My Dad Was Going to Vote for Romney,
Until I Wrote Him This Letter
This letter from a gay son to his Romney-supporting father was posted by
Francophile on Reddit. Feel free to plagiarize with wild abandon to
take a similar action. I have added the generic photo, edited the letter for length and corrected
several glaring grammatical errors:
Since coming out to you and mom nineteen years ago, I’ve watched you
vote for the Republican candidates in every major race. I’ve held my
tongue, despite the hurt and anger that came from watching you vote for a
party that has made a sport out of demonizing gay and lesbian people,
like me, for political gain.
Now, for the first time in our nation’s history, a U.S. President and
his party have publicly stated that gays and lesbians are equal citizens
and should be protected as such under the law. I know you’re aware that
Obama believes gays and lesbians, like me, should have the rights and
responsibilities of marriage, and that the 2012 Democratic Party
Platform will include marriage equality as one of its tenets. You will
never know what it is to be gay in this world at this moment, but I’d
bet at some point in your life you’ve known how it felt to have your
essential worth validated by someone with authority. I can’t overstate
the power of having my president and his party say to me, and the
nation, that I am not less than, but equal to every other citizen, and
to validate my inherent right to pursue my life with liberty and
unimpeded happiness. Never before has this happened. So, never before
have I made the argument that you should vote for a Democrat. But
today’s a new day.
Yet the resiliency of my community, in the face of such misunderstanding
and hate, is astonishing and inspiring. They’ve taught me to think
twice before underestimating the will of the human spirit in its slow
march toward progress, whatever the circumstances.
I’m almost forty. Both of my younger brothers are married, enjoying all
the rights and responsibilities of that government-issued status. Do you
want that for me? Do you believe I should have someone beside me on my
life’s journey, legally recognized as my spouse, able to visit me in the
hospital, able to make my end-of-life decisions, with whom I’m able to
build a financially interdependent life? I have to believe you do. I
have to believe you’re too good a man not to.
But – if, like the candidate you’re supporting, you believe marriage
should be only between one man and one woman, I feel sorry for us both:
you, because it means you’re on the wrong side of history and your own
son’s happiness – and me, because it means my father believes I’m “less
In any other election, given any other choice, I’d stay quiet. If you,
and others like you, wanted to believe the worst about Obama – a good
man, trying to do good work – and vote against your own interests
(Romney’s tax and Medicare plans won’t help you), I’d shake my head in
wonder and watch you do it anyway. But this isn’t any other election.
This election presents a clear choice between two people whose policy
beliefs directly affect the course of my life. Let me be clear: A vote
for Mitt Romney is a vote against me. There is no argument to counter
You might want to argue that you’re not a single-issue voter, but when
the single-issue is your own son’s equality under the law, I wouldn’t
recommend that argument. You might want to argue that, because you live
in New York State, your vote won’t ultimately matter since Obama will
carry the state anyway. You’re correct. He will. In that way, I suppose,
your vote won’t matter. But it matters to me. You might want to argue
just because you don’t like the idea of your son telling you what you
ought to do. But, whatever else, you know I’m a good man. It’s been
said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do
nothing;” and I’m a good man who’s never been good at taking action.
Can I change your mind? I hope so. I’m sure Mom would tell me it’s a
lost cause, and maybe she’s right. But that would be sad. Because it
might be nice one day to have my father stand up at my own wedding,
realizing he helped make it happen.
UPDATE: The father’s reply, in part: "I will honor your
request because you are my son, and I love you. I do support the
Democratic position on gay marriage. I hope this is a position that they
really stand for and not just a political statement for votes."
Note from your blogger:
My own father is deceased, but I remember having a conversation with my
mother four years ago after she had returned from wintering in a
bigoted southern state. I was able to turn her head, and she changed her
vote to support Obama in 2008. All of us need to take part in this.
Send this letter to your friends and urge them to do the same.
Role models of greatness.
Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.