I am angry. I am full of pain. I am full of grief and memories. To you who have praised the likes of Kim Davis, Mike Huckabee, Paul Ryan, Mitch O’Connell, Ted Cruz, Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Rick Santorum Sarah Palin, Marco Rubio and yes, Donald Trump, I do not want your prayers and moments of silence.
To you who stay silent about bathroom bills and religious freedom bills, I do not want your looks of horror about Orlando.
To you who stay silent about the church that tells its members that LGBTQ persons are going to hell or that they are incompatible with Christian teaching, I want your repentance. To you who do nothing and stay silent about employment and housing discrimination for LGBTQ persons, I want your apology and your activism.
To you who are turning the Orlando attack into an excuse to hate all Muslims, I do not want your hypocritical care and concern; I want you to look inside yourself.
I am a gay man. You have beaten, kicked, burned, taunted, bullied, condemned and killed people like me. You have done some of those things to me. You have mutilated and hung to die on fences people like me.
You have prevented me from having the picture of the man I love on my desk while putting the picture of your opposite gender wife on your desk. You have told me I cannot mention the man I love when talking about what I did over the weekend. You have made me ashamed and afraid to love.
You have written about me on shelves and walls knowing I could say nothing without losing my job. You have tried to have me fired because I do not love as you love.
I do not want your words of pity. I do not want your tolerance. I want your acceptance.
In 1969, you raided a bar in New York. I was not at that bar; I was only 14 years old, but I knew already you saw me as a criminal. But people like me had had enough. They rioted. They said they would no longer take the beatings, the raids, the jail sentences, the criminal records.
They began to lead me to the light while you worked to keep me hidden away.