Dear Mike Huckabee…

I must say, it was a puzzling honor to realize my article – “The ’Ick’ Factor: How Gay Sex Plays in the Equality Debate” – hit your radar following the backlash ignited by your comments in your Ariel Levy-penned New Yorker profile. In fact, my sense of flattery left me feeling like you deserved the benefit of the doubt. Maybe all us sinful gay folk were being a tad harsh on you with their “icky” accusation.

I read the New Yorker article, your statement and all the news stories I could get my grubby mitts on with the hopes of better understanding your position toward LGBT equality and why the “ick factor” had manifested itself, but I’m afraid that I can’t quite wrap my queer head around it.

Yes, you’re partially correct: The “ick factor” is a not new term, and it is not yours. But to say that the term has been co-opted and accepted as an “established notion” to the gays is a complete misrepresentation on your part, having nothing to do with the actions of so-called “same-sex marriage advocates and militants.”

In my piece, the “ick factor” became a sort of catch-all phrase under which I spoke with some community leaders and academics, including Dr. Martha Nussbaum, on their perspectives on the concept. For many of the people I spoke with, the “ick factor” was an idea they had never before heard and many well-established LGBT leaders declined to comment. It is not a commonly uttered phrase among gays and lesbians – just a quick perusal of Google search results will find references to shows like Friends and Sex and the City, diet aids and ice-dancing siblings, colon cancer home-screening and bad ’60s pop songs. No other articles from LGBT media, previous to your PR flap, mention the phrase.

That aside, I cannot understand how the fact that the phrase is not new renders your comment justifiable in the first place, particularly when all the words surrounding it spew injustice.

But this is more important than a discussion about etymology or ethics. Or completing the research you feigned doing yourself. This isn’t about attacking you or raising funds – although you, yourself, have attempted to capitalize on the matter by asking for campaign donations at your statement’s end. And this isn’t even really about the New Yorker statement itself – you yourself have said far worse things previously.

This is about the livelihood of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans – including those you banned from adopting children in Arkansas – and the damage you willfully inflict on our lives with practically every damning word you utter through your bigoted laughter.

This is about your deliberate arrogance to deny full equality for an entire class of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Though we might “ick” you out, Mr. Huckabee, we are here to stay. To consistently condemn us while at the same time calling yourself a Christian is, in my mind, deplorable,  indefensible and hypocritical for a self-described man of faith.

If you’re going to pretend to know our community and the phrases we use, at least do your homework first, Mike.

–Joe Erbentraut

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Dear Mike Huckabee…

  1. Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest
    authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and would
    love to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would enjoy
    your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel
    free to shoot me an e mail.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s