Chasing them down to harass them

© 2016 Jim Spence - When I read about Ivanka Trump and her three children being harassed by a gay man with his adopted son in his arms yesterday, I thought back to the evening when Kristi and I attended a gay wedding a couple of years ago. Two men we were friends with were getting married. One of the men had worked for me for many years as a computer programmer. Eventually, I introduced him to his current employer when my company no longer needed a full time programmer. We had a great time at this wedding. On the morning following the wedding, I emailed my lesbian cousin and told her that I wished that her wedding had been the first gay wedding we had attended.
Both of these gay men like my cousin, are committed Democrats, as are most gays. And in case this is the first column of mine you have read, while I am fine with gay marriage, I am anything BUT a committed Democrat. Still, as a freedom loving American, I am for everyone having freedom, not just people who think like I do.
The behavior of the gay man who accosted Ivanka Trump and her children yesterday was premeditated and astonishingly rude. His own spouse tweeted the following:
“Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them.” 
The gay man who chased down Ivanka Trump and her three children is a lawyer from Brooklyn. No doubt, as an openly gay man he has been on the receiving end of unspeakable rudeness. Yet somehow, he decided that it was OK for him to engage in behaviors associated with boorish jackasses. I looked around the news wires this morning and there were no condemnations of this jerk or his actions by any Democrat news sites. There were actually some progressive sites that blamed the jackass's behavior on the victim of his harassment. That is a pity.
There is a question posed here. Was this jerk’s incredibly obnoxious behavior, behavior that got him tossed off the airplane, outside the norm for gay people? It might well be. I do not claim to be an expert on how gays behave these days. But the smart money is already betting what he did is not outside the norm for Brooklyn lawyers.
Kristi and I were reminiscing this morning about a dinner invitation we received from a couple of gay men a few years ago. Kristi had worked with one of the men named Paul, for several years. Kristi and Paul were and still are good friends. Paul does bookkeeping for my younger brother. Paul is a wonderful human being. For reasons I cannot explain, when we sat down to eat, this man’s partner, Frank, insisted on swinging a pleasant conversation to politics. Kristi and I demurred. We understand the political leanings of most gay people. We also knew that our own political leanings were unlikely to match up with those of our hosts. We listened without comment as Frank railed passionately against everything Republican, everything Christian, and everything having to do with business. Eventually, when Frank realized he was dominating the discussion, he solicited a response from us. My wife and I looked at each other. I decided to try as best I could to dance around the idea of expressing of my own views, while not necessarily pretending I agreed with his ranting. Frank picked up on my non-affirmation immediately and decided to go nuclear, He said, “I have no respect whatsoever for anyone who voted for George W. Bush.”
Again Kristi and I looked at each other. We had both voted for George W. Bush, not once, but twice. As was the case with everything else Frank said, we smiled, let the statement go, and changed the subject. 
It turned out that Paul was appalled at his partner Frank's behavior. Paul followed our move to change the subject. It was too late. From that point forward, though politics was dropped, the evening struggled to an early conclusion. Naturally, we scratched these men off of the list of people we might enjoy spending time with socially. At Paul's insistence, Frank called both of us the next morning to apologize for his behavior. I gladly accepted Frank's apology as did Kristi. We never received an invitation to Paul and Frank's wedding, though we certainly supported their right to marry.
What happened to Ivanka Trump and her children yesterday came as no surprise to me. What you find out early on, when you have many friends in the gay community, is that there is nothing special about the gay community. The gay community is pretty much like every other community. There are more than a few spectacularly rude people in the gay community too. There are more and more gays these days who think they have a right to cram their views down other people’s throats, whether their views are solicited or not. The great difference between gays twenty years ago and gays today is that the rude gays are very public in the way they mistakenly cloak themselves in a sense of moral superiority. And as is the case with non-gay communities, some in the gay community think their moral superiority somehow justifies boorishly rude behaviors.
There is good news and bad news. Gays have truly felt free to come out of the closet, which is good. And many gays finally feel free to conduct themselves in public as rudely or even more rudely than non-gay rude people. How liberating and disappointing this all is.
Now comes the question. Will polite gays condemn rude gays in public? That would be a sign of true liberation.

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