Ed Koch Finds Something Other Than Being Called Gay to Whine About


Ek Koch didn’t storm out of the premiere of Outrage, but he is outraged — gah! — over Kirby Dick’s doc on anti-gay politicians who sleep the same sex. And not because Dick was the 8,756th person to out Koch (who maintain’s he isn’t gay), but because Outrage insinuates Koch had a dismal record on AIDS and gay rights. “It’s a [bleep]ing outrage,” Koch tells Page Six. “Bella Abzug and I, in the early ’70s, introduced in Congress a bill that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. … And when we later said the law applied to contractors doing business with the city, the Catholic Church and the Salvation Army sued me. … In 1984, I was the first mayor to march in the Gay Pride Parade. I was the first mayor to appoint openly gay judges.” He was the first mayor to install new drapes at Gracie Mansion!

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  • Good lord

    The idea of vilifying people for their sexuality, whether because you hate their sexuality or hate some perceived flaw in how they express it, is the very core of homophobia. This has been and always will be the root problem with the self-loathing cum activist “outing” crowd. They are driven not by some innate sense of gay pride, but rather their own utterly tangled internal remnants of self-hate. Listen closely to their vernacular, and you will notice it most resembles the religious right. Celebrating people who have the political skills and bravery to come out, even if they have a lot to lose, is wonderful. Attacking those who chose to take another path by burning them at the sake, is a form of homophobia that in someways I despise more than what comes from people who for whatever reason are “morally” opposed to us. The latter are just ignorant. The former are self-haters parading as liberated.

  • Cam

    No, it isn’t a form of homophobia. Call it whatever you will, call it wrong, call it mean, etc… but anytime somebody does something that you don’t like calling it homophobia is getting ridiculous.

    Neil Patrick Harris and Lance Bass were outed…boo hoo. The people that outed them were not homophobic. Ed Kotch has been called out on being gay for years, and has denied it. Who is homophobic “Phobia meaning fear” the person calling him out, or Ed, so terrified of himself that he keeps denying the truth?

  • Dennis

    @Good lord:
    Outing hypocrites and politicians who “bash us in public, and suck us in private” has nothing, NOTHING to do with internalized homophobia. It has to do with not putting up with bullshit! It is about refusing to be abused, and refusing to let some twisted, tortured, closeted asshole spew their inner dysfunctions out into the public sphere, and do harm onto others because they cannot reconcile their own inner “demons”.

    It’s 2009, there are these ‘new’ people called “therapists”, and they help people deal with their inner problems, so we don’t ALL have to suffer at the hands of a conflicted closet case. (or to be less kind, at the hands of a complete asshole who only cares about his own power, his own position and agenda.)

    I, for one, am giddy with anticipation to see this movie. Oh, sweet schadenfreude..so sweet…

  • Good lord

    I don’t like you. So I’m going to express that sentiment by calling you a closeted gay. Ohhhh, feelin’ the pride! Obama is anti-marriage. He must be a closeted gay.

  • Tommy

    I’m all for outing right wing politicians who hypocritically vote against gay rights legislation. But Ed Koch is not one of those people He has never bashed gay people, but has supported equal rights for them. So I think outing him is not right.
    And Ed Koch has never denied he was gay. He merely said his sexual orientation is none of anyone’s business. He’s too old to have sex now anyway so leave the guy alone!

  • Dennis

    @Good lord:
    The documentary “Outrage”, which is the base topic of this article, IS, in fact, about closeted poilticians, and their hypocritical support of discrimination against GLBT persons. What gives any maladjusted individual permission to harm others because they are unwilling to look inside themselves, and do the (sometimes difficult) work of accepting their own sexual orientation?

    I’m not talking about poor, rural, isolated or uneducated men. For those men in the closet, I do have sympathy and a desire that they find the resources and support they need to live happier lives. In Outrage, these men all people in positions of power, with access to therapy, education, and support which could help them be more “integrated”, yet they choose to ignore those resources, and to “act out” against others.

    I don’t need your pride, or approval, but if any closeted person in a position of power seeks to do damage to me, or anyone I care about, the gloves come off…no apologies.

  • Dennis

    and I understand Ed Koch was not behind any major homophobic persucution of gays…do have a little sympathy for him…but just a little, he’s in frickin NYC, not so hard to be out of the closet there, c’mon.

  • atdleft

    @Tommy: Yeah. Why all the hostility toward Ed Koch? How about the current mayor… You know, the one who says he’s “for marriage equality” but can never seem to round up any votes for it?

  • Good lord

    @Dennis, I understand where you’re coming from, but again I go back to the underlying premise, that branding with the letter “G” people whom we disagree with politically, is somehow an act of gay pride. Hypocrisy cuts both ways, in my heart I really believe that. And among the big outer’s whom I have met, their own issues are palpable. Its a personality type, and not a happy one.

  • Dennis

    @Good lord:
    I agree that militant “outing” advocates have issues, I’d say issues with anger…specifically anger at injustice, and anger at the persucution of GLBT’s, and anger at people “hiding who they are” while doing harm to others…

    I am an outing advocate against any closeted person who works against us…and I guess, one of the disconnects between you and I, is that creating “gay pride” is NOT the goal of outing a hypocrite. The goal is to take away their power, to take away their ability to harm gay people from the protective secrecy of the closet, to call them out and make them “accountble” for their actions, not to make them proud of their sexual orientation. That’s for them to work out, after they stop trying to harm us. (and apologize for their misdeeds.)

    “Pride” is a conversation to have AFTER the assault against gays is stopped. Pride is a beautiful thing to have, and one way to show pride is to refused to be abused or taken advantage of…we deserve so much better. Peace.

  • Good lord

    So the co-worker who whispers “you know, he’s g-a-y!” about you because the don’t like you, or disagree with you, is bad, but the gay co-worker (or activist) who does the same thing, for the same reason, is good. I’m not seeing it. Peace right back at ya.

  • Cam

    @Good lord: You said “No. 4 · Good lord
    I don’t like you. So I’m going to express that sentiment by calling you a closeted gay. Ohhhh, feelin’ the pride!”

    You seem to think that “Outing” is about finding somebody that the gay community hates and saying “Hey, they are straight so lets call them gay” That isn’t outing. Outing is about looking at somebody like Governor Crist in FL. who used to go to gay bars…secretly dates guys, has had a minor scandal about dating one of his male staff and saying out loud “Yeah, that guy is gay!” If anybody on here is homophobic, it would be you. you seem to think that being labeled as “Gay” is an insult. I take it as a compliment and a point of pride. Additionally, I came out in a VERY macho, homophobic workplace, and I dealt with all the B.S. and it worked out….so somebody like Koch, living in NYC and a minor celeb gets no sympathy ffrom me for being a coward.

  • EE Keller

    @Good lord: What nonsense! When you stay in the closet, you are admitting you have something to hide; ergo, it must be bad. Being closeted hurts all gays! Wake up.

  • Dennis

    [email protected]Good lord:
    I think you’re confusing idle gossip with preventing wide-scale discrimination against gay people.

    No, a better analogy is more like…if the CEO of the company is a closeted gay man (or woman), and (s)he allows gays in the company to be fired or harrassed by homophobic managers, just because they are gay, and the closeted CEO does NOTHING to stop this, or to implement a non-discrimination policy protecting GLBT employees.

    Then, yes, you better believe I support that CEO being “called out” as a big fat lying flaming gay… I don’t really care if that jerk has any “pride”, because, clearly he also has no decency or fairness. My symapthies lie with the employees who were persecuted, not with the jerk at the top…

    We aren’t going to see eye to eye on this, so let’s agree to disagree.

  • Dennis

    I think I may get our disconnect now…The documentary “Outrage” is not about “falsely” accusing straight people of being gay…it’s about exposing REAL HONEST TO GOD gay liars, who have gay sex in private and then lie, saying they are straight when they are in public…the doc has many interviews with sex parners of closeted politicians, and details all the lies these hypocrites spew…

  • Dennis

    @Good lord:
    meant to reply to good lord w/ the above comment

  • Dabq

    I didn’t know this old man was still even in the land of the living.

  • BobP

    I once mentioned to someone that the gay community thought the Koch was gay. He told me that he was a member of NYC’s liberal party (which wasn’t very liberal, they endorsed icky guiliani) when Koch was running for mayor. Apparently, they heard the rumor too, and trailed him and stationed someone outside his apartment for days waiting for some sign which they intended to use against him. They found nothing, so the rumor may be just that.

  • Good lord

    Well I have no doubt about one thing: The National Enquirer would very much agree with the methods and modus of outing – its their schlock in trade. So the argument comes down to that: is it wrong only when some people do it for the “wrong reason,” and some people do it for what they may perceive (wrongly, in my opinion) as “noble” ones? Watch out people or I will release Miss Manners on your asses. She water boards these days — but of course for a morally superior cause.

  • spindoc

    No. 19 · Good lord said

    Well I have no doubt about one thing: The National Enquirer would very much agree with the methods and modus of outing – its their schlock in trade. So the argument comes down to that: is it wrong only when some people do it for the “wrong reason,” and some people do it for what they may perceive (wrongly, in my opinion) as “noble” ones? Watch out people or I will release Miss Manners on your asses. She water boards these days — but of course for a morally superior cause.

    Give me a break, if there was some politician who has a black parent but was so light skinned nobody knew they were black, passing laws saying blacks shouldn’t marry. Sorry Lordy, but they should be outed in a second. You can blather on all you want about Miss Manners, but as any good fag knows the first definition of a lady or a gentleman is “One who strives to make those around them feel comfortable”. As Koch and his ilk are not acting as Gentlemen they hardly deserve to be treated as such.

  • Nick

    Koch has stated that he is not afraid of the answer to the question “Are you gay?” But in his mind, and in mine, by answering that question, you are making it okay for it to have been asked in the first place. It’s nobody’s business but his whether he is gay or not. Ask your mother; it’s rude. He’s done more for gay rights than all the self-righteous “outers” like Perez Hilton ever have. Show the man some respect.

  • Kochlies

    Koch has done shit for the gays except prance inbbroadway shows. give me a break. By the way, Bloomberg plays on the same team and also is a self-hater.

  • KockRocks

    Ed Koch pushed anti-discrimination legislation through the city council in the 80’s. When the AIDS epidemic hit, this created somewhat of a problem. Koch, acting on the advice of epidemiologists, wanted to close down the city’s gay bath houses. The anti-discrimination legislation he had championed made it illegal for him to do so, unless all establishments – gay or straight serving – that were known to facilitate promiscuous liasons were closed down. So what did Koch do? He shut down the gay and straight clubs alike. He was the first mayor of NYC to march in the gay pride parade. He introduced anti-discrimination legislation (based on sexual orientation) into the U.S. House when he was a congressman way back when. Koch is currently a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage and full equality for gay citizens under the law. Koch is not anti-gay. He’s not even closeted. He denied he was gay in 1977, but said that in doing so he was giving in to homophobia and found his predicament to be outrageous. This was at a time when homophobic attitudes were far more prevalent then they are today. Had he demured, it would likely have cost him the election. Could he have been more courageous, and stood up defiantly against the homophobes in ’77? Perhaps. Could he have done more to stop the spread of AIDS? Sure – everyone seemed to fudge that one up (despite the heroic efforts of organizations like GMHC). Is Koch some self-loathing closeted hypocrit? The accusation is absurd. I have sympathy for the position that hypocrits should be outed – but only because it effectively serves the public interest by exposing the bankruptcy of the bigoted views the espouse in public. Outing for outing’s sake is a violation of individual rights, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have to reveal jack-sh*t about my sexual orientation or any other aspect of my private life. That’s Koch’s point. Read his statements on the matter – he’s essentially open about being gay, he just won’t cave to pressure to ceremonially “out” himself. That’s his prerogative. Koch is gay, but he’s many other things as well. He’s a Jew, a former mayor, a former congressman, a WWII veteran who served with distinction, a Bush supporter, an Obama supporter…. Like him or not, how can you argue with his insistence on being judged according to his merits on matters of public concern, rather than the intimate details of his private life.
    This movie exposes the ugly side of the outing movement by going after an 85 year-old man for things that happened long ago. Larry Craig? Out the sucker! Charlie Christ? To hell with his private life if he doesn’t respect the privacy and rights of others – I agree. But the level of hypocracy necessary to justifiy aggressive “outing” has to be clear and substantial. Otherwise, any deviation from the opinions of the “outers” will provide a license to attack the essential privacy of public individuals. By including Koch, the filmakers undermine the justification for their film.

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