Dear Mark Foley,
It really is a shame that as an out gay man you are spending your first National Coming Out Day today in "rehab" (wink, wink). But really, Mark, perhaps it's best that you stay out of the limelight for now, because besides the fact that gays don't want to claim you, your coming out story is a tragic tale.
If oppressive religious bigots had their way, every gay man would live like you did, Mark. They aren't so much against the idea of homosexuality, they just don't understand why they have to acknowledge its existence. Between Beverly LaHaye saying kids of gay parents are better off born into a sham family and Ex-Gay practitioners saying how happy a gay person will be if they only pretend to be straight, it's obvious that they Just Don't Want To See It. They want to put us in a closet with the rest of society's skeletons, and they don't care whose life is destroyed in the process.
They fear it because they don't understand it, and it just creeps them out. (Hey, I don't blame them. Every time I see two heteros kiss in a Big Red commercial, I get kinda queasy myself. I don't mind straight people, I just don't understand why they have to flaunt their sexuality. ) They would much rather gay men like you and me remain quiet, hidden, out-of-sight. They want us to deny our own existence so they can comfortably ignore us.
But that's tough to do, isn't it Mark? It's tough to suppress sexual feelings. After all, human sexuality is a driving factor in all that we do. When we are not allowed to nurture our natural human sexuality properly, it can destroy us. My guess, Mark, is that you just never grew up. I don't think your misdeeds were so much a matter of power, and it certainly wasn't pedophilia. I think it was a matter of sexual feeling misplaced toward youth because you never allowed your sexuality to mature. You longed for your own romantic youth. I bet you actually cared for these young guys, Mark. That's the reason you were co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, wasn't it? You wanted to protect these young men from the real predators, not from a caring father-figure like yourself. Oh, how ugly it must have been fooling yourself that way.
The ultimate point is you used the government page program that asks parents to entrust their kids' well being in congress as your own personal farming operation to find underage guys you perceived to be gay, hot, or interested. Then you contacted them once they got home and hoped to hook up with them when the became "legal." While it's still a question whether you've done anything illegal, it's pretty creepy, man, and certainly conduct unbecoming anyone who uses the word "The Honorable" in his title. (I mean I knew there were chickenhawks in congress, but still.)
Mark, THAT ISN'T HEALTHY SEXUAL BEHAVIOR. You must have been begging to get caught. That amount of hubris either comes from a feeling of absolute power or self-destruction. Were you crying out to be able to be out? Were you so desperate to not disrupt your Republican Lifestyle on the surface that you had to unconsciously risk everything in order to be who you really are?
Because uptight fundamentalists are bugged by actually acknowledging reality, they've manipulated their religion into an oppressive weapon. Along the way, Republicans like yourself sold out their conservative party to these fundamentalists and have risked turning
It was when you started to be called "disgraced" and "a pedophile" that you were willing to say, through your lawyer, that you are "a gay man." Well, Mark, I guess it's a start. It's a horrible start following possibly the worst gay coming out story ever, but it's a start.
I only hope that young gay men, lesbians, and all those questioning whether they have "normal" sexuality look at your sad tale as a warning on how living a lie can be so destructive inside and out. Will you emerge from rehab with new found understanding that you only have one life, and you have to live it honestly in order to be happy? Will you level us with excuses and accusations so common to a Republican Lifestyle, or will you allow yourself to be an example of Who Not To Be?
You only have one life, Mark. How are you going to live it now?
Happy Coming Out Day.
Hat tip to Pam.