Being a Gay Conservative

Below is an article that I was asked to write for UCC LGBT’s Q-Guide for this year. It’s available on campus today as it’s Socs Day (hence why it’s only going up today)

Being a Gay Conservative

By Stephen Spillane

Is being Gay and a Conservative a contradiction in terms? I don’t
think so cause that is what I am. Most people, from my experience,
think that gay people are either liberals or left wing. I would
dispute that and claim that gay people are as politically diverse as
any other group of people.

Being a conservative is more important to me, politically, then being
gay. But being gay has informed me on the positions and allowed me to
view things from other angles thereby influencing me politically.

People are often shocked at me, as not only am I a young person
interested in politics, but I am also actively involved in it. This is
where being a gay conservative really comes into its own, because as a
young person involved in politics your views are sought out and
listened to. This has been my experience.

As a gay conservative, of any age, you are in a unique position. To,
in my opinion, influence how conservatives see and treat gay people.
As an outsider you cannot do this. This is especially true if you are
viewed as a liberal or left winger, but as conservative you can
challenge stereotypes. Another problem is that on the outside you
might not be aware that what you are trying to convince people of to
agree to something that may be completely opposed to the core values
of conservatives.

A case in point is Same-Sex Marriage. While I see the merits in the
arguments put forward by those in favour and agree with certain
points, “am I bovvered?” immediately springs to mind when I hear the
arguments. As a conservative what I want is the state to recognise my
relationship with my partner, no matter what the sex. This is all that
is needed. There is too much baggage with terms like “marriage” that
can easily be solved if we just drop it, but that is only my opinion.

Of course I am not a 100% conservative, as I am pro-choice and I
support Gay Adoption, not exactly favourite subjects with
conservatives.

Being a gay conservative is a challenging experience not only for you,
but also for those you come into contact with. You force liberal and
conservative alike to challenge their stereotypes. Of course dealing
with the reactions is the challenging part for you and I have written
about this in a guest post on gaypatriot.com
(http://www.gaypatriot.net/2008/04/15/intolerance-of-gay-conservatives-in-europe/
). Conservatives will welcome you, albeit cautiously and questioningly
into their ranks. While liberals, especially gay ones may not be so
accommodating to the conservative part of you.

I supposed the point that I’m trying to get across is that, not only
do gays come in different shapes and sizes, but in different political
hues too. It so happens that this ones blue.

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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