Roy Washburn, previously anti-gay politician, comes out

Roy Ashburn comes out, but now what?

Roy Ashburn comes out, but now what?

Complete and utter tosser California state Senator Roy Washburn has now officially come out, several gay news websites along with mainstream media report.

Roy Ashburn, a republican politician and classic victim of internalized homophobia that ends up fucking things up for everyone else, spent the last several years voting against Harvey Milk day, anti-gay bullying initiatives, gay marriage, and apparently even organized an anti gay-marriage rally. Oh and he’s from California, that lovely prop-8 state.

A few days ago he was booked by the cops after driving around drunk in his state-issued SUV, coming from a gay bar called Faces and with a gay guy in the passenger seat. Smart move.

Now what? I don’t think gays and lesbians will ever accept Ashburn into the fold. Maybe the Log Cabin’s want him?

Some video under the cut.

7 comments to Roy Washburn, previously anti-gay politician, comes out

  • sprung

    i say we accept this dude if (and only if) he is really trying to make amends and do the right thing now.

    we have all struggled with our own versions of internalized homophobia – but some people’s versions manifest in a more self-hating manner than others. this guy is no exception.

    it is unfortunate that he hurt so many people, but i want to see what happens when we lead by the example of love instead of hate and punishment.

    i want to be on the side that fights hard, but loves just as hard.

    queer-town forever.

  • delicate flower

    This post leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    True, Ashburn spent his career undermining the queer population of California. But he also spent his whole life clearly hating himself to the degree that he put on an uber-straight and homophobic facade.

    He is clearly heavily conflicted, but look around at the various queer dance nights or in the queer community at large. GBLT individuals are more likely to smoke, more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs and more likely to engage in risky behaviors, sexual or otherwise. Because they are more likely to internalize the homophobia and hatred that is all around them. And, perhaps, more likely to pass that internalized homophobia and hatred against their queer brothers and sisters? Or their fellow humans at large?

    I guess my point is the same as leslie’s, but a tiny bit sassier: yeah, it sucks that he’s been such a hinderance to the advancement of gay rights. And it sucks that, according to his statements, he may not stop voting so conservatively. But he deserves the same love and acceptance that ANY human being does. And to “not accept” him based on his politics is just as hurtful as every vote he cast against gay rights. They are his rights too, whether or not he wants to accept them.

    And maybe someday he will.

    After all, Harvey Milk was a closet case at one time too. And although he didn’t actively undermine gay rights like Ashburn, he wasn’t clamoring to the front lines like he did in his later life. To dismiss someone based on their worst act or their most misguided moments is not at all what any activist for gay rights would support, and I’m somewhat disappointed that this post promotes that kind of judgement and exclusion.

    This kind of attitude is what contributes to the fracturing of the queer community and also what contributes to the fracturing of feminism. When we can stop judging and hating, that will be the first step toward not being judged and hated.

    Roy Ash

  • Dildo Baggins

    It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.
    Audre Lorde

  • hey everyone,

    i never meant to call folks to order and emphasize we should bash Roy Ashburn for all eternity. I want to emphasize a few points…

    1.)what I meant by my last points was simply that (overgeneralizations aside) queer folks don’t tend to accept people “back into the ranks” that have dissed on them in the past – you can see this with any straight celebrity (mel gibson, isiah washington) or politician who has uttered anti-gay remarks or whatever – he or she will always be considered by those actions. Is that good? No, I agree it’s not. I know I have said and done things people have judged me by (this post is maybe one of them?) But I am trying to be realistic about it. Really, what is Roy Ashburn going to do now? Fade away into obscurity, join the log cabin republicans, get a book deal, do a political 180, or what? Mainstream gay organizations such as HRC/GLAAD won’t want to have him, mainstream gay media won’t want him, straight politics most definitely won’t want him – what can he do?

    I don’t want to see him punished, he has been punishing himself for the last god knows how many years, and will be punishing himself every day after the day he got booked for not having behaved differently.

    2.) I think that when you are an actively anti-gay politician (as opposed to a neutral one) and you get caught in this way, yes, I feel ok about calling you a utter tosser, because those are not just my rights and my life you are campaigning against, they are yours too! (you=Roy Ashburn) And I also stand by my statement that his internalized homophobia has fucked things up for other people. And that makes me mad. It makes me mad that a grown man with four kids thinks it’s ok to lie. It makes me mad that he doesn’t have the courage to do what any of us has done. It makes me mad that it takes an incident like this to force him out into the open. It makes me mad he exploited his privilege. I feel sorry for him that he couldn’t find it in him to live openly. I find it so fucking sad for his kids, his family. I’m not judging him on a “moment”, I’m judging him on a political career – same as I judge Harvey Milk. Also, Harvey Milk was a politician over 30 years ago, this is now…we have gay mayors, respectable, hi ranking gay officials. There are role models. He could have been an agent for change. he chose not to and i judge him by those choices.

    If he takes an equally active stance in trying to undo the damage he has done as he invested in covering being gay – thats fantastic. Thats amazing. Thats community building. Thats decent, loving, uniting. I’ll be his biggest fan, despite the gold ties he sports. That is overcoming difference. I want to see it before i believe it. So far, it looks like he doesn’t plan on changing much. I don’t see why he should get a carte blanche when we are still debating Sam Adams character after two years. I will happily write a post praising the virtues of Roy Ashburn if i feel like he deserves it, but right now, I don’t feel like he does.

    I don’t hate him. I don’t even dislike him. I pity him. I feel sorry for him, and I’m wondering what people think he can do now.

    That’s what I was trying to say.

  • alleyhector

    I’m just surprised no one has talked about that amazing gold tie yet…

  • Dildo Baggins

    well what you “meant” to say and what you clearly stated were two different things entirely. But nonetheless noted.
    He is the same person and now he has the ability to live more honestly. Personally, I accept him and I think his vote will now reflect his revelation. I hope his own self-awareness will result in him no longer voting to deny people the most basic rights.

  • i talked about his gold tie!!
    i don’t think i like it…it’s too gold.
    let’s get back to what’s really important – ragging on other people’s fashion!

    Dildo: I think part of the problem is that I find that people who haven’t met me in person don’t hear the sarcasm, irony, grumblyness but also self-deprecation that is present in my more theatrical “public” communication. I am often over-the-top. It is true. I wave my hands around a lot when I talk, too.

    I’m also always super sincere and a total let’s-talk-this-out lesbianesque overprocessor who is often impatient. Tricky, basically. When I’m trying to get stuff down quickly, I don’t take the time I should to reflect on how I communicate, especially via the written word. That’s my ish, and I know it. I need to work harder on it because we are in public and people do read us (which is fabu!!) and it’s good to have folks let me know that. <3