|From top, clockwise: Aaron Schock, József Szájer, Roy Cohn, Richard Grenell|
Michelangelo makes some great points as to why some gay men are drawn to anti-gay leaders who are, in fact, working against their own interests. This is true for some closeted gays as well as out gays.
Ultimately, what’s the difference if they’re out or not, if they don’t stand up against the assault? Trump has been the most anti-LGBTQ president in history. I’d argue the situation is actually worse with people like Grenell than with closeted aides because by being out they help create an illusion of gay acceptance, giving the authoritarian cover even as he takes rights from LGBTQ people to placate enemies of equality.
Religious conservatives, to whom Trump bows, have learned to accept allowing an openly gay person in the administration to put on an appearance of tolerance (especially as long as the person is down with the rest of the far-right agenda). It’s a more efficient way to hurt the LGBTQ rights movement in a country in which the movement has made much progress and has broad acceptance. (I’ve written in The Washington Post about Grenell’s charade and the cover he’s given Trump.)