My gay Republican Facebook friends, who we’ll simply refer to as GRFF for the purpose of this article, have been unfriending me in less time than it’s taken Nike to suspend ties with Maria Sharapova after her doping admission. And I’m not sure why.
I try really hard not to lean too heavily political in the posts I share or the articles I write for my blog. My site was built on a superficial foundation of fashion, and while celebrity, music, TV, and film naturally fit into my coverage, political pieces are a harder sell. The most political I’ve gotten this campaign season are editorials about designers who could assist Bernie Sanders in his desperately needed style makeover or ways in which I would inject new life and pizzazz into Ben Carson’s Instagram account. Other than this, my most political stance on Facebook has been mostly passive. Maybe I’ve liked one too many democratic debate clips for my GRFF’s tastes. Or maybe what really grinds their gears is when I love anti-Trump open letters from Huffington Post. Who knows?
However, I got my start in journalism at age 16 writing political opinion pieces about the 2000 presidential election. I was dropping young, liberal science on the residents of the Florida panhandle before I was even old enough to vote. And though I have a strong affinity for fashion and pop culture, ignoring the issues in this campaign year in my writing is a blatant and stupid choice to stay blind to the important event happening in this country.
I’m not a Republican, but, like my sexuality, I don’t think that’s been a secret. By no means am I anti-Republican, but you bet your ass I’m anti-Trump.
Electing Donald Trump President of the United States is like voting RuPaul president of the NFL. It’s amusing to think about for a few minutes, but in actuality, it’d be a real shitshow.
I’m not afraid to publicly admit this just as my GRFF are not afraid to share their views.
Social media and election years are a tricky combo. People who’ve shown no remote interest in politics since the last election get fired up and all of sudden become Facebook activists. On one hand, it’s inspiring to see so many people take a break from posting pictures of their sandwiches to talk about real world issues. But on the other, we all know they’ll go right back to watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians the minute this election is over.
My GRFF seem to be a different breed of Facebook activist. They’re the kind of social media users who share their opinions but get violently defensive the minute someone disagrees. If they see a post in their timeline that doesn’t support their warped political views, they bow out of the “friendship” altogether.
Rather than scrolling to something more desirable for them, like a clip of a Trump supporter punching a protestor in the face or a snippet of Marco Rubio discussing Trump’s penis size at a campaign rally, they have to disconnect from the liberal experience of my profile completely.
And that’s just silly. Because it takes a lot more than a differing point of view for me to sever Facebook ties with someone. I mean, they’d have to constantly post pictures of anti-gay or racist rhetoric. Then, my friend, I don’t think we’d be able to peacefully continue on together in the Internet world. Oh wait, by supporting these Republican candidates like Trump, who won’t publicly disown his KKK supporters, you might already be filling my timeline with that junk. But I’m still here!
You see, I support differing points of views. We live in the free world, and the beauty of being an American is having the right to voice your opinion. As long as your views don’t cause harm to other people, I have no problem with you choosing to believe what you believe. And I reserve the right to disagree with you. But just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean you should be silenced. That’s where we’re different. I’m adult enough and evolved enough to know that people won’t always agree, but they’ll still have to exist together.
For example, I don’t understand how my GRFF are even an existing subgroup.
It’s baffling to me that they hate themselves enough to claim membership in a political party that doesn’t support their unquestionable human rights.
All four current GOP presidential candidates have openly opposed gay marriage, and all but Kasich have vowed to overturn the historic Supreme Court decision if elected. How can you look at yourself in the mirror every morning knowing that you stand in solidarity with people who’d rather see you die alone than be afforded the same basic rights that we should all be guaranteed? I know that the Republican party stands for other policies and beliefs outside of this issue. And you might side with the party on those other issues. But your basic human rights are a pretty big fucking deal. And it’s hard to belief that supposedly out and proud gay men can overlook fair and equal treatment because of how strongly they feel about abortion, taxes, or international trade policy.
But despite my inability to understand this about my GRFF, I have not publicly renounced them. I have not unfriended them. I’m not behaving like a liberal gay evangelist and trying to convert them over to my side of the issues. But I am allowing them to exist. Because I know that we all deserve to believe in whatever it is that we want. And as long as we’re not harming anyone else, having different beliefs is perfectly okay. I know my GRFF won’t see this because they’ve mostly abandoned me. But if you’re still out there, know that even though I don’t understand you or support your political affiliation, I still honor your right to share your opinion. And you should do the same for me.