You've heard the one about the closeted "tough-on-immigration" sheriff who was running for Congress and got outed by his Mexican ex-lover, right? If not, you should really get to grips with the story of Paul Babeu. A good place to start is the New Times exclusive that broke the story, alongside a picture of his Adam4Adam profile.
For the benefit of Paul and any other closeted, Republican law-enforcement officers out there contemplating a Congressional run, I would like to share with you eight rules he would do well to heed.
Rule 1: The Truth Will Get Out
Like, OMG, Paul! Everyone lies about their age on online dating sites, but if you're going to be a "public figure," you'll need to learn to lie consistently. Having an Adam4Adam account that says you're 37 and a Wikipedia entry that reveals you're actually 43 is a no-no. I know what you're thinking: the hot, young Mexicans you want to f*ck won't hit you up if they see you're on the wrong side of 40, but you're wrong! Some of them dig the wrinklies! Just be sure you don't cross them, though; young gays can get nasty if you burn them.
Rule 2: Tats Are Facts
Oh, Paul! I can see your dilemma. You've got a hot little body, and you know you'll get 10 times as many people viewing your profile if you include a shirtless pic. But you wouldn't want anyone to be able to identify you from your profile, would you? So what do you do? Well, you take a photo of your torso that doesn't show your face. Genius! Well, almost. See, I don't know if anyone's ever told you this, Paul -- they might have mentioned something about it at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy where you graduated in the top of your class -- but tattoos are a key means of identification these days, and you have them on both your arms. Sadly, they're visible in the photo you took. The good news is they're nice. The bad news is you're screwed.
Rule 3: Bat for the Right Team
Did it ever occur to you that being the Arizona co-chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and being gay were kind of incompatible? See, Romney happens to favour a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Maybe you're cool with that. Maybe you're really only into the "1-on-1 sex" and not so much into the "friendship" or "relationship" you claimed to be seeking online. Maybe you just don't see them ending in marriage. Either way, next time, think about working for a campaign that isn't opposed to the way you want to live your life. That way, you won't have to resign again!
Rule 4: Size Matters
So you're packing 7 inches of cut heaven underneath that uniform, are you? If you knocked off six years from your age, I hate to think how much you added to the size of your love muscle. I'm just saying, because your hook-ups are already going to be pissed off that they got tricked into a date with granddad, so they're really not going to be amused when your kit comes off and you tell them that "little Paul" must be feeling shy. Be sure you've got your baton handy. Do they let you bring that home with you?
Rule 5: Tell Me What You Want (What You Really, Really Want)
Paul, Paul, Paul... Nothing -- I repeat, nothing -- screams "big old bottom boy" more than a profile describing your sexual preference as "versatile/top." You know that being "versatile" includes both topping and bottoming, right? Does adding "top" make you feel more of a man? Like the uniform you get to wear for work? There is nothing shameful about being a bottom, Paul, nothing at all. You, and gay men like you, are continuously being f*cked by the politicians you support. Why not just accept the same as true in your private life, as well?
Rule 6: Check Your Facts
I have a serious question. Do you know what "out" means, Paul? It means that people know you're gay. On your profile you put "Out Yes." Is that because you don't want people to think you're a mess, Paul? Does Adam4Adam have an option that reads, "Closeted Republican Sheriff Running for Congress"? Do they have a suggestion box? Maybe they could add it to the list of options.
Rule 7: Don't Ask, Don't Tell
According to Wikipedia, you helped Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl draft the "10-Point Border Security Plan" they announced in April 2010. That must have been nice for you. Did you bond with McCain, Paul? Did you tell him about the 19 years you'd served in the National Guard (at that time) and about your tour in Iraq? Maybe if you'd mentioned all that and the fact you are gay, he might not have continued to oppose repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell until the bitter end. Gay active duty personnel, veterans, and their unrecognized and benefits-ineligible partners salute you, Paul. It must have been tough to put the needs of your career above theirs.
Rule 8: Whatever You Do, Be Hot
You must be feeling pretty crappy right now. It was all going so well, wasn't it? The good news is there's light at the end of the tunnel. From here on you have two options, really. Either you can stay in the Republican Party, do some praying, and simply say that you've turned your back on your former "lifestyle choice" (we'll call that the Baptist minister option), or you can apologize to the LGBT community, do some AIDS fun-runs, and then run as a Democrat in a few years' time. People are fickle, Paul. They forget. And you're hot. So once the LGBT community has forgotten the hypocrisy and the harm you helped do to them, they'll be ready to fall in love with you. It's hard to stay angry at someone for long if they're pretty. Hey, Paul, do me a favour, though? Next time, don't act like such a douchebag.
Follow Laurence Watts on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Laurence_Watts