You know, it’s funny, Steve Hays, as a gay man who writes for LGBTQ youth, I was really into what you were writing. You kept me hooked all way through a longer piece than what’s usually viable on Medium.

Your image interested me, because I think I’ve used one by the same photographer to illustrate a YA novel with a character named Luke, a teenage boy struggling with religious rejection.

I was quite interested in what you had to say. You can see some of the bits I’ve highlighted, parts of your message that resonate with me, and that I agree with. I thought maybe I’d found somebody to whom I could refer struggling LGBTQ teens.

I was all prepared to tag Ken Wilson, Emily Swan, John A. Giurin, and others and say, “Folks! We have a genuine LGBTQ accepting and affirming Christian here who’s trying to do right by young people.”

Please note my use of the past tense.

You fooled me.

You sucked me in.

You aren’t accepting and affirming, despite trying to sound earthy and kind. Your message in fact was deeply disappointing to me in its insidiously toxic homophobic bigotry.

What a sucker punch you pack in all your kind and educated words.

No, God doesn’t hate you, you tell the boy, lulling and disarming him — oh, so reasonably.

But you end by telling a young person that it is right and proper that he should STRUGGLE due to his sexuality, more than merely implying that something is wrong with him, but that your god will love him despite the fact that he’s broken.

Enough!

Your message is vile. The religious condemnation, despite how kindly you’ve wrapped it, is toxic and revolting.

What you’ve produced here is shameful and awful, especially given how you’ve been so clever about seeming “kind” about it.

Shame on you!

Knock it off. Yes, I’ve tagged a couple people in this this, but I assure you that it’s not as a referral. Rather, I hope they can do a better job than I at shaming and condemning you.

We LGBTQ poeple are sick and tired of you and your kind. You need to just desist from spreading your foul and evil toxins.

We LGBTQ people do NOT need to struggle, because there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with us, despite what you and other bigots try to make us believe.

Written by

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

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