Larry Craig and Me

A reader writes:

I may be giving the Idaho senator more credit than he deserves, but the man was pretty instrumental in my decision to very recently come out as a young, gay Republican.

I'm 22, a college student studying journalism in Miami and a reporter at a major South Florida daily. I've been both gay and Republican for a very, very long time, and like many people happy to be Republican, I was not happy to be gay.

Though I've come to accept who I am, I never really thought about telling my friends for the main reason many gay men stay closeted: fear. Until I started following the Craig case.

I was at work two weeks ago when I saw a clip of the senator adamantly stating he was not gay in front of the world press. I stopped what I was doing and just looked at the man on the TV.

'Could that be me some day at 62?,' I thought to myself. 'Angry, still afraid, paranoid, confused, living an unhealthy and dangerous double life - is that my future? And what kind of future is that?'

Something inside of me snapped. I immediately e-mailed a gay friend of mine and told him what I had always considered my "dark secret." A week later, I published an article in my college paper about life as a closeted man, pretty much outing myself to everyone I know in the process. The article came out Monday and I'm still getting phone calls, all of them positive and encouraging.

It's been a long time since a politician has inspired me like this. I hope many other young conservatives will decide to take charge of their own lives after this incident and come out, not just to others, but to themselves as well.

I hope so too. Churchill was right.