Poor, poor Anthony Weiner. . .

"Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener. . .instead of Anthony. . ."
Image from source, Washington Post
As far as sex scandals go, I don't think the Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) Weinergate scandal would have garnered anywhere near the attention it has were it not for two things: 1) His name is Weiner, and 2) There are photographs, some suggestive, others explicit.  There were no photos of Elliot Spitzer, David Vitter, Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, John Ensign or most other political scandals. What Weiner did: flirted online with women, and traded photos and sexy texting is really not all that outrageous. . .provided that he was not famous.

As a gay person, I can say that in the gay community, this kind of behavior is par for the course. I haven't ever indulged in sending racy photos or videos myself, but then again, I've been in a committed relationship for 13+ years, putting me out of the Facebook, Twitter or even MySpace era. Shit, I was using AOL chat rooms, BSBs and Prodigy. But I was never confident enough of my appearance to send anything but G-rated snapshots. But even I'm familiar enough with the technology and its use by other people to know that trading provocative photos and messages is very, very common indeed. Ever heard of Grindr, the iPhone app that lets gay men find each other? Makes Weinergate look pretty tame by comparison.

But Weiner is famous, at least politically, and he included head shots, with signs pointing to his actual face! So even if his wife is seriously cool with his off-stage antics, and doesn't even care, this was so stupid of him. Why on earth he set himself up for it is difficult to understand. But I have a theory. Weiner is an awkward looking man. He grew up very skinny, with a funny name, and a Jew 'fro (is that okay to say?).  He probably wasn't considered "a catch" until later in life. Circa 2000s, he's a Congressman, he's gotten his body reasonably buff, he's still gawky, but he's getting a rep for being a fighter for the little guy. He's becoming a working class hero, and a firebrand. He's on cable news all the time, even FOX "News!"

So basically, my theory is that you had a person with a potential inferiority complex, who is having a delayed adolescence. The basis of my theory comes from people I've known who came out of the closet later in life. In some respects, many gay people go through a somewhat delayed adolescence, having been shut out of dating, the prom, and other ordinary heterosexual pursuits until later in life. But those who don't come into their own until their 30s or 40s? They come swinging out of the closet on a friggin' rope. One person in particular, a long-time married, career military man, was in a race against the clock of military retirement, or getting busted for being gay. He made it, but wow, it was a nail biter, watching him fight it.

And you know what happens to adolescents trying to keep it all together while being tempted by sex? They screw up. They do stupid things. They ignore logic and reason. Sounds like Anthony Weiner's predicament. But, unless we hear otherwise (and at this point, who knows), it was all virtual, all as phony as a phone-sex girl who turns out to be 50 and 500 pounds. The newest wrinkle is that some of the girls may have been underage. And here is where it gets really tricky. Only if Weiner knew they were underage would that bother me. If some girls present themselves as older, you can't blame the guy on the other end. Scratch that. You shouldn't prosecute the guy on the other end. But he does need to own up to his stupidity, and I think that Weiner has. [And one other point that I couldn't fit into this narrative: Mrs. Weiner may have been aware of her husband's habit, and have either grudgingly or willingly accepted it. She would be far from the only one.]


Del. police ask about teen’s interaction with Weiner

Police in New Castle, Del., questioned a 17-year-old high school student regarding her online communications with Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a police official said Friday night. . .

Read more at: Washington Post