The best LGBTQNation comment ever: ‘I do not want your words of pity’

The best LGBTQNation comment ever: ‘I do not want your words of pity’
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.

In 1973, you went to a bar in New Orleans, doused with lighter fluid the stairs at the only entrance, threw open the door and created a firestorm that burned to death over 30 people like me. The Rev Bill Larson died screaming “Oh, God no” as the flames charred and consumed his body.

I do not want your prayers. I want your action. I want you to not let this happen again.

In 1975, you caused me to seriously consider suicide, to rid myself of the pain that came from having no role models but so much condemnation from the church and the whispered words. In 1978 you assassinated Harvey Milk, the openly gay city supervisor of San Francisco.

In 1979, following an anti-gay ad taken out by a Baptist preacher in New York, you beat up one of the great playwrights of our time, Tennessee Williams. In 1978, you told me I had to sign a “morality clause” if I wanted a job teaching in your schools. You told me I had to lie in order to be moral.

I do not want your tears over what happened in Orlando. I want you to never let it happen again.

In the 1980’s you turned your back when Ronald Reagan turned his back on my brothers dying of AIDS. In 1995, you chased me down the street yelling the word “faggot.” In 2004 you allowed George Bush to gather votes by supporting a constitutional amendment that would prevent my marriage to the man I had been loving and living with already for seven years.

Every June when I walk in the safety and comfort of my family you stand on the street corner with signs telling me that “God hates fags” and that I am going to hell. You say nothing when presidential candidates speak at a conference led by a “pastor” who calls for the execution of LGBTQ persons – of me.

I do not want your sadness or shakes of the head. I want you to vote against those politicians supporting the over 200 anti-gay bills now working their way through the state and federal government.

I want you to tell your places of worship that we are all members of the human family and must be treated as such.

On June 12, 2016, a man who may have been a radicalized Muslim gay man full of self-hatred and pain, shot over 100 of my family and killed almost 50 of them. I do not want you using my pain, my fear, my sadness as an excuse to go after over 1.5 billion Muslims because you are “worried” about me.

I want you to acknowledge that your churches have blood on their hands when they refuse to see me and my kind as something other than an abomination or an “incompatibility.” I want you to acknowledge that you have blood on your hands when you are silent or when you support people who commit physical, emotional, mental and spiritual violence against me and my family.

I do not want to hear you talking about how this would not have happened had everyone been armed. I do not want to hear you talking about how this would not have happened had we kept “them” out of the country. I do not want you pretending to be angry for my behalf as an excuse to feed your own fear and ignorance.

I want you to finally say that more hatred does not stop hatred. I want you to say that more division does not bring us together and make us strong. I want you to say that more violence will not prevent violence. I want you to no longer take part in the terror you cause with your silence and complicity.

I want you to love. I want you to never let this happen again.

Mark Hiser is a retired high school English teacher who now does adjunct work teaching composition and literature at Columbus State Community College and Ohio Dominican University. Last year, after an eighteen year government-forced engagement, he married the man he loves. He left this moving comment on a post about being a straight ally after the Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub.

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