Bathroom Habits: By Eric Marcus
September 6, 2007
I woke up Wednesday morning to the news that Idaho Senator Larry Craig had decided to fight back and may not resign after all. Much to my surprise, I found myself cheering him on. And not only because that means he’ll remain a pain in the ass to the reflexively anti-gay Republican Party, but because it’s the right thing to do in the face of vicious Senate gay-bashing.
How Senator Craig explains himself to himself is between him and whomever he chooses to confide in (and I hope for his sake that there’s someone he can talk to about what’s buried deep beneath that façade of self-righteous respectability). But that has nothing to do with the trap that was set for him and the dozens of other men at the Minneapolis airport. (Just for the record, my partner and I were in the Craig bathroom at the Minneapolis airport just a few weeks ago between flights and noticed no untoward activity, although we were so desperate to do what one typically does in a bathroom that I’m not sure we would have noticed unless we had to use a stall and they were all occupied.)
Entrapment is wrong, especially as a tool to discourage public restroom sex. As Arianna Huffington so powerfully wrote on her blog this week, it’s an incredible waste of police resources at a time when the airport police have far more pressing security issues to worry about. And besides, it’s completely unnecessary when a simple sign would do the trick, such as: “This bathroom is under police surveillance.”
So as an out, proud gay man I say to Senator “I’m not gay” Craig, for the sake of yourself and all the gay people you were perfectly comfortable denying rights to, fight the charges to which you plead guilty. Challenge your colleagues and their institutional homophobia. Stay in the Senate and think about running for another term. And for God’s sake, find yourself a good therapist who can help you untangle the web of your own making that’s just about destroyed the life you’ve so painstakingly constructed to hide your shame. Being gay is nothing to be ashamed of. Allowing yourself to be bullied by your homophobic colleagues is.
- Please note that I’ve just posted four video clips on YouTube from various TV interviews I’ve done over the years, including a 2000 head-to-head with Bill O’Reilly.
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