Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gay Democrat with Gay Republican?

Dear Gay Dr. Bill

What's your take on being a democrat who is in love with a republican? Can political difference add spice, can different world views pull a love affair apart or does political individuality create the conditions for a life-long ability to celebrate each other's difference.

I love your blog.

Best Regards

Thank you for the kind words. 

I'll start off by saying that I'm a liberal American Democrat, but one of my best friends is much more conservative. While he has never come out as Republican, as such, I figure it's best that we rarely if ever discuss politics. Then I have gay friends who are stoutly Republican, a fact I try desperately to ignore if our friendship is based on other shared interests, such as movies or art. I confess I don't quite get gay Republicans, although they certainly exist. What I find strange are gay Republicans who are not wealthy or part of some overall power structure -- it's as if by being Republican they think they will become rich and powerful via some sort of osmosis.   

Can a Democrat be in love with a Republican? There was a sitcom years ago with just that premise, but as for real life...? It's one thing for friends with other interests to have different political values, but a lover, someone you live with on a day to day basis, that's a bit more problematic. I hear what you're saying about celebrating each other's differences, but a lot depends on just how political each person is and how strongly they feel about various issues. If the issue is something that cuts to the core of someone's values, something that is a deep part of their vital persona, then clashes between the two parties may overwhelm everything else in the relationship.

On the other hand, "let's agree to disagree" can work wonders with people who otherwise like and respect -- and yes, love -- one another. Often it is that respect for the person (even if you can't quite respect their viewpoints) that makes the difference in a friendship or a love affair. Part of that respect includes each person, assuming they exhausted all arguments on the issue, agreeing to get past it and not discuss The Subject -- including their political alliances and whatever else it may be. 

However, if one of the two people just can't shut his mouth but keeps bringing it up, and worse, keeps putting down the other person, perpetually demeaning him and his viewpoint, then not only will a romantic partnership crumble, but so, too, will a friendship. Differences can exist in a partnership but only if both parties respect those differences despite their varying opinions. 

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