Coachella has had a storied history of entanglement between the LGBTQ community and AEG owner Philip Anschutz’s mass sum donations to anti-gay organizations. Add to that fact that the event annually draws a large gay crowd to its Madonna-esque circuitry of glamour, in which many LGBTQ critics shun their peers for supporting the event by turning out.
Now throw in the fact that former Illinois representative Aaron Schock was spotted fraternizing and making out with men, and you’ve got a recipe for scandal and outrage. Never mind that he was forced to resign office for misuse of campaign dollars. During Schock’s time in office, from 2009 until 2015, he held a brutal anti-gay record which included voting against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, and adding LGBTQ rights to federal hate crime protections. Turns out, Schock is brutally gay man himself.
So people are turning heads when political activist James Duke Mason posted photos to Facebook outing Schock at Coachella with the following caption:
To add more fuel to the fire, Queerty obtained a photo of Schock showing him being intimate with an unidentified male. The photos are going viral online, with many people sparking up a stirring ethical debate between Schock’s closet-case hypocrisy versus publicly outing individuals like Schock.
What lays deeper at the center of the controversy, and what is not being talked about, is the fragility and complexity of identity — specifically, how many people like Schock are ideologically conditioned to invest in their own happiness. In Schock’s case, it’s voting against his own human rights for a position of mild power.