It was about 8pm and I was going to one of Deval Patrick's civil engagement meetings he held across the state, just after being elected. This one was at UMASS Dartmouth, in the Foster Administration Building. Picture unwelcoming, cold concrete with a small room and about fifty people packed in it. All of a sudden, a stranger went to shake my hand and said hello. "You know me as Peter Porcupine," the person said.
Peter was very friendly for someone I was told was so, well, not.
I've never been the type to be hoodwinked by people who are fakely nice. It's something I can usually spot from a mile away. I'm sure there are people who are more skilled in asshat detection than I am, but there's been nothing Peter Porcupine has ever done to indicate (s)he was as closed-minded and homophobic as is often portrayed in the blogosphere. (S)he didn't have to introduce herself to me; (s)he did that of her own volition.
I'll readily admit there are a whole host of issues where (s)he sees night and I see day, but that doesn't mean I'm going to join in the circus of outing Peter. It's one thing to out the real homophobic people - a la Mark Foley - but (s)he's not Mark Foley. While (s)he does support an up-or-down vote, (s)he would vote against a ban. Furthermore, (s)he's exactly the kind of person who could actually convince others of that ilk to vote against any ban if we can't bridge the current four-vote gap - something I'll publicly call for her to do if it gets to that point.
Don't get me wrong. I don't have tea with this person. I don't support blanket anonymity. There may even be legitimate conflicts of interest in Peter having a pseudonym. However, I don't see these recent posts about the real identity of Peter being about any of those potential conflicts. Indeed, QueerToday went so far as to suggest she may be getting ready to stalk queer youth - a serious assertion with absolutely no basis in fact. We're being just as bitter towards her as so many right-wingers are toward us - and that bitterness seems just as utterly pointless as Pat Robertson's drivel or Ann Coulter's existence. It seems to me that some people are revealing Peter's identity for merely for the sake of revealing Peter's identity, as if it were the best weapon to use against Peter.
However, this weapon being wielded against Peter Porcupine seems to me like a double-edged sword. Peter Porcupine should come out of the alias closet - when QueerToday's FireCrotch, Pryncess Shaniqua, Becca D'Bus, Madam V, Queer Jay and everyone from Mass Left blogs who don't use their whole names start the trend. Otherwise, Team Equality is being awfully hypocritical - and that's coming from one of its charter members.