I realize that the chance of this letter reaching the audience in which it’s intended is slim to none. But who knows, maybe while you’re surfing Facebook, you might stumble upon this little love letter, from me to you. I’ll put my faith in the power of social media and see what happens. If anything, maybe I will sleep easier knowing that I tried, because something is better than nothing. I will try my best to remember that it always seems to be the ones with the most hate in their hearts, who are in need of the most love letters.
Hearing stories like this always breaks my heart, but this hits especially close to home. I’ve gone to Motor City Pride for the last three years. The first time I had gone, I felt uneasy. I was uneasy because I knew that hateful people like you exist. I went anyway. I went because this celebration belongs to us. The LGBT community has fought and continues to fight incessantly in a battle for equality. To say that we deserve this day, to say that we’ve earned it, would be an understatement.
We deserve so much more than a parade, but I think we’re all willing to settle for basic human rights. The right to EXIST without fear of falling victim to hate crimes simply for loving who we love. I think that would be a good place to start. That’s what this festival is about, celebrating our victories, and acknowledging the work that still must be done. You have made it abundantly clear that we have so much more to do. Thank you for reminding us what we’re up against. Thank you for shining a light on what some would rather turn their head to. Homophobia is alive and well in this country, we didn’t need you to validate that. Actually, let’s call it what it really is- gay bashing. You weren’t afraid of him, you were afraid of yourselves.
So what was it about Howard that made you feel the need to puff out your chests and act so barbarically? What was it that you needed to prove, and to who? Were you proving that you’re masculine, lady loving heterosexuals? Because, you know, men don’t actually have to prove that sort of thing. Were you demonstrating how “hard” you are? I’m just not so sure how hard it could be to assault one man between the EIGHT of you. He was completely outnumbered and survived with minor injuries; if anyone is a champion in this story, it’s this kid.
Something about Christin made at least one of you question yourselves. A button was pressed. Maybe you were envious of his courage to live life openly. Perhaps you wish you were able to walk down the street, confident in your own sexuality, even proud enough to celebrate it. No one knows the answers to these questions except for you. Nobody knows your stories, or what triggered the pure hatred you’ve demonstrated towards our community. I can only hope that the universe works in our favor on this one, and that justice is served.
The members of our community are some of the most unyielding souls you will ever find. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t still be here today. What you’ve done is shameful; sadly we’re no stranger to acts of violence against us. Yes, it is scary, sharing our time here with you. But we aren’t going anywhere. Maybe you don’t know us well enough to understand that we aren’t the type to let fear win. We will continue fighting for what has always been ours. We will never quit loving who our hearts love, even if it means swimming upstream. We will keep celebrating our PRIDE, because it isn’t yours to take.
The underdogs have this way of finding the bright side in everything. Maybe it keeps us from becoming overwhelmed by the dark. Things could have turned out much worse. I am grateful that the man you so cowardly attacked has lived to tell his story. Too often, this is not the case. I hope for his sake, that one day he can find it in his heart to forgive you. I hope that he can find strength in knowing that he is a part of something so much bigger. I hope he knows that although nobody had his back the day that this happened, there are so many more of us who would have, if only we were there. As for all of you, I hope that you find peace within yourselves. Maybe one day you will love yourselves enough to attend Motor City Pride with an open mind and heart.
Closets Are for Clothes and this will always be about love.