How I wish I could travel back in time to the Richard Rogers Theatre two weeks ago and get inside Mike Pence’s head Being John Malkovich-style. I wonder whether he understood that he, an avowed homophobe, was a guest in the house of queer America that night. I wonder whether he’s aware that the American musical is an institution built by the combined efforts of a century of queer artists. I wonder how he reconciles his well-documented history of persecuting queer people with his enjoyment of their work.
I imagine he’s the “love the sinner, hate the sin” sort of homophobe: the type who compartmentalizes people’s sexual orientations away from the rest of them—as though whom one loves and fucks isn’t an integral part of one’s humanity—so he can reap the benefits of their contributions to society without feeling guilty about dedicating his professional life to curtailing their rights. (As an aside, is it too early to start the countdown until the inevitable airport bathroom scandal? Because at this point I just assume that any conservative politician so pathologically uncool about gayness is probably getting up to some extravagantly gay activities in his off hours.)
After enduring the humiliation of being the recipient of a respectful message of inclusion, Pence needed somebody to stick up for him. Enter Trump, who apparently has some kind of spidey sense for detecting any opportunity to reinforce what an utter douchebag he is by word-vomiting all over Twitter. I can imagine him sitting down at his laptop, lips drawn together in that trademark anus-like frown, typing and then erasing his rebuttal five or six times to accommodate the 140 character limit before pressing send.
For as much as they complain that oppressed groups take their own oppression too personally, and as much as they enjoy ridiculing safe spaces and trigger warnings as emblems of PC culture run amok, nobody melts down faster than a straight white dude who’s just his beliefs about his own supremacy challenged.