For the first time in my life, I think I know what being on the receiving end of real blind hate is like.
Some background – All my life I’ve been a passionate LBGTQ+ ally. Since I was young I believed love is love, it doesn’t matter race, sexuality, religion, People should be free to express and experience love in the way that works for them. I’ve used my privilege to advocate, fight for rights and educate.
I’ve marched in every Pride event we’ve ever hosted, but this year was different. My girl was gone, off to a Women’s weekend in another province. Which didn’t stop me from attending our Pride festivities. However, an old problem from my time in the community reared its ugly head – I was bullied out of attending the rest of the weekend, because “my girl” wasn’t with me, and she is the one who lent me “cred” in the community. Truthfully it weighed on me and still does. I was told I wasn’t welcome at Pride as a Hetnormative CiS male, and never was, even 20 years prior when I bartended socials for the community and protected them from violence and threats, so I was informed if I attended the Pride bar night, I would get kicked out because they would tell a bouncer I was uttering threats.
Because of a need to educate and dispell myths, I joined a local group on the book of faces, a confessions group no less, anonymous people submit confessions about everything you can imagine. My reasons for doing so were to try and be a voice to advocate, educate and call out the multitude of phobias in our tiny city.
verything was going great, I was even asked to moderate the group as I was the only person who had knowledge of BDSM and LBGTQ+ folk on the team.
Until it wasn’t.
Apparently, something I said pissed off someone, and I was suddenly seeing Pictures of myself poorly doctored with MS paint and transphobic and homophobic captions everywhere. I laughed it off mostly and placated myself with the knowledge that if someone was taking the time to do this, I was heading in the right direction.
I thought nothing more of it for a couple of weeks until another moderator of the team sent me a link, this link leads to what is laughably called an “awareness website” – it calls out shady people doing shady things, cheaters, etc, etc. I didn’t even know of its existence until this moment.
Lo and behold, there was a picture of myself taken straight from my profile, and “biography” of all of my misdeeds (which were completely fabricated), stating I was spreading disease in our local gay community. For the record, other than some handshakes and hugs at our local pride events I have very little contact with the local lbgtq+ community here. They are very closed off outside of pride events, and rightfully so.
These websites exist in a pretty grey area, without a court order or DMCA violation they are there to stay – and since the first instance, I have had multiple other websites where the story is the same. I have since locked down my book of faces, left the group and changed my profile picture to something innocuous. In the interim of all this, the moderators have received numerous posts calling for physical violence against me, my family and anyone I associate with or call friend/family. None of these were posted to the group at large, However, I take them very seriously.
Now, I should point out that up to this point, I did not once mention my sexual orientation in these area’s, I just stated my opinion, educated where I could and moved on.
To most, I have always been a Het CiS male, and in a Het Passing relationship.
Since these instances, I have had anxiety bad enough I don’t sleep, my pulse stays elevated and I am constantly looking over my shoulder waiting to defend myself and mine. It has helped me realize something though on top of all of this.
I never really felt the need to “come out”, love is love, after all, I am still the same man I always was, just more so embracing more parts of myself. However, after a complete stab in the dark by a random troll, I got called out. So I started writing.
So, this is the story of how an act of hate pushed me to put words to something I wasn’t sure needed them.
What started as writing about blind hate, is now the story of how I further embraced a more complete view of myself- I am who I am, and that is that I owe no one an explanation.
I want people to be aware, Love should always win. Inside the community, or out, especially with so much blind hate already focused on us.
I am who I am.
I am not hiding.
I will still fight.