As a non-offending pedophile who has been open about my sexuality for years, to the point where I wrote a couple of now famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) articles that were published in Salon—later removed because of pressure from advertisers, who were themselves no doubt pressured by thousands of Breitbart and InfoWars followers, and maybe a few hardcore feminists—I am constantly subjected to vile verbal attacks by people on Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere. Most of these people are predictably “alt-right”, often barely concealing their hateful racist and anti-gay sentiments on their Twitter pages, if at all. The rest fall just short of that, though almost all of them seem to be Trump supporters.
Oddly, they will sometimes make room for people like Milo Yiannopoulos, an outwardly flamboyant gay man who has in the past voiced his support for men and boys as young as 13 being allowed to sexually experiment with each other. Ahem. Yiannopoulos, I think, is something like a court jester to these people, tolerated simply because he’s somewhat amusing to them and they find him useful at the moment, but I’m as certain as death and taxes that if the “alt-right” ever came into real power in the US, he would, at the very least, be cast out of “polite” society just as quickly as any other LGBTQ member. There was certainly enough outrage at the time of the discovery of Yiannopoulos’s controversial views on men and boys to topple him from his prominent editorial position at Breitbart Media, though not enough to kill his book deal with Simon & Schuster, apparently.
Speaking of which, while I have not read it and almost certainly never will, I was told by a friend that he had criticized me personally in the book. Of course he did. He would be unceremoniously dumped from his current position as precious darling of the far right if he admitted what he no doubt knows to be true: that pedophilia is as much of an unchosen condition as homosexuality or any other sexual orientation. Honestly, who the hell would choose to have the most unpopular sexual preference ever? It is definitely not a choice, and anyone who claims otherwise is either profoundly ignorant or they’re lying in order to justify their position. Anyway, he did what right-wingers typically do when they’ve been found to have a morally questionable past: he pointed the finger elsewhere.
As I said earlier, as an out (and outspoken) minor-attracted person, I am frequently harassed by these far right trolls. Several of them have threatened physical violence against me, thinking they can intimidate me into silence. But I’ve been through and survived the worst existence had to offer: years of horrible depression and social anxiety, which was not unlike living in a war zone at the time, constantly fretting that this might very well be my last day on the planet. Before my depression I would never have put myself out there for the barrage of insults and ridicule, much less the real danger of violence against me. But something happened when I came out the other side of that depression—it changed me fundamentally, to the point where I no longer fear being murdered. Or anything, really. My capacity for terror has been burned out of me.
I digress. All of this leads me to a question: had my article been published in a right-wing publication, or had I positioned myself as a right-winger in general when I wrote it, would the far right have embraced me as it did Yiannopoulos, and mostly continues to do even after he was revealed to have said what he did? I will go out on a limb here and say I believe it would have. Why? Because, unlike the left, which has a tendency to overcompensate when criticized on a point of moral pride (hence the removal of my stuff from Salon, and the recent resignation of Al Franks for that matter), the right has mainly given up any pretense of morality for its own sake and simply embraces anyone that it feels will further its agenda. The Ends Justify the Means philosophy has swept through the modern conservative movement in a big way. Of course, if you point out to them that this is ultimately just another form of moral relativism, which they claim to hate, they will just flat out deny it. And that in itself reinforces my point.
Which brings us to Senate candidate Roy Moore. It’s one thing to look past bad beliefs one might’ve once held. That much I get, and I don’t fault Milo Yiannopoulos for that. I would be a hypocrite myself if I did, given that I too embraced the pro-contact viewpoint for a time, mainly from late 2006 to sometime in 2007, when I finally woke up and realized the pro-contact perspective was, shall we say, problematic. I waffled a bit on it over the next few years, but essentially I realized my error and corrected for it. Yiannopoulos now appears to have done the same, and good for him. But then you have people like Roy Moore—and there seem to be a lot of them on the right—guys who position themselves as some sort of uncompromising moral anchor in a sea of immorality while behind the scenes they are anything but.
If the allegations against Moore are true—and I have every reason to believe they are—then it is a moral travesty of the first order that, not only are the Republicans allowing him to continue running, most of them appear to actually be endorsing him! I can’t help but think that this is going to be the ultimate legacy of the Republican Party, the thing that will finally bring down their glass house of cards (and yes, I know I’m mixing my metaphors, thank you very much). The problem is, this is likely going to get much worse for everyday Americans before it gets better. This is a government official we’re talking about, someone we are supposed to look up to and mimic. If Trump now sets the agenda for how an American can be expected to behave—at least a right-wing American, because if a leftie behaved the way Trump has in office, you know very well he would already have been impeached—then we have no reason to doubt that Moore too will have his adherents. Think about that for a minute.
I want you to keep in mind that many on the right did, and continue to, suggest that the goal of the left has been to work towards destigmatizing not just pedophilia but actual sex with minors. When my articles came out, media personalities on the far right, including YouTube-based demagogues like Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson, railed against me and claimed I and Salon were attempting to do precisely that, even though nothing could’ve been further from the truth. My articles and later the video interview I did for Salon were my attempt to demonstrate that not all people who are cursed with these attractions wants to act on them, and that anti-contacters like me actually understand and agree with society’s perspective. My position is that pedophiles, at least ones with an exclusive attraction to kids, should remain sexually abstinent. For hundreds and hundreds of years abstinence was a conservative Christian value, and it is still the practice for clergy in the Catholic church. And yet, not long after the revelation of Moore’s “indiscretions” with teenage girls, Watson released this video in which his defense of the clearly guilty Moore is couched in a larger commentary about how the left has gone crazy with its “sexual puritanism.” While he is careful not to say it outright, Watson is planting the idea here that people like Moore—you know, otherwise decent, right-thinking folk who just happen to enjoy the company of teenage girls a little too much—are getting caught up in the left’s widely cast net of sexual misconduct accusations.
Of course, Watson claims he is all for punishing those who are actually guilty of molesting minors, but that’s easy to say when so much time has passed and there is simply no way to prove definitively that Moore is guilty, even though Watson knows damn well he’s guilty as hell. If Moore—whom you’ll remember was the district attorney at the time all of these offenses “allegedly” took place—could be brought to justice today, Watson would have changed his message entirely to something along the lines of what other Republicans who know Moore is guilty have said. Things like, this is actually biblical (so was slavery) and it doesn’t matter because God uses bad people to do good things (but we’re not God, are we?) In other words, the Ends Justify the Means.
The sad thing is, all of these justifications for Moore’s sexual abuse of teens are going to have an effect. Outside of the conservatives who are outright denying that this abuse happened—and there are plenty of those too—there have been attempts to suggest that Doug Jones is somehow more evil than Moore simply for being a Democrat. This is the guy who helped prosecute the white supremacists that bombed a black Birmingham church in 1963 which resulted in the deaths of four little girls. Yes, there are now actually conservatives who are claiming that Democrats are categorically worse than child molesters. Even weeks ago, before the pro-Moore propaganda really ramped up, posts like these on Twitter were not hard to find:
What are we to make of this in the end? Even after Donald Trump was elected, I thought the one line in the sand that even conservatives would never stoop to was looking past the sexual abuse of minors. I should’ve known better. It’s been my experience that much of the outrage I’ve endured from these “alt-right” haters has never really been about protecting kids. It’s just that minor-attracted people—at least those of us who have had the courage to admit it openly—are easy targets for their hate. Gays and minorities are protected classes now, but MAPs are not. We are scapegoats for the far right’s rage, even as they look the other way for their own molesters. But that’s always been the case, hasn’t it? In Nazi Germany, Julius Streicher, a Nazi Gauleiter and publisher of one of the party’s main propaganda organs, Der Stürmer, was, among other things, a notorious abuser of teen girls. Hitler and the Nazi elites ignored his excesses for awhile, until Streicher finally became too much of an embarrassment even for them and was removed from power.
Knowing the conspicuous hypocrisy of the majority of the Republican Party now, consider carefully what is going on here. While the right attacks people like me—MAPs who are determined to never offend—it is also openly endorsing actual abusers like Moore, often by defending that behavior as biblical and/or historic. And therein lies the real danger. While the right accuses the left of trying to break down society’s taboo against sex with kids, it is now doing precisely what it has been accusing the left of doing. And there is ample reason to be concerned. During my years at the “child love” forums, one thing I noticed was that most of the pro-contacters were not leftists, as one might expect. No, most were actually feminist-hating right-wingers, which, in light of the Moore/Jones election, now makes perfect sense. Think about it. If you were a pedophile looking to soften society up to the idea of lowering age of consent, which tactic do you think would have a better chance of success: appealing to liberalism and the idea of pedophiles deserving the same status and rights as gays, or appealing to biblical and historical tradition, the domain of conservatives?
Mark my words: there are a bunch of pro-contact pedophiles watching this election carefully and hoping for a Roy Moore win, because they know that if society can be won over to the idea of going back to a time when victims of sexual abuse were largely ignored and kids were a much less politically protected class, then they will have a far better chance of achieving their goal than they ever would in a liberal society where non-offending MAPs are distinguished from offending ones and all sexual activity with minors, regardless of who does it, is viewed negatively while all offenders, regardless of their political affiliation, are brought to justice.
And so, if Roy Moore wins this election, and I have a strong suspicion he will, many pro-contacters will be celebrating. Not only do they, like Roy Moore, hate feminists, many also dislike LGBTQ people because they feel like that crowd have thrown them under the bus in order to win respectability in the eyes of society. With Trump—another sexual predator who has never been brought to justice—as president, and Roy Moore set to take a prominent spot in the Senate, they also see a long-term opportunity to get what they want by positioning themselves as members of the burgeoning far-right. In such a society all they’ll really have to do is gain a little power, say whatever their constituents want to hear, and deny everything, and they’re golden.