New Times profiles Matt Salmon, the gay one

Timothy Kincaid

September 15th, 2010

What happens when the sons of two prominent conservative Republican Mormon families meet? Why, they become a cute couple, of course.

The Phoenix New Times has an extensive profile on Matt R. Salmon, son of former Arizona state senator, gubernatorial candidate, and U.S. congressman Matt J. Salmon and his boyfriend Kent Flake.

They’ve been a couple for 10 months, and things haven’t gotten much easier with their families. Flake says he hasn’t had a real conversation with his father since March and hasn’t visited his family in Snowflake since a quick day trip in June. His family has no interest in meeting Salmon.

“I’ve asked them many times to meet him, and they don’t want to see him,” Flake says. “My dad’s last comment to me was that he didn’t want him around our family, his kids, or his grandkids.”

When Flake started dating Salmon, he says, his sister called Salmon a “fag” and a “pedophile.” Flake’s sister, Trisha Rogers, tells New Times, “A lot of things were said in the beginning that caused contention. It’s really important to me that people know there’s no hatred there. It was just such a shock, because Kent seemed to change so quickly. He was different from the brother I knew for 25 years. We felt like we’d lost our brother, in a sense, and Matt got some of the blame.”

elaygee

September 15th, 2010

What horrible families they have! drop them and get new ones

homer

September 15th, 2010

If my memory is correct, when Matt Salmon Sr. was the editor of the student newspaper at Arizona State University in the 1980s he refused to allow the student GLBT group to publish notices of their meetings because he thought they were sinful. You sow what you reap I guess

Lucrece

September 15th, 2010

What a hard-faced bimbo-scumbag of a sister.

She earnestly expects people to believe that calling someone a “fag” and “pedophile” didn’t come from hatred but just shock?

Maybe she didn’t know her brother because they never bothered to really listen to him, just expecting him to live up to their expectations.

I echo the advice above. That’s not family. Those are vicious strangers that he needs to excise from his life while he finds people worth the title.

Lynn David

September 15th, 2010

She earnestly expects people to believe that calling someone a “fag” and “pedophile” didn’t come from hatred but just shock?

About the same as Robert Gagnon when he cold-heartedy compares gay relationships to consensual incest.

Christopherâ„¢

September 15th, 2010

They’re so cute, I hate them. :-)

You have your biological family… and then you have your logical family. Sometimes, as hard as it is, it’s best to distance yourself from your biological family (by not expecting anything from them anymore), and seek out solid, loving members of a logical family.

Here’s to them in that endeavor.

David C.

September 15th, 2010

Time will change things. If it doesn’t, don’t look back boys. Love on.

Rob San Diego

September 15th, 2010

A Republican is still a Republican, no matter what you call them, conservative, tea bagger, religious nut head, it’s all the same. Mind you the only RINO Republicans are the gay ones.

dave

September 16th, 2010

It was just such a shock, because Kent seemed to change so quickly. He was different from the brother I knew for 25 years.

He didn’t change, you changed. The lies you believe changed you, your brother is still the same and is still there but you changed. You better change yourself back and get a grip on reality and start understanding and accepting it or you’ll be the one denying yourself and your brother happiness. The world made it hard for him to accept truth and reality and he did it and now it’s your turn.

Leonardo Ricardo

September 16th, 2010

Do you really think that Matt R. Salmon, ¨the Gay one¨, will ever be released from the ¨sealed¨ records of The Mormon Church? Don´t be silly, they´re just doing their silence=pressure=intimidation=fear=hate litany surface outcasting demonstrating not-so-saintly behavior…it would take an ACT OF GOD for Matt R. Salmon, ¨the Gay one¨ to escape the far-reaching behind the scenes clutches on his Soul…Gay or no Gay the Mormons have ¨plans¨ for him in the afterlife of it all no matter what the smug/void-of-real-love father and sister has to say!

GRANDSTANDING, and cowardly, Hypocrites all!

Ben Mathis

September 16th, 2010

Cute couple, shame they are log cabin republicans though.

Ben in Oakland

September 16th, 2010

Right on, David C.

As I said to my own parents 30 years ago: your beliefs aobut homosexuality and what it means to be gay are clearly far more important to you than your relationship with your son, and certainly more important that truth, fairness, compassion, or justice.

Timothy Kincaid

September 16th, 2010

Hmmm, lots of hate on here this morning. That’s unfortunate.

Here’s how I see it:

Those who read all six pages will know that already they’ve seen change in their families. Siblings are coming around and slowly backing away from their first response.

These boys have a rare opportunity – a duty, even – to present to a rather closed community an image of what gay people really are like. Decent, loving, committed gay people no different from their siblings.

Running away and shutting their parents and siblings out of their lives may be a great big “well, I’ll show you, you big ol’ bigot” but it would only hurt these young men, their families, and even our community.

The Flake and Salmon families will continue to be involved in Republican politics. They will continue to be influential in the LDS Church. But now they will do so with the full knowledge that someone they love and value – someone in their lives – is gay.

And, even more importantly, they will have as part of their lives a living example to refute the anti-gay activists whom they are used to hearing. When the Bishop comes calling with “gays don’t have real relationships”, there are Matt and Kent to show that to be a lie. When party leadership says that gays are all a bunch of radical leftists, there is Matt proving them wrong. When anti-gay initiatives are presented to them, it’s their children who are impacted.

Nothing – nothing at all – is more effective at changing attitudes and presumptions than personal relationship with gay people.

Yes it may be difficult. And some folks might take the easy way out and choose drama over hard work, but Matt and Kent seem like strong young men. I wish them all the best success.

TampaZeke

September 16th, 2010

Yeah Timothy, that’s worked really well with the LaHaye’s, Schafly’s, Keyes’ and Diaz Sr.’s.

Emily K

September 16th, 2010

Tim, it sounds like by staying IN the family they’re choosing drama. Exiting would simply sever the relationship. No relationship, no drama.

darkmoonman

September 16th, 2010

“A lot of things were said in the beginning that caused contention. It’s really important to me that people know there’s no hatred there.”

Uh huh, and my butt chews bubblegum.

“It was just such a shock, because Kent seemed to change so quickly. He was different from the brother I knew for 25 years. We felt like we’d lost our brother, in a sense, and Matt got some of the blame.

No, dearie, he stopped pretending to be what you and your oppressive family demanded that he be, and became his true self.

Lucrece

September 16th, 2010

Tim, I agree that just storming off like a teenager might not be the best strategy.

But would you stand around someone who would call your boy a “fag” or “pedophile”? I know I’d deck them without hesitance and refuse to be a punching bag until they get around.

There are ways to maintain a relationship without needing to let others trample your dignity.

And the article still mentioned that none of the siblings added him back to Facebook. In fact, I was shocked even his SISTERS were so venomous. Brothers, wouldn’t shock me much. But coming from sisters, it really surprises me.

Todd

September 16th, 2010

Timothy,

I agree with your assessment, I went through much of the same responses from my Mormon family when I came out. It would be easy for me to just cut them off, but I feel a responsibility to let them see that I really haven’t changed and if anything, I am so much happier now.

It is hard to go to family functions, and one of my brothers said much the same thing about not wanting me around his kids. He hasn’t spoken to me in over two years, but I will persist and will not be the reason I no longer have contact with my family. If they end contact I will accept it, but until then I will stay in involved as I can.

Cal

September 16th, 2010

So, the world is still listening to a chosen few grey haired, impotent, non-sexual old Mormon Elders, passing lifetime and forever judgement on their boys. “When will they ever learn, oh when will they ever…learn?”

Must be the Mormons spend an inordinate amount of their time, discussing, dissecting, rationalizing, particulating, judging, and supposing on the behavior of their youth. Don’t you bigots have anything better to do? Say, like deciding to keep your fingers out of the till to pay for influencing votes about Prop 8 in California, and the inevitable fall out of your SINS to Man. Remember, Mormons are NOT Christians.

Richard Rush

September 16th, 2010

Todd said, “It is hard to go to family functions, and one of my brothers said much the same thing about not wanting me around his kids.”

Every time I hear about this kind of reaction (“don’t get near my kids”), I wonder if the speaker is really so ignorant that they believe their kids will catch the gay the same way they may catch a cold, and/or if they think that a gay person is much more likely to molest their kids than a straight person. OR, is it just said as a way of hurting the gay person?

Mihangel apYrs

September 16th, 2010

Timothy K
you seem willing to sacrifice these boys’ future together to try and educate the straights. Be certain: the strain of their families’ homophobia could tear them apart; why risk that to make a point?

You wait for THEM to crawl back, you don’t accommodate their prejudices in case you alienate the very persin you want them to welcome: life is a one-off deal, few second chances

CLS

September 16th, 2010

Some clarity in this piece would help. Flake is the cousin of Congressman Jeff Flake. Since how he is related is not mentioned it is easily assumed, as I originally did, that he is the son of the congressman. It took reading the original to make his relationship clear.

Timothy Kincaid

September 16th, 2010

Todd,

I commend you for your hard work. Even if your family fails you, remember you have nephews and nieces and your example will go a long way to refuting whatever it is that their parents are telling them.

Of course only you can decide how much is too much, but for now, thank you for making my future a more tolerant place.

Other Fred in the UK

September 16th, 2010

To those who suggest that Salmon and Flake cut themselves off from their families, I would simply remind you that blood is thicker than water.

DN

September 16th, 2010

The article reads like my ex-boyfriend’s life in a lot of ways. He was raised Jehovah’s Witness, and a few months into our relationship, his sister got married. He was allowed to attend a the ceremony, but only one part of it, and in the back of the Hall, *and* was not invited to the reception at all. It took place a couple hours out of town and the drive there and back felt more like a funeral than a wedding.

And despite the damage his family did to him, my ex still loves them and is still waiting for them to come back to him. Today, as ten years ago, I am not that strong a person. I was lucky to have never faced any antagonism from my immediate family, but there are aunts and uncles that I have chopped right out of my life and I don’t give a fat, flying eff if they ever come around. These guys are a model for how to behave when your family shuns you.

Regan DuCasse

September 16th, 2010

Well, whatev.

If they are up for adoption, they could do worse than this tall, broad shouldered big mouthed black woman.

Richard Rush, I think it’s all three brother. The way I’m seeing the anti gay work, they cover ALL the bases of ways to hurt, dehumanize, demoralize, humiliate confound and cynically in any and every way they can.

Then stand back and point a finger if you dare to, you know, show that hurt, dehumanization, demoralization, humiliation, and so on.

People like this are the biggest cowards I’ve ever seen. No spine at all.
Not even CURIOUS that they might not know all that there is. And the opportunity to really know is right there in front of them.

I wish this young couple luck.

Jim Burroway

September 16th, 2010

Timothy K
you seem willing to sacrifice these boys’ future together to try and educate the straights. Be certain: the strain of their families’ homophobia could tear them apart; why risk that to make a point?

You wait for THEM to crawl back, you don’t accommodate their prejudices in case you alienate the very persin you want them to welcome: life is a one-off deal, few second chances

Really? Timothy is not deciding what Kent and Matt ought to do, it’s Kent and Matt doing it. Timothy’s just defending their decision.

In fact, we all have had to decide how to deal with our families. And as each of us know our own family members better than anyone on an internet discussion list, and each of us know better our own capacity to deal with adversity from different family members, we all make decisions, adjustments, accomodations, and/or cut off contact accordingly. These are deeply personal decisions that we all make, revisit, and make again, often continually. No one has the right to second guess them. One size doesn’t fit all.

Best wishes to Matt and Kent. I’m glad they decided to make their stories public.

MIhangel apYrs

September 16th, 2010

Jim Burroway,
Timothy wrote:
“These boys have a rare opportunity – a duty, even – to present to a rather closed community an image of what gay people really are like. Decent, loving, committed gay people no different from their siblings.”

The operative words “a duty”. That suggests that Timothy thinks these two young men have an obligation to put up with shit to educate their families on behalf of the rest of us.

I neither see, nor expect, such sacrifice

MIhangel apYrs

September 16th, 2010

that should have been
“I neither see the need for, nor expect…

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