Does an Outfit Make You Gay? Ask GOP Congressman’s Fashion Police

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday June 14, 2010

If clothing makes the man, then bloggers are having a heyday attempting to parse just what the wardrobe of an Illinois Republican freshman congressman is saying.

Rep. Aaron Shock attended a White House picnic June 8 dressed in a white and pink short sleeved shirt, white trousers, and a turquoise belt. A photo of Shock sporting the ensemble became an instant sensation. Gawker ran the picture on June 11, as did gay blog on June 12. "Rep. Schock would like to remind you that he is totally straight," informed readers. "For realz!"

Indeed, the freshman congressman has already told the media that he is not gay. In an April 23, 2009 posting, Towleroad quoted from a Details Magazine article on Shock that reported that the congressman is opposed to marriage equality for gay and lesbian families. Moreover, Details recounted, in 2004 Shock was asked directly by a news reporter about his sexuality. He responded that he is not gay. However, the press notes that Shock is bachelor.

Gay athletic site Real ran the photo of Shock in pink and white shirt, white trousers, and turquoise belt on June 12, and noted, "This bachelor has been fighting off gay rumors since 2004." However, Shock's voting record is strictly anti-gay: "But Republican Congressman Schock is definitely against gay marriage, and against sexual orientation in federal hate crimes law," the posting added.

Towleroad ran a TMZ photo of the congressman clad only in swim trunks and giving the camera a sidelong grin. Shock's celebrated abdominal muscles were prominently displayed.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.