A friend of mine once said, “If what they are doing isn’t wrong, then why do some of them hide and stay in that so-called closet?”

Disappointed by his self-righteous tone, yet intrigued by the prospect of addressing his query, I replied, “I can’t speak for them, but my guess is they are hiding from that same hatred that hung black people on nooses and burned crosses outside their windows. Chances are, they’re hiding from the same ignorance that transformed the Mexican immigrant into a villain, and a prejudice that insinuates every Muslim is a terrorist.  That same ignorance and lack of compassion led a gay student at Rutgers University to commit suicide, and fuels a heartless mentality that made a conservative blogger say he wished that all gay people killed themselves. It’s ignorance that motivated a church to protest at the funerals of Iraq war victims with signs that read Your Son Died Because God Hates Fags, and ignorance that made a pastor say Hurricane Katrina happened because God was angry at America for tolerating gays.  It’s ignorance that panders to the darker side of our conscience, ignorance that tugs at the strings of our prejudices, insecurities, and misunderstandings. We, the straight society, are a contradiction; quick to profess our belief in individual freedoms and civil liberties, yet we deny others those same inalienable rights because we do not like who and what we think they are.

“It’s no surprise then, that after being ridiculed by Christians who use God’s words to mask their prejudices, silenced by a Zimbabwean president offering little room for compromise, or demonized by the venomous rhetoric of gay bashing crusaders, they hide from us.  Denied the dignity of being fully embraced and accepted for who they are, they cower under the long shadows cast by a hypocritical society, hiding from an ignorant you and a turn-a-blind-eye me.”

Sincerely,

Kwapi Vengesayi

FB: @kwapivengesayi | Twitter: @kwapiv | IG: @kwapiv

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