By: Nate Hayes
The other night I made a post asking people who intended on voting for Trump in this election to unfriend me on Facebook. This post created some backlash and I’ve been accused of being unpatriotic, not having respect for other opinions, not believing or understanding how Democracy works and even not allowing other people to have an opinion different from mine.
I’d like to say something.
I grew up hiding who I was. I walked the halls of EVERY SINGLE educational establishment in fear. In MeadowBrook Junior High it could have been a swift punch on the shoulder while “Fucking faggot” was whispered just loud enough that everyone but the teachers would hear.
One night outside my dorm room in the Christian college of OVC a few guys banged on my door and threatened “There’s no room for fucking faggots here. You should go home where you belong.”
In the relative safety of progressive Athens, I once had a professor at Ohio University openly mock my homosexuality in front of the entire class. No one stood up for me, no one reprimanded the professor.
My partner Bruno and I would never dream of holding hands in many places in Athens. The other week we stopped at Walmart for window blinds and we subconsciously kept a distance from each other. It would have been foolish to invite trouble after having walked by all the pickup trucks with Trump stickers on our way in.
So. Here we are. I’m 40 years old and very likely will never feel completely safe in this country that I love. It’s an election year. And the party that Trump is representing would like to:
1. Take marriage back to only between a man and a woman.
2. Support adoption agencies that refuse same-sex couples
3. Affirm conversion therapy
4. Ban transgender people from their appropriate bathrooms
5. Support “Religious Freedom” for businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ customers
So, when I ask that you remove me from your “friends” list on Facebook and it upsets you? Let me tell you something.
1. Not being able to marry upsets me.
2. Not being able to adopt upsets me.
3. Being told I can “pray the gay away” by a therapist upsets me.
4. Having friends harassed for going to the bathroom upsets me.
5. Being turned away from the grocery store because I’m gay upsets me.
And you’re upset because I don’t want to be friends with someone who supports this discrimination?
CRY ME A FUCKING RIVER.
I understand completely how Democracy works. Whoever is elected president will be my president. I’ll be glad I voted either way.
You are more than in your right to vote proudly for who you want. And I’m more than in my right to decide we aren’t going to be friends because of it.
I can respect your opinion but when your opinion is that I don’t have the human right to marry, well, how much respect do you think would be adequate? Should I gleefully drive you to the polls so you can vote to strip away my human rights? Should I pour a glass of champagne for you when I’m told I can’t buy bread from the bakery because the owner doesn’t agree with my lifestyle? Oh, I guess you’ll have to buy the champagne since that wine shop has a “NO GAYS SERVED” sign in the window. My bad!
So how about this: If it bothers you that I don’t want to be your BFF after you proudly stake that Trump/Pence sign in your yard then I suggest you get over it.
Because trust me, I already have.