Two summers ago, on a hot summer day, I worked up a helluva' sweat on my bicycle ride to the courthouse. I always packed extra clothing to wear after the forty-five minute trip over the rolling hills between Nazareth to Easton. Once I made it, I stumbled into the men's room, a little slower than usual. I stripped off my soaking wet fancy bike clothes, cleaned up and was just getting ready to throw on some dry clothes, when court administrator Jim Onembo walked in on me. I gave him just one "come hither look," and the poor bastard ran out and down the halls.
I didn't even have a chance to do any toe tapping!
Apparently, the mere sight of a rotund, aging, hair ball au naturelle was too much to bear. Maybe it was the high heels. Onembo hasn't been the same since that fateful day.
He probably never played sports.
About six months after that incident, I sued Northampton County over its appointment of council members Lamont McClure and Tony Branco, claiming a Sunshine Act violation. It was only then that I began hearing comments about my lascivious bathroom behavior. Nameless council members whispered to county lawyers that I should be barred from the courthouse.
They also quietly told a reporter I had been arrested.
Eventually, a reluctant reporter asked me for details. Here's what I said.
"I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK.
I sleep all night and I work all day.
I cut down trees, I skip and jump.
I like to press wild flowers.
I put on women's clothing and hang around in bars."
The real implication in the message being passed down whisper alley? Bernie O'Hare is - shhh!- gay. That's right, bippy, a bunblaster who lurks in public restrooms, preying on unsuspecting civil servants with louche behavior.
What an insult to the gay community! Those dudes don't look like Bigfoot.
And that's why I have some sympathy for now former Senator Larry Craig. What's his terrible crime? Whether he acknowledges it or not, he was given the bum's rush from the senate because he's gay. That's no crime. Yet cops still prosecute this "deviant" lifestlye. As a NYTimes op-ed makes abundantly clear, "What is shocking about Senator Larry Craig’s bathroom arrest is not what he may have been doing tapping his shoe in that stall, but that Minnesotans are still paying policemen to tap back. For almost 40 years most police departments have been aware of something that still escapes the general public: men who troll for sex in public places, gay or 'not gay,' are, for the most part, upstanding citizens. Arresting them costs a lot and accomplishes little. "
Former New Jersey Guv' Jim McGreevey speaks of his own late-night close call when he was in his 20s. "I pulled into the rest stop, parked my car, flashed my headlights, which was 'the signal,' and waited. Glancing in my rearview mirror, I saw a state trooper approaching. I desperately tried to convince the trooper of my innocence, showing him my former prosecutor's badge, a gift from the office when I left. The trooper radioed his office and returned. 'I never want to see you here again,' he said. I survived for another day."
What a sad way to "survive!" Gay folks should do what we straighties do - blast a horn. Works every time.
In our homophobic culture, gay people learn to repress their tendencies. Many of them, at least on the surface, are very conservative. And this internal contradiction is the justification for outing a holier-than-thou conservative senator picked up in a men's room.
They're hypocrites, we piously proclaim.
But as Roy Clark at Poynter tells us, we're all phonies. "I'm a hypocrite. You’re a hypocrite. We are all hypocrites. Why? Because I violate in my private life some of the things I profess in public. I guess it makes me a hypocrite because I take public actions designed to encourage my children, my students, my colleagues, and my readers to be a little better than I am. I don’t always practice what I preach."
A few thousand years ago, someone put this a little more succinctly. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."