05/06/2007 09:16 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hanging in the Conservative Closet

The hysterical right wing response to the House passage of the hate crimes bill to include sexual orientation is more of the conservative campaign to equate gays with terrorists: if Al Queda doesn't get you, Al Gayda will.

They claim that the bill will criminalize antigay speech, which of course it won't. They will still be able to say nasty things about gays, they just won't be able to beat them up, which, of course, most of them want to do.

But where are the voices of conservative gays in opposition to them? Silent, as usual, locked in the conservative closet. It must be a nightmare being gay in today's Republican party. Working side by side with raging homophobes with toupees and beehives can't be easy. I know many gay conservatives and they all have the same refrain -- my private life is no one's business, being gay is not the main issue in my life, etc. Then they give lame reasons why either they aren't out to their families or co-workers or tell me to go fuck myself, like Dick Cheney to Sen. Patrick Leahy.

But trust me, they're there. While surfing a gay "meet and greet" website (for research, I swear), I was struck by the number of "closeted" guys looking for "discreet" hookups. "Closeted, curious guy wants to meet other good looking guy -- discretion a must, sensitive job and family here," followed by a headless X-rated photo right out of Unzipped. To me, nothing screams discretion like a picture from a proctology exam.

Maybe it's me, but sex with a schizophrenic, compartmentalized closet case is about as satisfying as eating fake food, like Spam or Chicken McNuggets.

Conservatives count on keeping their gays locked away, but human nature has a way of crying uncle. Just look at 2006, the year the conservative closet burst open.

Bill Maher outed deer-in-the-headlights Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman to a "surprised" Larry King. Rep. Mark Foley succumbed to instant message-aholism with Congressional page boys. The late Spokane Mayor James West confided his anguish to unseen strangers, lurking at rest areas on the information highway and getting picked up by the cyber cops.

Rev. Ted Haggard resorted to to find salvation. Didn't his church have an organist? I went to a Southern Methodist church, and I had no trouble meeting gays. I just joined the choir.

I want to start a hotline for closeted conservatives -- "Hello, Right Wing And A Prayer, may I help you?" "Uh, hello, I'm Ted, I'm gay and I'm trapped leading the evangelical movement. Help!"

"Hi, I'm James, I'm a politician and I've voted on every antigay bill so no one would figure it out. I just want someone to hold me."

"Hi, I'm Mark, from Palm Beach. I'm not Jewish. Enough said."

Bizarrely, conservatives have played host to male hustlers and porn stars. Jeff Gannon gained entrance to the White House pressroom, and Matt Sanchez was honored at CPAC for speaking out against anti-military Columbia University leftists. Both of these muscular mooks are available in all their tumescent glory for your late night downloading pleasure. I eagerly await gay porn icon Jeff Stryker to come out in favor of supply side economics -- "Ooh, yeah, you like that tax cut, don't cha?"

But conservatives are only OK with these boys in the band if they don't-ask-don't-tell or renounce their past completely. Sanchez claims he is not gay, never was, and that his boogie nights were a youthful indiscretion, like David Duke's Klan membership. Having sampled some of Sanchez's film oeuvre, I'll tell you this: if he's really not gay, he gave some Oscar worthy performances. Sean Penn has nothing on this dude.

Conservatives endlessly bash gays and legislate against them, then deny that they are anti-gay, sort of like having your cock and eating it too. The biggest lie to come out of CPAC was Ann Coulter's whopper "We're not anti-gay, we're just against gay marriage," which is sort of like Stanley Kowalski saying to Blanche DuBois, "This isn't a rape, it's just hospitality."

No wonder conservative gays are twisted into such emotional pretzels. Somehow, they have to learn that life is short and coming out isn't going to end it. Is it too much to ask them to develop the miniscule courage to stand up to the lies being told about them by their buddies?

Maybe some entrepreneur could start a chain of gay bars for conservative closet cases. Bartenders could share duties with on-call therapists. Like in the hidden 50's joint in Far From Heaven, they could discreetly meet, share their troubles, blow each other in the bathroom, and then discuss trickle down theories.

The funniest, and saddest, online profile I saw asked for only this: "J/O by phone, or permanent relationship."

When you're in the conservative closet, you take what you can get.