Brock, Horowitz and the anti-gay slur

Chad Conway responds to David Horowitz.

By Salon Staff
Published April 30, 2002 11:14PM (EDT)

Having recently moved and taking a hiatus from publishing, I was delighted that David Horowitz tracked me down to see how I was doing when my phone rang a week or two ago. But that wasn't why he was calling. He was riled up that David Brock had accused him of an antigay slur in his new book, "Blinded by the Right." I hadn't read the book, but the moment Horowitz told me the anecdote in question I remembered it well. I had dined out on the story for weeks -- once on David Brock's tab.

During one of many amusing and stimulating phone conversations I enjoyed with Horowitz over the years, a piece he had written on some gay issue came up and he said to me, "The problem with the gays is that they are all hysterical!" I laughed and said, "David, you don't think I'm hysterical, do you?" "Jesus," said Horowitz, "you're not gay, are you?" He than apologized for the remark, and I laughed it off, enjoying his discomfort enormously. The How-I-Came-Out-To-David-Horowitz story paid for a martini or two, but never at the expense of Horowitz -- I always relayed it with the humor I received it. No offense taken.

When Horowitz called me to tell me about Brock's book, I reminded him of the story (he remembered it, too, in a vague form), laughed and said I had told a lot of people that story, including Brock. Horowitz was always very good about the gay issue with me, and personally I don't think that he is a homophobe. But there is absolutely no doubt that he stuck his foot in it that day, in that conversation, and that he might have said even more hurtful things (and saying all gays are hysterical is hurtful) if I hadn't outed myself.

Horowitz is wrong for trying to turn this on Brock. For the record, I don't think Horowitz is anti-gay and I always enjoyed him. But, yes, he did, before he knew I was gay, make an anti-gay slander to me and Brock was quite right to use it as an example of the sorts of things said when "we," the homos, are not in the room. I wish at this point David Brock had told the full (funnier) story and used my name in his book -- far better than being outed by Horowitz.

I remain yours sincerely, enjoying both my Davids for their faults as well as their virtues --

-- Chad Conway

Salon Staff

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