This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Savage Love" Correction: I Meant "Stephen Colbert," Not Stephen Colbert

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Lots like this in the mail today:

Just saw this week's column in Boston's Weekly Dig and I read about your "Choicer Challenge." Good one! You know, of course, Cummins will never show but a hardy HA HA HA right in his face. Same goes for Santorum. But I'm writing bc I saw you called out Stephen Colbert for being a "choicer" too? Dude, you DO know that is a character, right? A character modeled for every conservative in the world. The real Stephen Colbert is NOT like the one you hear spouting GOP crazy everyday on Comedy Central. He brilliantly uses irony to show conservatives how stupid they appear to the thinking public. Calling out Stephen Colbert for the things he says is like pointing out how evil Wile E. Coyote is. It just ain't real, man.

I had to set the record straight bc Colbert rules.

JD


1. I'm familiar with Stephen Colbert's act.

2. When I drafted my column challenging a prominent Canadian choicer*—John Cummins—to prove that being gay is a choice by making the choice himself and sucking my dick, I included Stephen Colbert on a short list with two other high-profile choicers. But in my original draft, reproduced below, Stephen Colbert's name appeared thusly:

Like truthers (9/11 was an inside job!), birthers (Barack Obama was born in Kenya!), and deathers (Osama bin Laden is alive and well and living in West Hollywood!), choicers would appear to be just another group of deranged conspiracy theorists who can't be dissuaded by science or evidence or facts. And John Cummins isn't the only choicer out there. We have lots of choicers right here in the United States (Tony Perkins, Rick Santorum, "Stephen Colbert," et al.).

Those quotation marks were there to indicate that I meant Stephen Colbert's character, "Stephen Colbert," not Stephen Colbert himself. They seem to have disappeared at some point during the editorial process. (I may have deleted them by accident as I dinked back and forth between drafts; I don't wanna blame no innocent copy eds.) I wanted to include someone on my short list of choicers who wasn't a politician or a tool—or, as in the case of Rick Santorum, a politician and a tool—and settled on Colbert/"Colbert." But perhaps I should've gone with my second choice: Justin Bieber.

3. Another letter about choicers after the jump...

I was interested in your column about choicers, because the phenomenon has intrigued me as well. I don't remember choosing to like girls—I just always have. And I'm not at all attracted to men, and can't really imagine that choosing to be would be very effective in turning me gay. So I've always been mystified about where the notion of the pernicious gay lifestyle choice comes from. But watching, over the
years, the constant stream of gay-hating politicians and religious leaders getting caught trolling for bathroom dick (scratch a homophobe, get a homo) it occurred to me that choicers believe that being gay is a choice because it is a choice they themselves have made. They are gay, or at the very least a little bit bi, but because of their puritanical upbringing have chosen not to act on these feelings. They have roiling urges for some tight little drag queen ass, but don't do anything about it (some of the time, at least) because it would be a sin, and they choose not to sin. And, since they come from repressive shame-based cultures, they can't talk to anyone else to find out how other people feel about it. This leaves them with only their own internal reality to go on, and they extrapolate their personal desires to the population at large. "Oh, sure," they think, "who doesn't want to suck ten separate dicks in some hot little San Francisco meat market? We all do. But because of my commitment to Christ, I choose not to." Thus, they turn their own miserable sexual repression into a virtue that they can then go around flogging the rest of us with, hoping to make the rest of us just as unhappy as they are. In Jesus' name we pray.

So I would wager that John Cummins (and every other choicer out there) really does, oh so desperately, want to suck your dick. Oh yes, he really, really does. But he will choose not to.

Straight in San Francisco

Good points, SISF!

* A "choicer" is someone who believes that being gay is a choice.... which somehow disqualifies LGBT people from civil rights protections even though lots of other "choices," like marital status or military service or religious belief, are protected by civil rights statutes.

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