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Gay Conservative

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"I agree with 95% of the Republican platform. I believe in local government. I'm in favor of individual rights rather than group rights. I believe free markets lead to free people and that the country needs a strong national defense. My life doesn't have to be about being a homosexual. It doesn't have to be entirely about that."
Congressman Matt Skinner, The West Wing

This trope is about homosexual political conservatives, typically in settings where homosexuality and conservatism are at least somewhat incompatible, as they appear in fiction. It's much more common in American than in European media, since the European brand of conservatism does not necessarily go hand in hand with the religious right. Typically this is done for one of the following reasons:

  1. Drama: The (assumed) tension between what a gay person should want politically, and the assumed Conservative position on gay rights generally, and perhaps gay marriage in particular.
  2. Polemic: The assumption that a gay person cannot be conservative without being a traitor to his gayness. This implies that all conservatives are anti-gay and that all gays have to believe and support the same politics, even on issues that have nothing to do with homosexuality.note 
  3. Token: Gay conservatives are considered exotic and strange. In a Cast Full of Gay, they might be the Token Conservative (and prone to the usual problems with the Token Minority trope). Like the second form, this one has implications of being a Category Traitor.
  4. Defensive: This has the precise opposite problem of reason #2. Instead of attacking gay conservatives, these works promote and defend them. The conflicts with conservative ideology and homosexuality are ignored, hand waved, or minimized.
  5. Satire: When conservatives are mocked and satirized, such as a politician who runs on a "traditional family values" platform and publicly decries homosexuality as depraved, despite being secretly gay and getting action on the side. An example thereof may well be an Armored Closet Gay. This can overlap with #1 or #2.

See also Writer on Board and Straw Character for some of the ways this trope can go bad. Compare Blonde Republican Sex Kitten and Black Republican, and yes, gay conservatives do in fact exist in real life. No Real Life Examples, Please!, however, as this is about their portrayal in fiction.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • An early issue of Ex Machina had Mayor Hundred meet a gay couple, one of whom was a Republican politician. He joked that when, at a young age, he heard about a group of Republicans break party lines to fight for gay rights, he decided then and there he was going to be a Republican.
  • Transmetropolitan's Show Within a Show "Republican Party Reservation Compound" seems to be about a cultural reservation for conservatives, who have some trouble living up to their values. To the point of using technology from The City to have kids.
  • Horndog had one of these in its second issue.
  • In Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Gigi Allen is one of these. Considering that she's a gender-swapped version of Roy Cohn, this is to be expected.
  • Dykes to Watch Out For: One of Ginger's students, Cynthia, is a rare lesbian example of this.

    Fan Works 
  • Touched on lightly in the Angel of the Bat sequels. Cassandra Cain, who became a believer in Catholicism in the first story, finds a lot of beauty and admiration in traditionalist relationships, notably waiting until marriage before having sex. Her girlfriend admits to finding this hard to wrap her head around
  • The eponymous “hero” is this in The Ben Chatham Adventures, often having male love interests, but believing that Working-Class People Are Morons.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played for laughs in the remake of The Stepford Wives: A Flamboyant Gay character becomes Straight Gay through phlebotinium-related means and becomes a candidate for the Republican party. His friends immediately figure out something's wrong, and that it is his boyfriend, a through-and-through conservative gay, who's behind this. It gets even funnier when the phlebotinum is removed after he gets elected, wherein he reverts to a Camp Gay completely out of sync with Republican positions.
  • Albert Goldman from The Birdcage admits to some conservative views, although this was probably done to put on a show for the Keeleys. Played for Laughs as Albert (who is at this point disguised as "Mrs. Coleman") starts blithely coming out with views that even most conservatives would see as radical (such as saying that women who seek to have abortions should be killed)...with Senator Keeley being in 100% agreement with him.
  • The Spike Lee Joint Get on the Bus has Kyle, a gay, black Republican who essentially faces persecution from all sides. Having fought in the Gulf War, he was intentionally shot by his own platoon because of his sexual orientation and his race, and at least one other black character in the movie disapproves of him for these specific reasons.
  • In Long Term Relationship, Glenn's boyfriend Adam turns out to be Republican. This is mainly played for laughs and isn't really much of an issue in their relationship. Well, except for their lousy sex life turning out to be the fault of Republican preconceptions of a "traditional" relationship, but that's resolved in the end by marriage.
  • Made for TV Movie Citizen Cohn is a biopic of high-powered McCarthy-Era conservative lawyer Roy Cohn, a closeted gay who eventually died of AIDS while denying he had it to the end. As close to real life as we can get here.

  • A few gay conservatives appear in the Tales of the City series, most notably Mabel, the fiercely Reaganite lesbian from Significant Others. It's probably worth noting that author Armistead Maupin himself has said that he was a gay conservative for many years before growing disillusioned with the Republican Party's attitudes toward gay people.
  • Paul in Redfern Jon Barrett's The Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of Straights: he dislikes other queers who engage in drag and non-monogamy, and is at points overtly sexist.
  • Also from Redfern Jon Barrett is Proud Pink Sky – set in the world's first gay state, which is an example of this trope – bisexuality is barely tolerated, while trans and nonbinary people are forced to the margins of the city.
  • These Words Are True and Faithful: Ernie, a police officer, comes across to Sam as "a big-government conservative."
  • Presidential: Brooke, Emily's ex-girlfriend, comes from a conservative, wealthy family and shares their politics. Her mother is the Republican Senate majority leader in fact. This was one reason Emily and she broke up, especially due to their opposing views on guns (Emily's parents were murdered with a legally purchased one, so she's in favor of more gun control; Brooke understands this but disagrees).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mac in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is an Armored Closet Gay conservative Catholic for much of the series. Even after he comes out, he still clings to his faith (though he is mostly just Egocentrically Religious) and has many conservative viewpoints.
  • Oddly enough, exploited yet averted in The Boys. Madeline Stillwell blackmails a senator from Oklahoma with incriminating footage of him having drunken sex with a middle-aged man. In reality, he believed he was having sex with a cute bartender, only for the bartender to turn out to be Doppelganger, a person with the ability to change any part of their appearance at will, who changed form mid-coitus with the senator blindfolded purely for this blackmail evidence. While the senator rebuffs that times and attitudes have been changing, Stillwell simply reminds him that attitudes have not changed in Oklahoma.
  • The Brittas Empire: In a Flash Forward to 2019, Gavin (all but stated to be in a relationship with Tim in the show’s present-day) is shown to have become a Conservative minister under Prime Minister Sebastian Coe. He’s still with Tim too.
  • This happens in an episode of Brothers & Sisters as well; the Gay Conservative in this case is set up on a blind date with a gay liberal and is not amused by his date's anti-conservatism. Somewhat of An Aesop in this case as the liberal tried to win points with the conservative by bashing Republicans as he assumed all gay men would be receptive to that rhetoric.
  • Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock announces to his conservative colleagues that he's in love with a Democrat congresswoman, prompting them to stand up and confess their own departures from conservative orthodoxy; one of them reveals that he is gay, and another reveals that he is black.
  • On Coupling, Jane goes on a "date" with a gay man who turns out to be a big Margaret Thatcher supporter, causing liberal Sally to spout "How dare you say that. You're gay! You're on our side!" In the short-lived American version, the gay man was explicitly a Republican.
  • In an episode of Law & Order, a man being questioned by the detectives mentions that he knew the victim through an association of gay conservatives. When the detectives look at him in disbelief, the man replies "You don't have to be straight to believe in a sound fiscal policy."
  • Roseanne:
    • Leon, Roseanne Connor's sarcastic, condescending ex-boss and future business partner, is a gay Republican (though he apparently admires Hillary Clinton). When he was getting cold feet before his wedding to his partner Scott, he made the excuse that he might not actually be gay, citing his political affiliation as "evidence."
    • Later, her mother Bev, also conservative, comes out. In the finale, Rosanne reveals that it's not her mother but actually her sister who is gay.
  • In one episode of The West Wing, Josh spends the entire episode debating gay issues with Republican Congressman Matt Skinner. At the end of the episode, Skinner tells Josh to stop beating around the bush and ask the question he really wants to know: how Skinner can be gay and a Republican. The answer is that the Congressman agrees with the conservative stance on most issues, with gay issues being an exception. He also indicates that he hopes to change Republican attitudes toward gays by being a good soldier. However, he doesn't tolerate disrespectful actions of some of his party members. When the majority leader (who Josh had cited as an active example of what he sees as the homophobia inherent in the Republican party) smarmily tries to patronize him with a pat on the back and a "Good job, Congressman" — only for Skinner to give him the evil eye and snap back, "Take your hand off my shoulder, Congressman."
  • Sharon Tyler in Wonderfalls is a conservative lawyer and closeted lesbian whose sexuality and political position is usually played for laughs - up until network interference came into play and canned her storyline from the last few episodes.
    "So, how long have you been using the Republican party as a lesbian dating service?"
  • An episode of Saturday Night Live during the 1988 George H. W. Bush-Michael Dukakis presidential election had a sketch called "The Gay Communist Gun Club", where the hosts basically shot down potential members for not meeting all three criteria (gay, communist and love guns). At the end, they endorsed Bush as their presidential candidate.
    "While he didn't meet all of our criteria, we figured two out of three wasn't bad."
  • Stephen Colbert's right-wing political pundit persona in The Colbert Report is played as a thinly repressed homosexual.
  • On Smash Tom's boyfriend John Goodwin is a conservative lawyer. Tom finds this out when he has a fundraiser for a conservative state representative.
  • Scandal.
    • Sullivan St. James and Cyrus Beene
    • Subverted in one episode where a Republican political candidate is plagued by rumors that he is gay. Olivia points out that his chances of winning will actually improve if he comes out because the uncertainty is costing him more votes than being openly gay would. In the end, it turns out that he is straight and has been having an affair with his brother's wife for the last ten years.
  • In an episode of The Newsroom, Will interviews a homosexual man who is a senior member of Rick Santorum's staff as part of an attempt to paint Santorum as a bully and a homophobe. The man protests that he is more than his sexual orientation and agrees with Santorum on every subject other than gay rights. However, Will still forces the man to admit that Santorum would not consider him fit to be a teacher. Will later feels guilty for bullying the man into making that admission.
  • In Parks and Recreation, Marcia Langman's husband Marshall is Camp Gay despite both of them being part of Pawnee's Moral Guardian brigade. He seems to be a parody of Republican U.S. congresswoman Michelle Bachmann's husband Marcus, who is rumored to be gay despite running a gay curing camp.
  • The Office (US):
    • In the latter seasons, Angela marries a US Republican senator whom Oscar immediately realizes is gay. Oscar and the senator have an affair before he comes out on national television simultaneously divorcing Angela and leaving Oscar for another man. In a deleted scene the senator also states that he'll be switching to the Democratic party, as opposed to helping make the Republicans look more gay-friendly.
    • In addition, Oscar Nunez (his actor) has referred to Oscar as being a Log Cabin Republican. While Oscar is a very Straight Gay accountant, his political affiliation is never explicitly addressed.
  • The Family: Willa, who's a closeted lesbian and Republican.
  • The Good Wife: In a mock trial of a wedding planner refusing to work for a gay couple on religious grounds, Lockhart brings in one of conservative activist R.D.'s relatives to play the plaintiff. This relative is gay, a political conservative, and a Christian.
  • Castle: One episode deals with a murder connected to a conservative high-society family. A gay member of the family told the Body of the Week that he was her father in order to shield his nephew from scandal during a Senate run.
  • In The Orville, Moclus is an entire planet of gay conservatives, being a planet where nearly every denizen is a gay male and yet also a society that values conformity and tradition above all else. They are very intolerant of females and heterosexuals, enforcing this by law.
  • Dear White People: Silvio morphs into one, or really even further to the right, in Season 2.
  • Romper Stomper: Jago is a right-wing TV show host who's revealed as being gay. Some of his right-wing allies don't like it, but they tolerate him as he's useful.
  • In The Bold Type, Ava Rose is a type-four ardent conservative lesbian and a foil to queer liberal Kat.
  • Penny Dreadful: City of Angels: Townsend, who's a conservative member of the LA city council, is also gay. While this is 1938 so most people wouldn't be accepting of this (including liberals), he's got no problem working with Nazi Germany, whose homophobia was much worse than in the US then. His lover Kurt, meanwhile, is a Nazi (with the Gestapo) who works for the cause nonetheless. They don't comment on this explicitly, although Kurt mentions that all LGBT clubs have been shut down in Berlin after Townsend takes him to one. Kurt's boss doesn't seem to mind this, even getting Kurt into a relationship with Townsend for blackmail material.
  • Romper Stomper: Jago is a right-wing TV show host who's revealed as being gay. Some of his right-wing allies don't like it, but they tolerate him as he's useful.
  • The L Word: Tasha's an Iraq War veteran who clashes with Alice while they're dating since the latter opposes the war. She expresses support for the war effort and the US rebuilding Iraqi society. Both agree to disagree though, and their relationship overcomes this (they later break up, but not over politics).
  • Irma Vep: Gottfried presents himself this way in an interview, claiming he's a "former" gay man who recites common right-wing talking points (but he may be joking).
  • My Dead Ex: Bethany is a Republican and closeted lesbian. After coming out, she makes a remark about caring for the US while her love interest Wren lives in a liberal fantasy. Wren's apparently unbothered.
  • Will & Grace:
    • "Star-Spangled Banter" revolves around Will and Grace supporting two different candidates for city council, with Will picking a gay man and Grace picking a Jewish woman. When they hold fundraisers for their respective candidates, Will and Grace are shocked to learn just how conservative the two are; the gay candidate hates the homeless, the poor, and immigrants, and the Jewish woman is racist.
    • The transparently closeted Beverly Leslie is a Republican.
  • Fellow Travelers: Tim is a gay Republican who supports McCarthy and works for him initially, while McCarthy's support of purging LGBT+ employees from federal jobs threatens him as well. As a result, Tim gradually grows out of his former political beliefs.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Chase Talbott, radio co-host (and former partner) of gay liberal Mark Slackmeyer in Doonesbury.
  • Dykes to Watch Out For:
    • Cynthia, a lesbian example. While initially a conservative student of Ginger's who would frequently argue with her in class, her struggle to find a place to fit in (her ultra-religious parents freaked out when she came out, and "the Republican group on campus thinks I'm a perv, and the gay group thinks I'm a traitor!") was explored more in-depth.
    • Earlier strips also touched on Mo being unable to accept that there could possibly be gay conservatives. While Cynthia was the first actual conservative in the cast, her girlfriend Sydney was enough of a materialist and capitalist to be a foil for the highly principled Mo.
    • At one point, Cynthia says "I wanted to join the Rainbow Republicans, but they were only fiscal conservatives".
  • In a strip from the gay comic The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life Of Ethan Green, there's a Gay Republican at brunch, who, though handsome, annoys everyone with his political insights. Someone suggests that he might like to take up mime.
  • In Tom the Dancing Bug, this strip argues that the "new gay stereotype" for men is middle-aged, married, conservative, and Armoured Closet Gay.

    Professional Wrestling 

  • The BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play Not For Turning is about a young man named Hal who attends a Conservative Party conference and falls in with a group who assure him "everyone goes gay at conference". After sleeping with a guy named Cruise, being outed, accused of being a hypocrite because of the Conservative Party's position on LGBT+ rights, and being heralded as evidence the modern Conservative Party is welcoming to openly gay people, all without being sure if he's gay or not, he returns home, where his friend Cassie tells him "You can embrace the new, reject the new, or let it destroy you". We then see where these three options lead: in "embrace", he works with Cruise on the Downing Street media team, in "reject" he gets married to Cassie (but they both invited their boyfriends), and in "destroy" he attends another party held by Cruise and his friends ... as their dealer.

  • In Angels in America, two of the main male characters are gay Republicans (one is based on Real Life political figure Roy Cohn). Both are in the closet and struggle with their identity but end up in very different places.
    • Louis is rather surprised (and amused) to discover that Joe is a Republican during their first discussion, scoffing "Well, oh, boy. A gay Republican." Joe, still incredibly far in the closet, is taken aback by the assessment.
    • This is also what ends up ruining Louis and Joe's relationship, as Louis realizes that Joe has actually used his position as a lawyer to make things legally more difficult for gay people, in line with his conservative politics. Joe is dismayed that Louis can't bring himself to "agree to disagree" with him over politics, not seeing it as being as big a deal as Louis feels it is.
  • Rod of Avenue Q, a closeted gay Republican investment banker. The musical doesn't expound on his political views so much as Republican is just... part of his personality. The writers of the show said they actually received mail from gay Republican investment bankers who loved the character and in some cases, were in the closet themselves so Rod gave them inspiration.
  • There is a character who fits this trope description in the play The Normal Heart. That play was produced in 1985.
  • The revue "Infinite Joy," which consists of William Finn compositions not used in his other shows (such as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), has a song titled "Republicans" about a man having sex with a gay conservative.
    To be in bed and screwing a Republican
    Is damned unappealing, but I can't help but feeling that it's nice to have the roles reversed.
  • Patricia in Lauren Gunderson's "The Taming" is chief of staff to a conservative Senator and an ardent Republican herself, though she seems to abandon a lot of her views by the end of the play. She also openly acknowledges that she dates and sleeps with women.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • Heather, the lesbian right-wing folk singer from Wapsi Square.
  • Meighan in Fans!, both lesbian and an avid supporter of George W. Bush.
  • Politically Inqueerect is about a pair of these. Most of the humor comes from the fact that they're an Odd Couple rather than the fact that they're conservatives, though.
  • Penny and Aggie had an arc in which Penny was contemplating what could happen in her future. One of them involved her being in a relationship with Aggie, who had changed from a super-liberal to a conservative in that time.
  • Robin in the Dumbing of Age universe is a Congresswoman running on a conservative, "family values" platform but obviously still attracted to Leslie like her Shortpacked! self was. Of course, it's pretty obvious she doesn't actually believe anything she says, she's just a Sleazy Politician saying whatever will get her votes. This ends up biting her in the ass when she's caught in an awkward position with Leslie, and then hid at her house during the media furor: the Republican Party withdrew their endorsement of her. (To add insult to injury, she's less popular than a rapist.) She eventually has to leave Congress and gets a job teaching Political Science at the same college the cast goes to. Leslie is not thrilled.

    Web Original 
  • Danny Brady from Shadow Unit is a Log Cabin Republican.
  • This Cracked article, co-written by a lesbian, mentions this among the expectations that the gay community has for its members.
  • Geri, a character on the lesbian web series 3Way, really hates flag-burners. Of course, that doesn't necessarily make her a conservative, but it's still hardly the sort of thing you'd expect to hear a gay character admitting.
  • Fundie Monster in the Youtube puppet series Opinion-Ville. He's a fundamentalist creationist Christian and the go-to conservative character among the main cast, and after some brief angst becomes proudly and openly gay.
  • The Onion parodies this in the video "Heartbroken Santorum Condemns Gay Marriage For Two-Timing Jerks Like Nick", where it's blatantly obvious that Rick Santorum's political views on gay marriage is just petty revenge over being dumped, culminating in him throwing himself off a cliff "in protest". In typical Onion fashion, half the comedy comes from the fact that nobody seems to realize the obvious.
    Male Anchor: Apparently they heard him scream, quote "Nick Wiseman, you'll be sorry you ruined something so beautiful!" right before he jumped.
    Female Anchor: And I assume by "something so beautiful" he was referring to the institution of marriage?

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! episode had Stan unknowingly join the Log Cabins. And featured the musical number "We're Red and We're Gay."
    Jeff and Paul like hot pectorals
    And good old fashioned Christian morals
    Hey hey hey hey
    We're red and we're gay!
    It's true we can't wed
    But we support the Fed
    We like each other's butts
    And big old spending cuts
    We like to pack fudge and heat
    • This becomes a double subversion when Stan finds out that Greg Corbin hasn't come out to his partner, Terry Bates, as a Republican.
  • The short-lived cartoon Freakshow had one of these; Log Cabin Republican was a gay Republican, which is why he was part of the traveling freakshow. When agitated, he would turn into the incredibly powerful and incredibly gay Burly Bear.
  • The Simpsons:
    • A group of Log Cabin Republicans make an appearance in the season 11 episode "Pygmoelian". A pink elephant balloon is floating through town and we cut to the Log Cabins discussing what their logo should be- "Something that says we're gay and Republican!" — just as the pink elephant floats in. "A little on the nose, don't you think?" They also give away "A gay president in 2084" bumper stickers ("We're realistic").
    • Waylon Smithers is a weird example. The idea that he was gay grew out of his loyalty to ultra-conservative Mr. Burns, but it wasn't clear if he was gay or just "Burns-sexual," (he was shown getting mad at one-shot character John for stiffing him on a date). Although he supported Mr. Burns (technically No Party Given but obviously Republican) in his run for Governor, he sabotaged Sideshow Bob's run for Mayor due to conflicts with his "choice of lifestyle" (a phraseology which itself is generally associated with anti-gay conservatism). Later seasons make it clear that he is gay with Burns being his main crush but he still has flings with other homosexual men like Professor Largo, and his political affiliation isn't clear.
    • Burns is technically No Party Given when he's running, but when Sideshow Bob is running, Burns is explicitly Republican, so we can backdate that.
  • Downplayed on South Park with Mr. Garrison. At times he's been Armored Closet Gay and a Boomerang Bigot, though even in episodes after that he's shown as being one of the town's conservatives; he was a McCain supporter in "About Last Night" and ran for president as a Donald Trump parody in season 19 (with Caitlyn Jenner as his running mate?!). Any disconnect between his sexuality and his politics goes unmentioned.
    • Although, when he campaigned against gay marriage (during the seasons when he was a Transgender woman), his main motivation was to just keep his ex-lover, Mr. Slave, from getting hitched with somebody else.
    • Furthermore, as Chef tells us, there's a big difference between being gay and being Mr. Garrison. It's indicative that Mr. Garrison's issues are unique to him.
    • Big Gay Al shows some right-libertarian tendencies (libertarianism, while not necessarily conservative, is usually considered right-wing, and many libertarians also hold social conservative views). One episode revolves around his efforts to be a scoutmaster in the Mountain Scouts. When the boys sue the Scouts to have their anti-gay policy overturned, Al stops the suit as it's on the point of victory—because he feels that the Scouts should be able to decide who their scoutmasters are, even if their policy is wrongheaded. Of course, this was the two libertarian show creators engaging in an Author Tract.
  • On Drawn Together, the show gets a negative review by an Entertainment Weekly writer who happens to be a part of every group that the show has made fun of. As a result, she is conservative, lesbian and homophobic.
  • Clay Puppington on Moral Orel is more bisexual, but is extremely conservative to compensate (as is everyone in Moralton).


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Gay Conservatives


We're Red and We're Gay

When Stan Smith is baffled at how one can be both gay and Republican, Greg Corbin decides to explain it to him- in song!

How well does it match the trope?

4.68 (25 votes)

Example of:

Main / GayConservative

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