselves, then they often can do more harm than good.
I congratulate Sir Elton John for speaking up against their hate and calling for a boycott of their products. At first Messrs. Dolce and Gabbana ridiculed Sir Elton, calling for people to boycott Elton John. They also declare that Sir Elton was intolerant of their views. Why do haters always insist on tolerance for their intolerance? As the call for a boycott widened, though, they have tried to tone down their crazy. But you can’t tone done stuff like “synthetic children.” That’s just rude.
The designers’ self-hate added to the antigay dialogue and gave aid and comfort to those who oppose marriage equality and LGBT folks raising children. Another likely self-hater in the news this week did worse than that during his abortive career.
Soon-to-be-former Congressman Aaron Schock (Rep.-IL) relished his status as the most buffed congressman in the country. Shirtless pictures of him are ubiquitous on the Internet. He also loves bling. He pimped out his office to look like something from Downton Abbey. He buys expensive clothing – one wonders if Dolce and Gabbana suits hang in his closet. He takes private jets to exotic vacation spots, in the company of an equally buffed male companion (wink-wink, say no more).
Questions arose about how he paid for his expensive lifestyle and whether he improperly used taxpayer and donor money to finance the bling and pay the way for an unsalaried full-time personal photographer who wasn’t his boyfriend (wink-wink, say no more) to travel with him. He did not have good answers for the questions and promptly resigned when they became burdensome. Besides hiding his money sources, many have wondered if the buffed congressman has been hiding something else about himself. If so, then it’s part of an old, tired story.
Mr. Schock has a big, fat 0% rating on LGBT issues from the Human Rights Campaign. He opposed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He opposes the repeal of DOMA. Like Dolce and Gabbana, he does not support marriage equality. Also like the Italian self-haters, he cites his religious faith as the reason for his views on all things gay. He has publically denied being gay. And his own father has stated that his son isn’t gay, he’s just “a little different” and that he “wears stylish clothing.”
Ever blunt Barney Frank, retired congressman from Massachusetts, quipped that while he didn’t know anything about Schock’s sexuality, Schock “spent entirely too much time in the gym for a straight man.” Yeah, that and the parade of topless photos. Hmmm.
So here we have two examples of folks who want it both ways. They want to cling to outmoded, hurtful, “traditional” ideas about the family and relationships while at the same time enjoy the benefits a more open society has offered LGBT folks. Dolce and Gabbana enjoyed a 23-year relationship before breaking up romantically – they are still business partners. Back in the good old days that they claim to cherish, such an arrangement would have been close to impossible. They certainly couldn’t have been open about it. And being openly gay no doubt has helped their company’s bottomline, at least until now. Furthermore, Mr. Gabbana once toyed with the idea of having a child with a female friend via artificial insemination, shortly after breaking up with Mr. Dolce. Seriously? Hypocrisy, thy name is Dolce and Gabbana.
Then we have swank Mr. Schock, living the dream, taking trips with another young man (wink-wink, say no more), all the while voting against the interests LGBT Americans nationwide. All three of these guys have behaved cowardly and in a counterproductive manner.
Coming out is a personal journey. Normally I say that one should be allowed space to do it at one’s own pace. But my sympathy ends when folks play out their internal battles externally. That leads to harm and hurt. I advise Congressman Schock and Messrs. Dolce and Gabbana to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s advice:
The only devils in this world are those running around in our own hearts, and that is where all our battles should be fought.
© 2015, gar. All rights reserved.
1 thought on “Self-Haters Gonna Hate”
I don’t know much about Aaron Schock – but I think Dolce & Gabbana are entitled to put their opinion out there without having an organized campaign aimed at them to damage their business.
It’s not like they use child labor in asian sweatshops to produce their clothes – all they did was state their own beliefs against gay adoption, surrogacy and gay marriage – and they are gay men themselves, not the Westboro Baptist Church.
The issue is not one of being self-hating gay men either – Dolce & Gabbana have been out gay men for decades and were in a long-standing relationship with each other until 10 years ago.
Dolce & Gabbana grew up in traditional catholic families in Italy and, unlike the common stereotypes about growing up gay, seem to have healthy, close and loving relationships with both parents and the rest of their family. From their experiences, point of view and cultural tradition – they believe that the traditional Mother-Father parent structure is the healthiest to raise children in.
Dolce & Gabbana’s fashion business is actually an outgrowth of their family’s garment industry business – so the whole family is involved.
It also has to be remembered that europeans tend to be more culturally sophisticated about many issues than americans.
The italians have thousands of years of culture and history, so the issue of homosexuality is not a new one.
There is an understanding that if you adhere to traditional social customs and appearance, you can live your life as you choose – Leonardo Da Vinci or Michaelangelo, anyone?
Americans didn’t invent gay relationships or the gay community – many older cultures have gay communities that don’t necessarily share in the same opinions and attitudes as the US.
It’s not an issue of self-hatred – many europeans find the american tendency to be blunt or flaunt things in your face to be crass and unsophisticated.
In Asia, Japan has a long history of male-male love affairs depicted in ancient books and songs, but the practice of a Gay Pride Parade is considered embarrassing and unseemly. And it’s not sexual prudishness, Japan has temporary cubicles rented out for sexual trysts, for both straight and gay couples, called Love Hotels – it’s accepted with no shame, but societal modesty requires keeping things quiet.