There are a lot of things wrong with State Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Tennessee). Mainly mouth things and brain things, as in the thoughts he has and the things he says out loud.
Sadly, because he’s a state legislator, those things manifest themselves in actual legislation, like the bill he authored that would forbid sex education classes to even mention anything other than heterosexuality. Because, as has been widely shown, if you say “gay” three times in a row, you become gay. Or maybe that’s Beetlejuice. It doesn’t matter. Campfield knows the best way to prevent homosexuality is to pretend it doesn’t exist.
For reasons I don’t totally understand, Campfield was recently interviewed on Michelangelo Signorile’s SiriusXM radio show OutQ. I’m fairly certain Campfield’s reason for going on the program had something to do with a desire to increase the number of people who think he is terrible. In that case: success.
Campfield made some really stunning anti-gay points. Like how anti-gay bullying “is the biggest lark out there.” In his opinion, gay kids don’t kill themselves because they’re bullied, they kill themselves because they’re gay. He said, “I think a lot of times these young teens and young children, they find it very hard on themselves and unfortunately some of them commit suicide.”
He also complained that you can’t turn on a TV these days without something gay getting shoved down your throat. “Homosexuals represent about 2 to 3 percent of the population yet you look at television and plays and theaters, it’s 50 percent of the theaters, probably more than that, 50 percent of the theaters based on something about homosexuality,” he said. He is, of course, 100% mathematically accurate about TV, but he’s really low-balling that “plays and theaters” number.
As for his gay gag order bill, he stood up for it. “I just think there are situations where some kids may be sexually unsecure in themselves or sexually confused and don’t necessarily know clearly what direction they are,” he says. “If someone, a person of influence, says maybe you’re gay, maybe you should explore those things – maybe the child, who is young and impressionable, says maybe I am gay.”
Hmm… A kid wondering whether or not he’s gay. The horror! But what if he actually is gay? Best he ignore it, I guess. And I don’t know what kinds of people “of influence” Campfield had in his life as a kid, but his idea that, say, teachers and guidance counselors are telling kids, “Hey, you might be a homo. Go try out some gay sex and get back to us,” is ludicrous.
But Campfield isn’t a man who worries about seeming ridiculous. Or ignorant. You need look no further than his comments to Signorile about AIDS.
“Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community – it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men,” Campfield said. “It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”
And he may, in fact, recall, just like I recall hearing that eating Pop Rocks and drinking Coke at the same time would cause my stomach to explode. He can recall all day long, but that doesn’t make the above comments factually accurate.
But wait, there’s more. He also said, “My understanding is that it is virtually – not completely, but virtually – impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”
This man clearly has a lot of trouble with “understanding,” because that’s totally incorrect. Terrifyingly incorrect, actually. Like “something only a dumb shit says that out loud” incorrect. Campfield is, to borrow his own words, the biggest lark out there. And the joke’s on us.
*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.