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Ted Haggard
Continues to Screw the Gays

Ted Haggard
Continues to Screw the Gays


Haggard has admitted to having gay sex, to exploring his sexuality as a teen, to ongoing confusion regarding his sexuality -- yet people still allow him to call himself straight.

He's ba-a-ack. Mega-minister Ted Haggard has reemerged from hiding, and he seems no less confused than when he was paying for gay sex.

In an article from the Associated Press, we get snippet quotes like this, regarding his sexuality: "The stereotypical boxes don't work for me. My story's got some gray areas in it. And, of course, I'm sad about that, but it's the reality."

He also recounts same-sex "sex play" with friends when he was in the seventh grade. Hmm. That story probably sounds familiar to lots and lots of gays.

But in spite of everything, Ted Haggard remains firmly in the closet. I feel sorry for him. Rather than be himself, he continues to subject himself to a set of ideas and values that do nothing to value him as a person. It's as if he has chosen to spend the rest of his life striving to regain the position of respect he once held as the leader of the 30 million-member strong National Evangelical Association. Maybe he's just made a conscious choice that this is best for his family. Or perhaps he is in denial.

Deep denial.

It took me 26 years to accept my sexuality as a wonderful, natural part of my life. Along the way, I certainly had some similar thoughts to those expressed by Ted Haggard in his interview with the AP. Of course, in my journey toward accepting the truth, I didn't carry the burdens of a wife, family, and the preponderance of American Christianity.

Nonetheless, to the "trained eye," Haggard is clearly gay. If he hadn't spent so many years demonizing our lives and our families, the gay community might have some sort of sympathy for him. However, there seems to be a collective disdain for his less-than-honest return to the public eye.

A close friend of mine is actually hosting a party on January 29, the day the Alexandra Pelosi-produced documentary on the exile of Haggard from his church following his sex and drug scandal premieres on HBO. I'm pretty sure he's looking forward to seeing the train wreck that Haggard became and still remains.

That being said, there is something even more disturbing about the implications of the Haggard episode. Here we have someone who has admitted to having gay sex repeatedly, has admitted to teenage sexual experimentation, and has admitted to ongoing confusion over sexual attraction, and most everyone still allows him to call himself straight.

What the heck?

Is this a sign that America could care less about someone's sexual orientation? Maybe it means that the public doesn't even care about utter hypocrisy in our leaders. The evangelicals have sure been pretty quiet about this too.

In a world where we are fighting to be seen, heard, and respected, what does this mean for us?

It's not good.

That so few people are challenging Haggard's illogical explanation for the person that he is today is disturbing. It furthers the myth that people choose their sexual orientation.

That is just plain false. Our sexual orientation is a natural part of who we are. The only choice we may make is whether or not we lie to ourselves and those around us.

Instead, Haggard is allowed to get away with this absurdity he has created for himself. It also sends a signal to other closet cases that stand in the way of our equal rights that they can continue their charade at no cost.

While our community may debate for years to come whether it is ethical to out people, I think this is one instance where ignoring the public record is a disservice to us. Whether we choose to ease Haggard's full exit from the closet or attack him for his hypocrisy, we are better off working to end the perception he has created for himself.

Ted Haggard's struggle isn't about choosing a sexual orientation. His struggle is about suppressing his true self. In doing so, he undermines further understanding among people who need it the most.

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