He = Glenn Greenwald. The quote, from Andrew Sullivan, appears at the end of a NYT profile of Glenn Greenwald, the man who received and publicized the leaked secret court order about the NSA acquisition of phone records.
Selecting that Andrew Sullivan quote for this post, I didn't think about the fact that it's one gay man commenting on another gay man, but I'm thinking about it now, as I read the linked article more carefully and see this quote from Greenwald:
“I do think political posture is driven by your personality, your relationship with authority, how comfortable are you in your life,” he said. “When you grow up gay, you are not part of the system, it forces you to evaluate: ‘Is it me, or is the system bad?’ ”By the way, I believe there's a deep connection between a person's individual psychology and his political positions. It's a central topic of mine on this blog, as you may have noticed (or not, depending on the kind of person you are). Whenever I encounter someone who insists that he's purely reasoning about the issues and deciding everything rationally, I always wonder what's going on in his psyche that's given rise to his need to be seen that way.
And now, here's Greenwald, inviting us to analyze his politics based on his homosexuality. "When you grow up gay...." One might say, when you grow up gay, you might have an exaggerated fear of surveillance by the authorities. Or when you grow up gay, you're critical of others who grow up gay and are too pure and lacking in sophistication....
But I doubt if Greenwald really wants other people analyzing him that way. He only wanted to leverage his specialness into a super-power to see when the system is bad.