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People often ask me "Why do you call yourself a conservative?"
Around 2005, when Facebook was a college-only social media site, they asked you upon completing your profile what your political views were. The choices back then were Very Liberal, Liberal, Conservative, Very Conservative. I thought to myself (having been indoctrinated in the group think that usually exists on college campuses) "Well, I'm gay and I'm black, so obviously, I'm very liberal.” I had no issues with conservatives or Republicans at all; in fact, many of my friends in college identified as conservatives and/or Republicans if political issues came up.
A few months later, a couple of girls (both of whom were black) added me after seeing me at karaoke and I accepted their requests. Under political views, I saw they put "conservative." I thought to myself, "Black conservatives? Does this mean they're Republicans? How can that be?" I saw these girls at the Union (or maybe the computer lab) a week or so later and struck up a conversation to ask what they meant by that label. One mentioned that, while she is a Democrat, she labels herself a conservative as a representation of her personal values. Our conversation became the genesis of my political awakening. And it made me begin to think about what “Very Liberal” and “Liberal” people believed and how those views personally clashed with my fiscal views, my views on religion, and also what I retained from my Christian upbringing.
The biggest struggle in college (and in this world) was never identifying and defending myself as a gay male who also happens to be black. That was easy. The biggest struggle was allowing myself to publicly define my own set of beliefs and values beyond the assumed liberal parameters. Here are a few examples if you’re curious:
-I scoff at the idea of long-term entitlements for those who are able-bodied and nowhere near retirement age.
-I don’t believe in the concept of “paying your fair share.” Why? Because one day, you’ll go after the multimillion dollar CEO of a company and the next day (when you’re done wasting his money on bridges to nowhere and people who refuse to work) it’ll be the single guy with no kids who makes 25K a year with a health plan from his place of employment.
-I get angry at the idea of sanctuary cities that go against ICE and the federal government, many who knowingly harbor multiple violent offenders at the expense of our nation’s safety.
-I believe in business owners having the right to refuse service and allowing the free market to decide what becomes of those businesses.
-I don’t think a five-year-old has the mental capacity to formally declare any sexual orientation or gender identity. And I don’t think it should be taught in anyone’s public school.
-And while we’re at it, I don’t think anyone should feed their kid (or their teen) a bunch of hormones to delay their natural response to sexual maturity. I think that decision should be made once a child reaches adulthood.
-I believe that law-abiding citizens should have every right to own whatever gun they like. The anti-gun mob should have no business telling private gun owners what they can and cannot own and any law that tries to restrict it is unconstitutional.
-Planned Parenthood has become a fetus/baby killing factory that promotes abortion over carrying to term or even preventative measures. They sell body parts for “overhead costs” and many locations refuse to highlight additional options for pregnant women. And they absolutely should be defunded until they can divorce themselves from those services.
The views I’ve presented here are not views liberals possess. They bother liberals. They expect me not to have the views because of how much money I make, the way I look, and who I entertain in my bedroom. Liberals often become dismissive, rude, angry, and even violent over anyone having these views. Some liberals don’t bother asking me why I’ve come to these conclusions even though I consider myself pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-choice (or pro-abortion as many of my Misfits would call me), pro-entitlements for kids and seniors, pro-immigration/path to citizenship, and anti-discrimination.
But what I do agree with them on doesn’t matter. They instead feel some need to preach to me, tell me that I’m not in “the right income bracket," not of “the right race” to have these views, and when none of those work, ostracize me or think of me as a bigot or an enemy. And that’s what Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, and everyday black Americans are currently facing as they tweet or publicly state support for President Trump, Candace Owens, or even saying that you don’t have to label yourself a Democrat.
Look, I want Trump to succeed. A successful Presidency is a successful country. He wasn’t my pick. I think he’s incredibly divisive, tweets before he thinks, and is likely doing some shady ass shit behind the scenes to line his pockets. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting him to do a great job for America. There’s nothing wrong with black people “liking” Trump anymore than there was something wrong with “liking” his opponent, whose campaign staffers put kerosene on the Birtherism fire, called kids “superpredators” who we need to “bring to heel” based on their looks and associations, and said in 2008 that she was more interested in “Working Class Americans, White Americans” when she was thisclose to contesting the primary at the DNC convention.
Most black conservatives are not like Candace Owens or Diamond and Silk, who worship Trump as if he’s some sort of deity. Hell, most of them aren’t even like me. A lot of black conservatives believe in working hard, keeping what they’ve earned, being free to express their belief in God, being treated fairly, and keeping the government out of their homes. Black Democrats (particularly conservatives in southern states) have been told for years by the party that they are valued and respected. But for the last decade, they’ve taken that for granted. They’ve focused more on pronouns, giving health insurance and entitlements to non-seniors who have no interest in ever working, putting the rights of noncitizens ahead of theirs, and heavily taxing their paychecks, among many other things.
What you are seeing here is not necessarily a group of black people who are “fed up with the Democrat party.” You’re not going to see an uptick in black people registering as Republicans (despite what you may see on Pro-Trump Facebook and Pro-Trump Twitter). You’re not going to see a bunch of black people suddenly following Candace Owens or subscribing to Diamond and Silk. You are witnessing a group of people who are, at long last, free to think and be beyond the parameters of what liberals and the media believe and have told them to believe. We’ve had these thoughts for years. Either you weren’t paying attention or you didn’t care.
So, again, “Why do you consider yourself a conservative?” Well I can't speak for anyone else, but I consider myself one because, above all, less government and personal responsibility are always the best bet to a successful existence.
Regular Contributor Chad Felix Greene
In a world that embraces progressive intersectionality, no one is safe. Even an LGBT icon like RuPaul is vulnerable to the irrational outrage of the social media mob. RuPaul, the cultural definition of ‘Drag Queen’, recently discussed his hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race and its influence on the culture. He described his own ambition and experience being a Black man in America stating, “‘First of all, let’s talk about the black rage.’ So one of the ways that I’ve been able to dilute that perception is to dress as a character that says, ‘Look I’m fun, I can have a sense of humour about life because I’m in drag. I acknowledge black rage, but we’re going to have some fun.’” It is true, RuPaul became a powerful image in film and TV as America watched him in stunned awe, holding back giggles and dancing to his catchy music, and found themselves embracing him as their own.
RuPaul was one of the first gay people I ever saw and I remember how much I loved his sassy persona, exaggerated hair and make-up, and over-the-top old Hollywood style dresses and mannerisms. His catch-phrases, wide eyes and toothy grin broke down more barriers to gay acceptance than all the LGBT legislation and marches combined. People simply loved him for who he was. To this day when people talk about their enjoyment of gay culture they routinely refer to RuPaul as their go-to queen.
But in the last few years, progressivism has caught up with him. Despite redefining what ‘drag’ meant to an entire generation of gay men and introducing gay cultural language into the mainstream lexicon, he is facing the inevitable consequence of the progressive mindset. He is becoming obsolete and quickly sliding into the ‘bigoted conservative’ category everyone will eventually find themselves in with enough time. What offense could have sparked such a backlash that a living icon could become the target of anti-hate outrage and scorn?
Without realizing the impact, when asked how a transgender woman could be a drag queen he stated to the Guardian “Mmmm. It’s an interesting area. Peppermint [an openly transgender pre-operative contestant] didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show; she was identifying as a woman, but she hadn’t really transitioned.” Would he accept a contestant who had? He hesitates again. “Probably not. You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body. It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing. We’ve had some girls who’ve had some injections in the face and maybe a little bit in the butt here and there, but they haven’t transitioned.” When asked if women could also be drag queens he argued, “Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity.”
This admission created a firestorm of accusation that RuPaul was engaging in transphobic discrimination and undermining the ‘inclusion’ of the LGBT community on the show. He issued an apology on Twitter pleading, “Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.” But LGBT fans insisted on remaining angry with him despite the apology, sternly lecturing him on his Twitter feed and in replies to his message. But was his statement really so outrageous?
For a while now, trans activists have insisted on demanding that transwomen are women. They have argued that transwomen were always female, and that physical transition is both medically necessary and irrelevant in defining gender identity. In another Guardian article titled, Who can be a drag queen? RuPaul's trans comments fuel calls for inclusion, the notion of physical characteristics defining gender was deemed ‘harmful’ and a source of the outrage directed against him. But, as has become far too common, their current argument conflicts with their previous and equally passionate arguments.
For starters, drag itself is something that used to be fairly easy to define. Men dressed as women and were known as ‘female impersonators’ and either created the illusion of being a woman or exaggerated female characteristics and mannerisms for the sake of humor. They became ‘drag queens’ indicating the over-the-top flamboyance of the culture. Lesbians have a similar culture in which they dress as men and are called ‘drag kings’ but it tends to lack the same humor and outrageousness that drag fans love. RuPaul describes it as, “We are wearing clothes that are hyperfeminine, that represent our culture’s synthetic idea of femininity.”
By defining clothing, hairstyle, makeup, and mannerisms as ‘hyperfeminine’ or ‘synthetic femininity,’ it requires a recognition that there is a universally understood way in which women in our culture dress, style themselves and behave that is being exaggerated. It is silly to pretend there are no gender norms in clothing and style despite our culture embracing women dressing in traditionally male attire. More importantly, all efforts to argue in favor of transgender children, medical surgery and hormone treatment, bathroom access and name and pronoun usage require this same recognition of clearly defined female and male characteristics.
If it is harmful to argue that physical characteristics define gender identity then how is transgender surgery ‘medically necessary’ and if denied by a doctor, an act of discrimination? Why do LGBT activists demand that without physical transition and acceptance as the other gender, transgender individuals will be driven to suicide? If gender is 100 percent self-perception, then why physically transition at all? Why not remain in your natural body and just identify as the other gender? In truth, there is no rational answer, as the basis of the question is itself irrational. Transgenderism requires clearly defined gender roles and norms in order for the individual to appropriately adopt them in order to validate their sense of gender. The two cannot be separated no matter how much LGBT advocates wish to argue otherwise.
To ask if a transwoman can be a drag queen is to ask if a woman can participate in the culture under the LGBT standards of gender identity. Obviously, if a woman were to ‘go in drag’ she would dress as a man. For a male who insists he is female to enter into a culture and competition that celebrates men dressing as an exaggerated version of women would be to validate the notion transwomen are just men in dresses. The LGBT community is very clearly opposed to such a notion. Professional drag queens go through a great deal of effort to mimic every aspect of female physical beauty through padding to give them shape, extensive makeup, and even facial plastic surgery. The enterprise is so ridiculous it is often a source of on-stage humor. The concept of ‘tucking’ which is simply ensuring no unsightly bulges are apparent in tight-fitting dresses, is constantly used as a running joke.
RuPaul is correct in assessing that the point of drag is men rebelling against society by embracing the extremes of female physical and social attributes and then laughing in everyone’s face thus disarming criticism. It is the polar opposite of what trans activists insist gender means to them and what transition entails. For a transwoman to consider herself a ‘drag queen’ would be to override everything trans activism insists is true about transgenderism or gender identity.
The line drawn here by RuPaul is the physical transition. Many transwomen begin their journey as a drag queen because it offers them the opportunity to dress as a woman in public. Many decide after years of drag they wish to be female and undergo transition. RuPaul does not have a problem with physical males who identify as female participating in the show. His only concern is that if some are taking female hormones or have undergone surgery in a competition that judges one’s ability to mimic the female form artificially, it is an unfair advantage and begins to blur the lines of what the show is really about. It has nothing to do with ‘inclusion’ as biological women also cannot participate for the same reasons and male-impersonators are equally disqualified.
The purpose of the show is to allow gay men who professionally impersonate women to compete on a reality game-show and celebrate drag culture. It is a gay male cultural outlet that does not translate to any other cultural reference. The language, the games, the style, the dress and the drama are exclusively gay male. There is nothing wrong with limiting participation in the show to this specific cultural identity. The seemingly never-ending demand to force all people to participate in all things is destroying cultural identity and the very foundation LGBT advocates for.
I have argued for a long time that gay culture and transgender culture cannot coexist. Gender identity erases sexual orientation and gender non-binary or fluidity erases both. The community is undergoing an identity crisis fueled by victimhood and entitlement and no one is safe from its outrage. As I tweeted to RuPaul in celebration of my own wedding with friends in the conservative movement, which enjoyed a controversy-free experience, the Left has become toxic to the gay individual.
If you value your identity and wish to simply live in peaceful coexistence with a truly diverse group of people, you have to move to the Right. Progressivism will eventually condemn everyone who ever supported its movement as hateful, bigoted, backward conservatives. You might as well enjoy the freedom away from judgment now. RuPaul: You are welcome here and you have a lot of fans, and we won’t make you apologize for being yourself.
For more from Chad, visit chadfelixgreene.com and follow him on Twitter @chadfelixg.