Oh my gosh, there’s such a huge difference between niceness and genuine kindness! And it matters so much to understand it!

You remind me of the time, Shannon Ashley, that a teenage girl emailed me about a series of stories I’d written about how the LDS Church stigmatizes and mistreats LGBTQ people, particularly teenagers who are very vulnerable when they live in areas socially dominated by the Church.

To make a long story short, she told me how lonely she was because of what the Church was doing to her, and then she said something I’ll never forget. “I’m tired of people being ‘nice’ to me. I don’t need them to be nice. I need them to be good.”

And I think that boils the essence of kindness. Kindness is GOOD, even if it can’t always be nice.

“Good” is raising your children and being the best mother you can be. “Good” is being honest with people when they need that. Good is respecting yourself as you work hard to respect others.

Good is kind. Even if it’s not always nice.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com