I'm putting this on here so that these emails don't disappear into my inbox/deleted files forever more. Feel free to ignore.
Recently, an anti-gay group (Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, no joke) passed out some nasty flyers around here. Group can be found here if you can stand it/want to give them the traffic. Be warned, there will be some very bad information about the AIDS epidemic, among other atrocities ("Sexual Abuse: A Major Cause of Homosexuality?"). My friend José invited me to join a protest Facebook group. I declined but did write the organization a letter, and they've been corresponding with me. I just wanted to preserve it, because I never really expected to end up in this situation.
Your flyer, detailing the supposedly harmful and morally questionable
nature of homosexuality, is offensive not only to self-identified
homosexual people, but also to their friends and loved ones. Have you
met my godfather? My best friend? Several of my colleagues? How can
you presume to know anything about their moral standing or physical
health based on a single characteristic?
The greatest moral principle is simply to allow others who cause you
no harm to live in peace and find their own harmony. The need to
investigate whole groups and classes of people and turn them into
copies of oneself is not good moral work; it is small-minded,
disruptive, and painful to your "targets" and those close to them. A
moral philosophy of pain is not one I, or most others, want anything
to do with.
Please ask yourselves what any of these people have done to harm you
or bring pain to your life. What has my good friend José done? My
great-aunt? Ask yourselves what they have done to make your existence
more difficult, and then ask yourself what it is you fear so much that
you must go out and tell someone they should not exist.
If you and your homosexual and pro-homosexual friends are open to listening to us and asking us questions in person we would be willing to appear before the school's gay/straight group. We would ask for security to be present, however, since some intolerant students have sent us threatening emails. We can answer your questions. We've done our homework and heard all the questions before.
I'm sorry, but the fact that you refer to the students who have sent
you angry emails as "intolerant" would be ironic and hilarious if it
weren't so depressing. You are the ones practicing intolerance.
I kept my email in a respectful and open tone because I hoped that
might help you truly hear what I was saying (though my hopes were
never high), and because that is how I prefer to communicate. However,
let me be clear that the email was a communication of my profound
disagreement with your views and your actions. Neither I nor the gay/
genderqueer people in my life need to hear the same hateful arguments
again, and I doubt any of the groups here would be interested in
I sincerely hope you can someday come to a more tolerant and open-
minded point of view, at least in terms of "live and let live" if not
your opinions on sexual orientation.
We hope this is not your way of giving a pass to or justifying threats by pro-homosexual people. Tolerance runs both ways. There are fascist, intolerant people on both sides of the issue.
Obviously I'm not a fan of threats. But there's a really key difference between their intolerance and your intolerance. They (the people who sent you the angry emails) were perfectly happy to leave you alone to live your lives and have whatever views you liked. They did not consider your existence, lifestyles, or beliefs to be offensive to them, despite the fact that some of these beliefs are in direct opposition to their own.
You, on the other hand, took it upon yourself to inform them that their existence is an offense. That even without ever having met them, the very fact that they and people like them were ever born makes it hard for you to sleep at night. So they then got angry and wrote you some emails that were intolerant--but what they were not tolerating was not your existence, but your invasion of theirs.
There's a fundamental difference between the two, and yours is worse.
[It occurs to me, rereading their last response, that it might have been productive to investigate what or who they thought was intolerant on their side of the issue, but I guess it's too late now. We'll see.]
I'm not sure why I keep writing back to them, it's not like I'm ever going to change their minds. Also, I had to physically restrain myself from typing out a whole paragraph about why calling people who challenge you fascists just makes you look stupid and fourteen years old.
In other news, is it bad that I lie to people about where I'm going and hole up in the second floor study rooms because I can't take being around my roommates this much?