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Bug Chasers and the Thought Police By: Tammy Bruce
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, January 29, 2003

When I wrote "The New Thought Police" I knew it would stand the test of time. It’s about the rise of Leftwing McCarthyism. You know it well—for anyone who has ever challenged the Leftist status quo about culture or society or politics, you get slapped with a derogatory name meant to silence you. This week, the paperback edition of my book was released, and not surprisingly, there is a prime example of the Thought Police at work. An example which, unfortunately, is a matter of life and death.

When I first heard that Rolling Stone magazine had published an exposé about the problem of "bug chasers" in the gay community, I was thrilled that someone finally had the guts to say publicly what the gay community and public health field have known for years. For those of you who blissfully don’t know, "bug chasers" are gay men who deliberately seek to become infected with the AIDS virus.

In an article titled, "Bug Chasers: The Men Who Long to be HIV+" part of writer Gregory Freemen’s story, based on comments by public health officials, asserts that 25 percent of the 40,000 new AIDS infection every year are gay men who have sought out the disease. He also exposed how some gay men have eroticized getting AIDS as the last most extreme sex act in a community where all else has been tried.

But of course, there are things simply not discussed publicly about the gay male community, and if you do, well, there will be hell to pay. Freeman has found this out first hand. Andrew Sullivan, the openly gay former New Republic editor, current blogger and columnist, called the piece "…hysteria, wrapped in a homophobic and HIV-phobic wrapper." Well, that’s original.

Sean Hannity, who interviewed Freeman on "Hannity & Colmes," gets described by Sullivan as a "gay-hater." I know Sean Hannity and he is a man of principle, and faithful to his Catholicism. As a gay woman, I disagree with him regarding certain issues, but the man does not "hate" gay people. To the Thought Police, however, the truth really doesn’t matter. Name-calling and accusations of "hate" are tactics meant to silence those who dissent or challenge. It’s meant to marginalize those who dare to step out of line.

One of the most stunning events in the firestorm which erupted with the publishing of the article, was the backtracking of the public health officials Freeman quotes in his article, and who confirmed the seriousness of the problem. After the media got hold of the story, these men either said their comments were mischaracterized, or were never even said.

While we don’t know what kind of pressure the doctors faced after they did the Forbidden Thing (discussing in public a gay related deadly health hazard), with what I know about gay activist strategy I believe they endured extraordinary pressure to retract or deny their statements. My guess is if they did not reverse their positions as reported by Freeman, their livelihoods would be at risk. To his credit, Rolling Stone’s managing editor, Ed Needham, said he stood by the author and the article's fact checker—whose job it was to call those quoted to confirm the statements.

In addition to Sullivan’s entry into the ranks of the Thought Police, with his naked vilification of Freeman and Hannity, you knew GLAAD would also have to chime in. Yes, the group which best represents the interests of the Gay Gestapo, had their rep Cathy Renna declare that the story was "groundless" while in the next breath contradicting herself with, "What's sad is that it's a behavior that is happening and the unfortunate part of all of this is that this story didn't offer any real solutions to this problem."

Newsflash for Renna—the solution to this problem is for the open discussion of the issue. We should be scrambling to get help for those who are committing suicide by AIDS. Instead, the Gay Elite condemns them and others to death because of our obsessive need to be seen as the Morally Superior Victimized Minority.

Here are a few things we do know, and which even the Thought Police cannot ignore. Unprotected sex among gay men is now common. The bathhouses are reopening and business is booming. "Barebacking," another lovely term to describe having unprotected anal sex, is all the rage and featured on the covers of gay magazines. Syphilis is at epidemic proportions amongst gay men.

But Andrew Sullivan knows all this too well. While his dismissal of the seriousness of the bug chasing problem (he calls it an ‘urban myth’) irritates me, his own flagrant hypocrisy is stunning. Richard Goldstein, in an article by the Village Voice, revealed Sullivan’s own predilection for barebacking and other supposed urban myths:

Using the screen name RawMuscleGlutes, Sullivan posted on a site for bare backers (the heroic term for gay men who have sex without condoms). He was seeking partners for unsafe anal and oral intercourse. Sullivan revealed that he was HIV-positive and stated his preference for men who are "poz," but he also indicated an interest in "bi scenes," groups, parties, orgies, and "gang bangs."

If you want homophobia, all the Gay Elite need do is look in the mirror and they will see the people who prefer to send new generations of gay men to their graves, all in the name of Image, Politics and Power. They will see the New Thought Police, so committed to their own self-destructive nihilism they will do whatever necessary to bring everyone with them.

For the gay establishment, it’s time for both the public lies and self-deception to stop. While the Victimized Minority image may lose its power and cachet, we would gain something even more important—generations of gay men and women who just might have an opportunity to lead healthy, happy lives—both physically and mentally.

Tammy Bruce is a Fox News Channel Contributor and author of The Death of Right and Wrong.

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