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Gay right-winger says this is why gay men are becoming more conservative

Gay right-winger says this is why gay men are becoming more conservative

Richard Hendron is a former UKIP candidate | Photo: Richard Hendron

Gay men are becoming more likely to be more conservative, according to a recent study looking at data from 14 elections in five western countries.

Richard Hendron, a former UKIP political candidate, is right-wing and he’s gay. This is why he believes gay people are feeling right at home in conservative political parties. 

When I was a UKIP candidate in the 2015 General Election many people especially on the left simply could not understand how I, as an openly gay man who had championed gay rights and equality, could possibility stand for a ‘right-wing’ party such as UKIP.

Many people said that the positions seemed at odds with each other – the stereotype that many have wrongly come to hold is that right of centre parties are anti-inclusion, anti-equality and anti-gay. Fortunately many people are now realising that this stereotype is a falsity. Though that’s not to say there are undesirable characters in right of centre parties as there are in every party.

There is a long held myth that gay people overwhelmingly support left of centre parties. I have not found this to be the case, especially when journeying outside of the big cities.

Are gay people just stating they’ve always been conservative? 

This fiction of ‘boxing-in’ gays as somehow inherently on the political left, and those gays that aren’t on the political left, ‘would be if they knew what was best for them’. It’s nothing other than the longest running political fantasy since Bill Clinton famously proclaimed not to have had ‘sexual relations with that woman’.

Increasing numbers of the LGBTQ community are ‘coming out’ as supporting right of centre parties. By definition, people who are ‘coming out’ of the closet as being politically right of centre are not converting to the right, they are simply stating what they have always been.

People with conservative ideologies are generally conservative in nature.

Unlike those gays on the political left, who have historically been very loud and vocal with their aggressive advertisement of their own combined sexuality and politics, those gays on the political right do not feel the need to have to thrust the fact of our sexuality or our voting intentions into the face of others that we meet.

The left ‘captured’ the political narrative

The left have successfully captured the political narrative, taking it as their own almost to the exclusion of others when it comes to who are the good and bad guys where gay people are concerned. Thankfully this narrative is slowly being wrestled back from the hostage taking left wing ‘terrorists’ who seek to force their views and version of the distorted narrative on anybody and everybody regardless of whether people want to hear it or not.

From my own experience of standing for Parliament, for UKIP, as an openly gay candidate (having defected from the Tories), as well as trying to secure UKIPs nomination to be its candidate for Mayor of London (I didn’t get the nomination in the end but another openly gay guy did!), I came across countless kippers who were openly ‘out’ as gay and ‘out’ as UKIP.

It was a standing joke in UKIP that it was more difficult coming out as UKIP than it was coming out as gay.

The sad reality is that it wasn’t a joke at all.

For many gays on the political right, the pressures on them against them being honest to who they are and coming out as on the political right were and are just as forceful as those pressures that kept us in the closet as gay.

What we have witnessed over recent years is the slow destruction of the myth about the left being the natural home of gay people with the right portrayed as the ‘gay bogeyman’ .

In truth this myth is deceitful propaganda, nothing other than classroom bullying by political factions of the left, seeking to exploit the vulnerabilities and sensitivities that many gay men and women have about issues surrounding their own sexuality and identity. It’s totally shameful.

‘Easier to come out as gay than it is to come out as UKIP’ 

The political right is the natural home for gay people; it always has been.

What politically unites many gay people is a shared history of oppression, discrimination and prejudice.

Whether we have experienced these things directly in our own lives or experienced the attack on being gay through the lives of others & history; we have all felt the pain of the prejudice of others including the state.

At the very heart of those on the right of the political centre is the ingrained belief in tolerance and the freedom of the individual; its about letting folk just get on with living their own lives how they want to so long as it does not hurt other people.

Central to right thinking political philosophy is the notion of the Big Individual and the small state, the live and let live mantra; why wouldn’t the political right, with its laissez-faire approach, not be the natural home for those who have suffered because of their sexuality and who just want a life free from state interference?

The political right may be attracting more gays from other political pastures, but the real political cultural revolution is not the expanse of the gay right of centre (I dare say its number remains roughly constant), but the fact that the gay right is dusting off some of its shy conservative tendencies, exercising its voice and becoming visible.

See also:

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