I have to admit – and I do this cringing – but if I find out a certain writer, musician or actor is a conservative, I immediately second-guess buying their record, book, DVD, etc. It’s wrong to do, I know, because I don’t these individuals personally, and for all I know, they could be kinder than any tree-hugging, homosexual-enforcing liberal on the planet.
I know it’s wrong and yet I do it. Why? I’ve thought about this for a little bit recently because I was looking for some light reading and I happened on two authors I was considering: Allison Pearson and Jen Lancaster – both authors of the unfairily maligned “chicklit” genre. So I did a bit of research on both writers and found that they’re both pretty conservative – Pearson’s a bit harder to pin down, but her points of view are very much of those “libertarians” you see on Fox News who insist they tired of both parties, yet seem to only find time to criticize the left.
Lancaster on the other hand is a quiet, but open conservative who mentioned on her blog and despite eshewing politics in her writing, that she’s unashamedly conservative. Good for her – she’s got an opinion, and she’s classy about it and not beating us over the head with it. I still won’t buy her books, though. And that’s because of a minor anecdote she shared with her readers about a time when she was watching Project Runway with some girlfriends and was outed as a Bush supporter for both his elections. She then felt ostricized and singled out, even disliked.
Well, Ms. Lancaster, welcome to the world of LGBT folks – while you seem to enjoy our cultural products (Project Runway), you seem to have no problem supporting a president who tried to the trail-blazing act of amending the Constitution to introduce bigotry into legislation. You felt singled out and weird, and I feel for you, but I just can’t imagine silently consenting to supporting a presidential candidate who doesn’t believe gays are fit to be parents (i.e. Johm McCain).
I supported our recent president despite his views on gay marriage, because overall, his commitment to LGBT causes was sincere and pretty comprehensive – this is a guy that’s open to debate about gay rights. When McCain says gays aren’t fit to adopt children, you can’t pare it down to “agree to disagree” because the Arizona senator is not interested in legislation or policy that’s inclusive (the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a “sad” thing for McCain to take).
So, yes, it’s unfair that the mood shifted at Lancaster’s Private Runway-party, but people take things like this seriously. And all the populist, “we’re just folks” talk doesn’t obscure that; you know what I mean, the sort of “no matter what side of your bread’s buttered, we both have to pay the bills.”
Sorry, even if I want to try and meet you somewhere in the middle, endorsing a situation where you think I’d be unfit to be a parent (which I am, not because I’m LGBT, but because I’m me), unfit to serve in the military openly (again, which I am not because I’m LGBT, but because I’m me), unable to enter in a union (civil, equal marriage, etc), protected from being unfairly fired – I’m not saying Lancaster doesn’t believe in LGBT equality – it doesn’t matter, really, if she’s supportive of anti-LGBT politicians, which is what’s so frustrating about gay Republicans.
So, in the end, I won’t be buying any of Lancaster’s books. I won’t be reading Pearson’s books, nor will I see the Sarah Jessica Parker adaptation of I Don’t Know How She Does It (and judging from the box office receipts, not a whole lotta people are). Will my little protest work? Probably not, these ladies have a strong fan base of both liberals and conservatives, gays (mainly gay men) and straights (straight women) – and in a sense, I guess they’re successful in bridging this divide. Just not with me.