The New York Times columnist who once said he had no desire to publicly be identified as gay has taken the opposite position and says he would prefer to be referred to by his initials, DQ, to avoid being perceived as gay.
“I don’t want to be ‘gay,’ ” said David D. Rose, a Times columnist for nearly a decade who was fired from his job at the paper last week after admitting that he once dated two men.
“But I also don’t wish to be labeled as gay.”
He said he would rather be known as a columnist who does not support same-sex marriage.
The Times has since changed its headline to say that Rose was fired “as part of a broader editorial effort to distance itself from some of its more offensive and controversial writers.”
“I’ve been trying to be very clear about that,” Rose told the New York Daily News, adding that he was still open to speaking with gay media outlets and would continue to do so.
“The Times is not an enemy of gay people.
We’re just trying to do the right thing.
But it is an enemy, and it is not in keeping with our values.”
DQ was first revealed in 2007, when he wrote an article for the Times Magazine about his struggles with mental illness and depression, saying he had spent years “shaking and shaking” and was “on the verge of suicide” because he was “asexual and asexuals can have mental illness.”
The Times apologized after it was published and DQ said he regretted his words.
He was later forced out of his job, but the Times was still able to hire him to cover their annual Pride parade, and he was named to its board of directors in 2010.
“When I began to think about the idea of being ‘queer’ as opposed to ‘gay’ I wanted to be able to say I was not a bigot,” DQ wrote at the time.
“In the end, that didn’t work.”
Rose, who was hired as the Times’ columnist in January of this year, was among the few people to have been fired at the Times for expressing his personal views on homosexuality and has been quoted in publications including the Washington Post and New York magazine.
In an interview with the Times, he said he was now open to working with gay outlets, and would work with them in future.
“There are a lot of outlets in the gay and lesbian community who have been really supportive of me and are willing to do their own interviews,” Rose said.
“It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens in the future, especially if it involves me being able to work in any of those places.”
The New Yorker also reported last week that DQ had been invited to speak at the Pride parade.
DQ’s firing was a significant blow to the Times in a publication that has long been viewed as the gay establishment’s most prestigious publication.
The paper is owned by Time Inc., a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and has had a long history of political commentary and gay rights activism.
It is the most prestigious newspaper in the United States.