Jan Albert Suing, a graduate student as well as a LGBT rights and social equality advocate, wrote the following Facebook post a little less than a year ago when same sex marriage became the law of the land thanks to the Supreme Court. In light of professional boxer Manny Pacquiao’s recent controversial comments (read: outright horrible comments) regarding the LGBT community, Jan re-posted this open letter on Huffington Post, as a letter to Manny and any one else in the straight community who perhaps needs a little reading.
The next time you hate on LGBT people and call them an ‘abomination,’ remember how easy you have it compared to them who have to go through all oppression and pain and suffering just to get the same rights that you’ve been enjoying practically since you were born and never had to fight for.
The next time you hate on LGBT people, remember the first time you fell in love; the first time your lover held your hand in front of the whole world and the first time you got the butterflies in your stomach. LGBT people experience the same butterflies everyday — but not out of romance. The feeling comes from a deep well of fear — fear of prejudice. Discrimination. Oppression. Fear that they might never be able to experience love in their life like everyone else does.
The next time you hate on LGBT people, remember how carefree you were as a child. Remember how you were never bullied for acting too feminine or too masculine for your gender. Remember how you never had to hide just to play your favorite toys because your parents deem them as “appropriate” for your sex. Remember how you were never chased and hit by your father for trying on women’s shoes and how you hated yourself that night for not being the person society wants you to be.
The next time you hate on LGBT people, look yourself in the mirror and see how beautiful you are. Remember how people would look at you from across the street and admire your beauty. Remember how good it makes you feel about yourself. Now imagine the experience of every LGBT individual who walks the streets, being just themselves. Most people would leer at them and see a walking anomaly. They would babble endlessly about them, laugh at them or even curse them for the ‘kind’ that they are. Imagine having to endure that everyday for the rest of your life.
The next time you hate on LGBT people, remember how your religion glorifies your existence. How your family celebrates every achievement you get. Now imagine the lives of LGBT individuals who have to work twice as hard just so their families will see their value. Just so their communities will see their worth. Imagine how some LGBT people even try far as to deny who they are just so their religion will “accept” them. To me, that’s the death of a man.
The next time you hate on LGBT people, remember how easy it is for you to imagine how your wedding day will be. White flowers. White traje de boda. The perfect man. The perfect woman. To you, marriage is a natural and a beautiful episode of your life. For most LGBT people, it’s nothing but a dream. An elusive dream. One that they might never experience in their lifetime.
The next time you hate on LGBT people, remember how easy it is for you to leave your house, walk the streets, be yourself and never for once feel that your life is at risk. LGBT people die everyday. Not due to sickness or natural causes. They are murdered. Thrown from buildings. Burned alive. All because they are LGBT.
The next time you hate on LGBT people or any minority for that matter, remember how some of your family members, friends and even service providers who make life easier for you are a part of these groups. And remember how they were there for you when you needed them. How your gay brother lullabied you to sleep or how your Muslim friend helped you out of trouble.
Then ask yourself: “Do they deserve all the hate they’re getting from me and the world? Don’t they deserve the same rights that I have?”
A decent human being does.