Creep of the Week: Tony Perkins

Unicorns. Yeti. The Loch Ness Monster. Bigfoot. UFOs.

What do these things have in common? They’re all shrouded in mystery and folklore. Few have seen them, many have searched. Some exist only in grainy photographs emerging from the woods or lake or sky. Well, now we can add another creature of fantasy to the list, thanks to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council: gay senior citizens.

You see, on Oct. 21, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced plans to create a resource center for LGBT seniors. According to HHS, “The LGBT Resource Center will help community-based organizations understand the unique needs and concerns of older LGBT individuals and assist them in implementing programs for local service providers, including providing help to LGBT caregivers who are providing care for an older partner with health or other challenges.”

HHS cites a statistic that “as many as 1.5-4 million LGBT individuals are age 60 and older.”

On FRC’s Web site, under the heading “For HHS, a Senior Moment” (get it? Because seniors are senile and often do stupid things, so HHS is just as dumb as an old person), Perkins lambasted the Obama administration for wasting money on such a thing.

“In reality, HHS has no idea how many LGBT seniors exist. No one does! The movement is only a few decades old, and people who are 80 or 90 years old didn’t grow up in a culture where it was acceptable to identify with this lifestyle,” he said.

And we all know that the only way you can be gay is to grow up in a culture that accepts being gay, which is why so many kids are gay now: because they learn it in school, since America is all about homos and gay marriage is legal in all states and no one hates gay people any more. Hooray!

In other words, Perkins is celebrating the good ol’ days, when the closet door was firmly shut and gay people had to live with a shroud of shame and secrecy.

“Of course, the real tragedy here — apart from the unnecessary spending — is that, given the risks of homosexual conduct, these people are less likely to live long enough to become senior citizens! Yet once again, the Obama administration is rushing to reward a lifestyle that poses one of the greatest public-health risks in America. If this is how HHS prioritizes, imagine what it could do with a trillion-dollar healthcare overhaul!”

The connection to universal healthcare is a nice touch. We get it, Tony. Gays are bad, healthcare is bad. In fact, gays are so bad, they all die before they get old.

Well, tell that to Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, a lesbian couple together nearly 56 years. That makes them really old! Sadly, Martin passed away last year. No doubt Perkins would use this fact as proof that old gay people don’t exist. If you were to ask him how she died, I suspect his answer would be, “AIDS, probably.” Granted, Lyon is still alive, but since she’s single now, Perkins probably considers her an ex-gay.

Frank Kameny is another gay elder. Granted, The Advocate mistakenly reported that he died a couple of years ago, but as far as I know, he’s an alive-and-kicking octogenarian.

But then, maybe Perkins doesn’t consider 80-plus old. I think a visit from a group of silver daddies might do him some good. And hey, don’t seniors love to get on the bus? I smell a road trip!

D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet (believe it!). When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock ’n’ roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister and teaches writing at the University of Michigan.

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