Creep of the Week: Phillip Hinkle

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If I close my eyes and try really hard, I can almost transport myself back to a time when gay sex scandals involving antigay Republicans were shocking. Well, “shocking” is maybe too strong. How about “surprising” or even “unexpected.” You know, it’s getting to a point that in order to prove their heterosexuality, Republicans are going to have to go all out with the pro-gay thing. The opposite strategy is obviously not working.

And so it is that Indiana state Rep. Phillip Hinkle, a supporter of an antigay-marriage amendment to Indiana’s constitution, finds himself embroiled in a pot-calling-the-kettle-gay story.

I know, I know. “Yawn,” right? We’ve heard this tale before. It’s been done. And yet there’s something about blatant, naked (literally, in this case) hypocrisy that never gets old.

Hinkle, 64, allegedly found an ad in the men seeking men section on Craigslist by 18-year-old Kameryn Gibson that declared, “I need a sugga daddy.” Apparently thinking himself such a daddy, Hinkle answered the ad and offered Gibson $80, adding, “For a really good time, you could get another 50, 60 bucks. That sound good?”

Um, no. That does not sound good. Not only does that not “sound good” for Hinkle’s career, but it also falls way short of sugar-daddy levels. Granted, I am not myself a sugar daddy nor have I ever sought one, but I think we can all agree that a maximum payout of $140 does not a sugar daddy make. Also, 50 or 60 bucks? Would a “sugga daddy” really quibble over $10?

In any case, this is presumably how Gibson and Hinkle ended up in a hotel room together. One thing led to another and Hinkle ended up wearing nothing but a towel and Gibson ended up retreating to the bathroom to call his sister, Megan, to get him out of there, and Megan ended up cursing Hinkle out and threatening to call the media, and Hinkle ended up offering his “iPad, a BlackBerry and $100 in cash,” according to the Indianapolis Star.

OK, wait. This kid and his sister are threatening to expose you so you give them your cell phone? Your personal cell phone your wife calls you on and is now being answered by someone who is super-pissed at you and who tells your wife you’re a homo? Smooth move, Hinkle.

Hinkle has not denied anything at this point, though he has called the whole thing “a shakedown.” His fellow Republicans are all, “Dude, resign.”

Indiana Stonewall Democrats president Aaron Schaler told the Star, “This is almost a textbook example of what happens when someone is not allowed, by either community attitudes or by personal conflicts, to be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Perhaps. Though maybe folks like Hinkle don’t actually want any of that openness and acceptance stuff. All of those votes against LGBT rights, all of that co-sponsored antigay-marriage legislation, all of those claims that gays are nothing but sex perverts with too much political power — maybe it isn’t “hypocrisy” after all. Maybe it’s just an accurate representation of their sad, pathetic lives.

Think about it. If your only experience as a gay man was spent steeped in lies and disgust and contempt, why wouldn’t your public policy reflect your private shame? Why wouldn’t you use your political power to shape the world into the vision of the very antigay hell you see as your life?

It’s no excuse, mind you. But considering the pandemic of antigay closet cases in the Republican Party and the party’s decidedly antigay platform, I think it’s fair to say that the entire GOP has a big internalized homophobia problem. And judging from the GOP presidential hopefuls that are parading around, it’s only going to get worse.

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.