Two of the gay men who posed for a photo at Coachella with closeted former Congressman Aaron Schock have apologized, saying they had no idea who he was. They assert they had just met when he asked to be included in the picture that has outraged the LGBTQ community.
Schock, a Republican, actively opposed LGBTQ rights while he was in office. He was caught on video later that night making out with another man while shoving his hand down the man’s pants.
“Rob [Masi] and I have been out since we were 14 and 15, respectively; and living as proud gay men in a loving relationship, who hope to get married one day. We are entirely against Aaron Schock’s values, views and actions,” Will Rossi wrote in a post on Instragram.
“We had just met Aaron the day of the photo at Coachella, and before posting it, we were embarrassingly unaware of: who he was, his political views, and the extent of his negative impact on the LGBTQ community which we are proudly a part of.”
“Rob and I wanted to take a photo with our friends at Coachella, to celebrate our last day there. Being polite, we allowed Aaron –who was basically a stranger to us and someone we just met – to include himself in our photo,” Rossi posted. “We would not have allowed Aaron to join the photo, nor would we have associated with him if we had more knowledge of his beliefs and past actions. For our own political ignorance, we are deeply sorry.”
“We hope Aaron does decide to come out publicly and live the gay life he so freely enjoyed at Coachella, the kind of life so many out and proud LGBTQ individuals have fought for and have made possible for younger gays like to live today.”
“And we hope if or when Aaron does decide to come out and own his actions, he apologizes and makes amends with the LGBTQ community, because he certainly owes us one,” he concluded.
Schock’s sexuality was DC’s worst-kept secret. He made a splash in the nation’s capital with his clothing choices, Instagram photos, and interior decorating choices, and resigned after being accused of illegally using campaign funds to finance his over-the-top lifestyle.
Schock was a reliably anti-gay vote for Republicans, despite the parade of young men who visited his DC apartment, and his outing by journalist Itay Hod in 2014. Hod claimed he had walked in on his male roommate and Schock showering together.
But the former Congressman is back on social media after moving to West Hollywood where’s he’s been spotted doing some of the most stereotypical gay things possible – hanging out in gay bars, posing shirtless with gay fitness junkies, and enjoying quiet dinners with other men.
“Normally I wouldn’t comment on something like this, but I am just infuriated by these images of former Republican (and anti-gay) Congressman Aaron Schock partying with a group of gay men at Coachella. The fact that he would think he could show his face in public, particularly when he has NEVER renounced or apologized for his votes against gay marriage, gays in the military and against anti-discrimination laws is astounding,” activist James Duke Mason wrote when he posted the photo to Facebook last week.
“My intention isn’t to out him or target him personally, but simply to point out the hypocrisy. I saw him at a recent gay social event in West Hollywood and shook his hand before I even knew who he was; he should really be ashamed of himself. And the gays who associate with him without calling him out should know better. It really is a disgrace.”