Aug 07, 2020

Deep regrets

WHAT IS PROPER conduct in a men’s restroom? Senator Larry Craig’s problems resulted from him tapping the shoe of an undercover officer in a men’s restroom. The news coverage of Craig has made me wonder: have I unknowingly done or made any sort of signals soliciting lewd behavior?

I’m worried. What are these secret actions for soliciting sex? Because I never want to accidentally send the wrong signal. Apparently shoe tapping, certain hand gestures and code words are all used to solicit sex.

So now, when I have to use a restroom, I quickly shuffle in, careful to not make any eye contact with anyone or say a word. I just do my business and get out.

Are public restrooms supposed to have this sort of stigma and sense of paranoia attached to them?

This scandal involving Craig appalls me. Why would a man do this? It is absolutely wrong and disgusting.

I can’t imagine why a senator would want to degrade himself so much. But it isn’t just Craig soliciting sex in a restroom — there is actually a whole subculture of men doing this.

Hence the reasoning behind the undercover operations being conducted by police, which led to Craig’s exposure as an apparently closeted homosexual.

It seems to me these operations to stop public solicitation for sex are not working and are in fact contributing to the problem. They are actually a factor as to why these men are seeking other men in public restrooms. Craig committed some terrible things, but what I find more appalling is how society and the media are really striking this man down for his own sexual preferences.

The stigma attached to homosexuality is outlandish. Craig is a married man and what he did was wrong, but what is driving men like Craig to do this?

The media and politicians say because he lied, and because he’s a Republican and shouldn’t commit acts that oppose his party’s platform, he’s a hypocrite.

Is that really it?

Or in fact is all this hostility because his lewd act was with a man and not with a woman?

It seems to me the media’s main focus has been the “gay” aspect of the scandal.

The media’s condemnation of Craig for his “hypocrisy” demonstrates only a cursory respect for homosexuality/gay rights and ultimately does more to foster a sense of homophobia.

The problem is that society as a whole has created such a negative attitude towards homosexuality that it forces a senator to explore his sexual preferences in a public restroom.

Men would rather have sex with other men in a potentially dangerous place than be openly gay and have a safe relationship because society shuns it. This is the real hypocrisy, the real problem.

We have forced many homosexual men to hide who they are and be in denial and create these secret codes to use in public places to make contact with others like them.

It’s time for some ideals to be re-thought. I feel this whole issue shouldn’t be considered a problem but an outcry from a part of our society that is still not fully understood or recognized.

Because the fact is homosexuality is still a touchy subject and I still believe things like this scandal will happen until we stop treating homosexuality as some dirty little secret that must be kept quiet.

Brandon Santiago is a junior at Fresno State majoring in Mass Communication and Journalism with an emphasis in broadcast journalism. He believes he would fare quite well as a contestant on VH1’s “World Series of Pop Culture.”

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