- Posted August 4, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
I'm Gay and I support Chick-Fil-A (Part 3)
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
It is understandable that with an article this strange I would get a lot of mixed reactions and strong emotions. It's laughable that I can honestly say 60% of those comments I've seen have been an attack on me and my character. It is an unfair attack. This is not me whining to the world, not me crying telling everyone to stop. This is me making it known just how hypocritical people are.
One man on August 3rd sent me a message on Facebook and called me a "pathetic, ignorant little child" followed by some curse words and telling me "the gloves are off." Essentially he was ready to fight over an article I posted that disagreed with his opinion. There were others like his. Telling me I was ignorant, didn't get the issue, wasn't a true gay. It makes me shake my head. These people would have me be part of a movement who's most prominent mission currently is to achieve both marriage equality and acceptance by everyone for everyone. Ironically they also are the ones who are attacking me personally for the simple reason that my views are different than theirs. Furthermore it must mean that hate gays, that I hate myself that I hate equality. No.......not at all. I've been openly gay for a while now and closeted for some time before that. In all that time I have not once faced the kind of personal attacks that I have in the past two days. I have befriended Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Atheists, Liberals, Republicans, Tea Partiers, Occupiers, Asians, Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, and the list goes on. In all of those conversations not once has anyone hated me the way strangers have after this article.
It was never my expectation that anyone would like what I had to say. It was never and will never be my goal to stoke the fires of hatred, discrimination and persecution. Martin Luther King Jr., Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks, and others like them had a dream for America and it was one that was the simplest of notions but the hardest to achieve. That dream was that one day everyone could go to school and work and interact in society together and be free from the fear of hate persecution and oppression. Regardless of skin color, sexual orientation, societal status or party affiliation nobody should ever have to live in fear....especially not in America.
I am afraid. I am afraid that if we are not careful with who and how we pick our battles we will find ourselves in the mud with the ones we oppose. I want equality. I want to get married one day. I want to be able to walk down the boulevard and hold the hand of the one I love without being worried if some redneck with his rifle is going to hold me up. But as much as I want those things I will not stop defending someone else's right to freedom of speech. People have a right to disagree with you, they have a right to walk their own path. It's why at 18 parents let their children leave the house and why after high school people can choose to pursue college or some other dream. I am gay and I am not beholden to the ideals of the LGBT movement. I am beholden to my own ideals. Just because I support Chick-fil-A here and now does not mean that I will support them tomorrow and it sure as hell does not mean that I support discrimination. To those who oppose me for my support of Chick-fil-A that's fine. I applaud you. I respect you. I'm also begging you to understand that we cannot bully people into our beliefs. It's why people become turned away from God and it's what brews hatred. If we want real change we need open civilized adult conversations about the things we want to change. Let's have that conversation, let's have that debate. But at the end of the day I hope we can walk away with a better understanding of each other and the challenges we face as a people.