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Please De-Friend Me

PLEASE DE-FRIEND ME.

If you plan to vote for Mitt Romney, you are putting a nail into my civil rights coffin, and I’d rather not have friends who think I deserve anything less than equal treatment under the law. Romney supports DOMA (which directly and negatively impacts me, restricting my partner Russ, our kids, and my federal protections and tax benefits under the law), and has noted his support for an anti-marriage equality amendment as well. While you may see your vote for him as one about the economy (and we can debate who’d be better for that until the cows come home), what you INTEND by your vote really doesn’t matter. Your vote means that you are supporting someone who not only thinks I’m not equal to you, but who works vigorously to ensure my “less-than” legal status. Your vote for him means that you are totally fine with me being treated with disrespect.

Now, you may see this as an indication that I am being too “single minded”, and I’ll admit that when you’re denied even the simplest of human considerations, it makes it difficult to look beyond that. But this is about much more than my treatment under the law. Who I am and what I believe passionately in are also things which Romney discounts. I believe in full and fair treatment of ALL people, but Romney believes that women should not receive equal pay for equal work. I believe we need to take care of our earth, even if it means tightening our belts, but Romney favors further deregulation over environmental concerns. I think it is our duty to support things like art and culture (I view them as essential), but Romney disparages the role these play in enriching our lives; he sees them as extraneous and will cut public funding. I believe, just as education is a right, healthcare is as well, but Romney wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act. I care about those less fortunate and the elderly, and think it is our collective responsibility to ensure their well-being, but in Romney’s eyes, these people are victims and moochers. In short, who I am isn’t just who I love, it is the things I feel passionately about. And Romney stands against almost all of them.

BOTTOM LINE: I don’t care who you are–whether you are my relation by blood or a longtime acquaintance, I don’t want “friends” who don’t think I’m as good as they are. I want friends who value me, who see my worth as a human being, and who fully support my equal protections under the law. So, if you’re voting for Romney, whether you follow me on twitter or facebook, please de-friend me. You won’t hurt my feelings. I won’t cause a big stink. In fact, you’ll be creating space in my life for others to come in who do feel that my being here on the planet matters.

I’M NOT INTERESTED IN DEBATING THIS. PLEASE RESPECT MY WISHES.

– Kergan

Cross-posted on Bilerico Project and Huffington Post.  Photography by Sara + Ryan.

23 Responses

  1. Pingback: I WANT YOU « Drama Lit Blog 2.0: BU School of Theatre

  2. I got here by way of someone else.. (named Gabrielle).. but I found everything in it to be right on. I was “lucky” enough to be born into all kinds of privilege (middle-class straight white male in suburban USA)–but I know it is all just luck that I’m here and I support equality to my core. There is no excuse for denying people the rights that we all deserve–as Rachel Maddow says–they are RIGHTS–they shouldn’t be voted on…

    Anyway.. Nice writing and I wish you luck in all of your endeavors…

    October 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    • Thanks so much! We need more allies like you, speaking out! Best wishes, Kergan

      October 31, 2012 at 5:21 pm

  3. misty

    i am a married mother of four. i always like to see people speak their mind and stand up for their rights. i am not on ur friend list, but i would like to be.

    October 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

  4. Ross Presser

    It strikes me as ironic that you wrote in loud capitals “I’M NOT INTERESTED IN DEBATING THIS” and yet both on your own site and the sites it was crossposted to, there are many comments anyhow.

    I won’t debate you or anyone else on this. And I’m keeping my opinion to myself, per your wishes. But you are very eloquent and I applaud you for that.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    • Hey Ross,
      Thanks for the note, and you’re totally right. When I first wrote this post, it was on my facebook page, and meant as one among many on the topic. I finally had enough and put my foot down. When this took on a life of its own on HuffPo as a stand alone article, without the context, I initially started to reply to people, to try to give some clarification as to why I did this and my rationale for doing so. But after seeing this note from you, I stopped engaging, because it’s become a larger discussion now, and my original reasons no longer matter.

      I appreciate the note, and best wishes,
      K

      October 25, 2012 at 8:41 am

  5. Bobby Magill

    As an equality-supporting gay man, I find your post very upsetting. People who vote for Romney vote GOP for any number of reasons, most likely not including his support for inequality and bigotry. Most of my Romney-supporting friends (some of whom are gay) have other reasons for supporting him, and I’m eager to have a lively discussion with them. The idea that you consider this issue outside the realm of debate is antithetical to what democracy should be about. Turning backs on those with whom we disagree is exactly the source of the polarity we see in society today and is an example of the intolerance we in the LGBT community purport to abhor. We should enthusiastically surround ourselves with people of all political persuasions and engage in lively discourse, otherwise we tend to retreat into our bubbles, demonize those with whom we disagree, resist understanding those holding different or even nuanced opinions and end up fracturing relationships and even the society in which we live. If we don’t let our friends challenge our assumptions about the world and our politics, who will? We can easily ignore media sources and politicians who believe differently than we do. You can’t so easily ignore friends and family.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    • Thanks for the note, Bobby. One thing folks don’t understand is that this post initially was written as one among many on my personal facebook page. I’d done several others, engaging people in dialogue over their votes. My goal with this post was to put a real-world consequence to their vote; to make them see that their vote in an anonymous booth somewhere will have a direct impact on actual lives. In fact, this post was actually on a photo of me and my family, as I wanted others to remember our faces as they cast their ballot.

      That’s also why I haven’t de-friended anyone myself. I want THEM to understand what it feels like, to make that choice to hit the unfriend button, and realize that their actions are impacting another. Those folks who want to remain my friend, despite their Romney vote, I’m not cutting out. In fact, I’ll be reminding them–if he wins and proceeds as promised–that they helped make that happen.

      When my initial photo post began getting tons of hits/shares, as I write regularly for HuffPo, I decided to post it there as well, without the added context of how this began. So what you’re seeing isn’t the whole story.

      That being said, I also believe, at some point, the time comes for drawing lines in the sand. I’ve had to do that with my own family and parents, when I felt their actions verged on disrespectful, and with friends as well. Ultimately, even taken out of context on HuffPo, I’m grateful that this post is inspiring conversations among people. We need to tell our stories, live authentically, and show people that WE are the ones their vote will damage. If everyone who will become disenfranchised took a public stand, can you imagine how empowering that would be?

      I do understand your point of view and am continuing dialogue with others. This is creating quite a few, and I hope it inspires some contemplation among Romney voters–and I know it already has, based on the letters I’ve gotten.

      Thanks so much for writing, and my best wishes to you!
      Kergan

      October 25, 2012 at 8:44 am

  6. My friend, who alerted me to your wonderful article, said it best – “Thought provoking, sensitive, articulate and inspiring.” I do hope your friend count does not drop – as every vote given to Romney is a crime against humanity for so many reasons…

    October 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

    • Thanks so much for the support! This has been a wild and unexpected ride, but I hope it creates dialogue with others!

      October 25, 2012 at 8:46 am

  7. steve

    VOTE ROMNEY AND END HOMO MARRIAGE!

    October 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

    • Sure, Steve! I’d love nothing more than to live without any rights!

      Thanks for the note.

      October 25, 2012 at 8:47 am

  8. steve

    Im not on your pal list but i can tell you this homo marriage is wrong dead wrong. You can polish it all you want but at the end of the day homo marriage is unnatural as well as unholy. Take it to god

    October 24, 2012 at 8:57 am

    • Your religious views may mean something to you, but in a civil society, rights such as taxes, inheritance, etc., shouldn’t be religiously based. They should be given equally, across the board. I’ll take that to my God any day! Thanks for writing!

      October 25, 2012 at 8:48 am

  9. Agree! I feel the same way. Love your post. Honest, brave. Exactly what we need, especially nowadays. Thanks!

    October 19, 2012 at 6:35 am

  10. Well said! Much support, love, and respect.

    October 18, 2012 at 11:49 pm

  11. You have eloquently said what so many of us feel. Thank you, Kergan.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:09 am

    • Thanks, Drake. I think people thought I was kidding, but I just de-friended my own cousin. People need to see that their vote directly affects others. Best wishes!

      October 19, 2012 at 6:39 am

  12. Kergan, I’m a True Blue Democrat and I want our United States to form equality rights for all. I do not believe it should be left up to states. You have me hanging around good people like you, forever!

    October 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

    • Thanks, Nancy! I appreciate your support, and hope you get the book soon!

      October 19, 2012 at 6:39 am

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