2012 Election | Max von Essen | Mitt Romney | News | Theatre

Gay Actor Max von Essen's Blisteringly Truthful Facebook Letter to Friends Supporting Mitt Romney: READ

A open letter to friends supporting Mitt Romney on Facebook by actor Max von Essen, who plays Magaldi in the Broadway production of Evita, is getting some attention around the web.

VonessenIt's well worth a read.

Hey (    ),

Listen, I know you didn’t mean any harm commenting on this post and I like you, we had some great times growing up. But Romney and Ryan believe that I am less than you. They believe I am a second class citizen and don’t deserve the same rights that you had the privilege of being born into simply by being straight. They want to add a constitutional amendment that will ban gay marriage forever. It will set us back decades and ensure that I never legally have the opportunity to have a family or a partner in my lifetime.

They also believe that being at your partner’s side when he/she is dying is a benefit, not a civil right. They could keep me from my partner dying in a hospital. Could you even imagine something like that in your own life? Being separated from your wife on her death bed? Could you imagine your marriage never being recognized and being told that your family is not a family and you do not deserve any federal rights that comes with marriage. Over 1100 rights.  Did you know that? 1100.

Ryan doesn’t believe in the hate crimes act fought unwaveringly for by Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, murdered for being gay in Wyoming. Murdered for being gay. Could you imagine if I was murdered for being gay? Could you really look my mom in the eye and say ‘oh well, we can not prosecute this crime as a hate crime’?

I know there are important issues involved in this campaign. I know people are suffering and the economy has not improved at a rate we all wish it would. Yes, people are suffering but the gay and lesbian community has been suffering for hundreds of years and I am so tired of it. So tired of feeling that I am less than. So tired of knowing I have friends on here who will vote for someone who will keep me a second class citizen for my entire lifetime. I have already spent half a lifetime hiding, half a lifetime conforming. It is exhausting, demeaning and I am worn out. I want to love myself full out.  I want a president who can look me in the eye and say ‘You are equal!’ ‘You are equal to everyone else in this country and I will fight for your rights. The time is now and it is long overdue.’ Romney and Ryan could not look me in the eye and say that and I feel sorry for every gay and questioning child who might have to listen to a president who believes that he/she is not equal. Children will take their lives. It is the WORST form of trickle down bullying and it absolutely splits my heart in half. When the president says you are less than, it gives permission to every authority figure, every politician, every teacher, every bully on the playground to push you around and bully you and treat you less than. It is dangerous and lives will be lost.

If this is not important to you, please remove me from your friends list. I need people in my life who love me and consider me 100% equal.

Max

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Comments

  1. If you want to drop your friends because they like Romney, drop em. If you don't want to, don't.

    Now wasn't that easy?

    Posted by: Sean in Dallas | Oct 26, 2012 12:20:53 PM


  2. great letter, but title needs a little work ;)

    Posted by: oc | Oct 26, 2012 12:25:05 PM


  3. @Ricco, Hey, that is always a possibility! I have had a friend who dropped me because I hated Bush when he was elected. I told him that we are still friends, that I won't lose him over this, he disagreed and broke contact. Cut to 3 years later, we ran into each other after a movie, we got to talking and he apologized for being so emotional. I told him that we were still friends he just took a break. We are still friends, he is incidentally now a Democrat.

    Maybe my correlation is strange because I pick my friends carefully? I don't do it lightly.

    Another example is like when a friend of mine tried to change everything about me. I protested that he needed to learn to live with some of my character traits because I am unwilling to change for him. After that we became much better friends because we respected each other for who they are to... us, that wasn't terribly clear. I can be friends with a bigot, but they certainly need to bring something else to the equation!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 12:36:25 PM


  4. @BUSTER, HOLY CRAP! THANK YOU FOR BATHETIC!!! LOVE THIS WORD.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 12:38:49 PM


  5. Perfection.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | Oct 26, 2012 12:47:28 PM


  6. i've never let politics ruin friendships. but i don't respect the condoning of bigotry and prejudice.

    and, amazingly, i do what i do, fenrox, because it works. people finally wake up and realize that it's choosing Bigotry over, well, Me. Us. The Community.

    and my family and good friends do the same thing.

    but congratulations to having done nothing for the last 7 years. the rest of us have, blessedly, been taking up the slack.

    it's about specifics. "dissent"? you mean bigotry and prejudice with no logical or factual base?

    i've never considered having unrepentant racists in my life to be a "multifaceted" thing that should be celebrated.

    and like i said, there's a reason folks like me keep doing what we do - because we've seen that it works.


    if you'd like to see my knockout of a mother share her message on how to HAVE these awkward and oft difficult discussions, check this out:

    http://youtu.be/czpOC3-nKEU

    love ya, Mum!

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 12:51:22 PM


  7. @ FENFOX :
    Dude, I could not disagree with you more.

    "Perspective and faith in people" , yes.

    But it's also about moral fibre and integrity. It's about backbone and self respect too.
    I don't want to keep any "friends" whom I have to persuade that I deserve equal rights.
    i'm not going to keep any friends whom i need to persuade that I'm much more than just "acceptable" or whom I have to work hard to make them more compassionate.
    I have neither time, inclination or enthusiasm or interest in persuading so called "friends" about our Civil Rights. If they don't get it by now they will never get it ....and that's probably willful.
    And No. It won't be like the Bush era; If the Romney/Ryan extremist scum get in they will work to repeal all our rights, women and gays; they will appoint conservative Justices of the Supreme Court to replace Ginsberg next year and Bryer too.....and Scalia will retire if he can see a conservative President replacing him....he is that manipulative and partisan.

    That new court will overturn Roe -v- Wade and it would not surprise me to see an attempt to reverse Lawrence -v- Texas; it has already been mooted.
    So don't tell me that this is a "temporary drama".......we don't have to have the threat to "be executed on sight" to be vigilant to safeguard our rights.
    You, mon cher, can sit back and be comforted by friends .....some of us are incandescent at this affront to our rights and to our moral integrity and we will not be sitting back.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 12:59:11 PM


  8. It's sad that this even needs to be said to "friends", it should be obvious.

    Posted by: CHAD | Oct 26, 2012 1:00:42 PM


  9. @ LYMIS :

    You said it dude ! Total respect !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 1:01:27 PM


  10. Actually, I'd love it, fenrox, if could make a video with these friends of yours who are voting against your equal standing. You can provide a video example of just how you're able to balance being friends with people who cast votes against your equality.

    i'm not being facetious, btw. you can youtube it, tumblr it, vimeo, or blogspot it.

    that way we can see a living breathing example of what you're talking about - two people maintaining a friendship despite the reality that one is actively supporting the institutionalized prejudice and discrimination against the other.

    It would be a real help to see where you're coming from, you can provide the URL in a post later this week :D

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 1:01:58 PM


  11. BTW, do we need to get into the discussion that the total concept of "friends" on Face book is a preposterous phony construct ?

    Hmmmmm, maybe I'll leave that for another day.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 1:12:38 PM


  12. @Jackfkntwist, My friends just aren't doing what you are implying they are. Yes they are part of that silent problem that lets negative ideas prosper. But where you see intent I see stupidity. Most if not everyone is a colossal idiot. I just can't judge someone for being a damn moron when I too am a damn moron. As smart and as capable as I am, I am still lazy, forgetful, overbearing, I HAVE PROBLEMS. My friends support this fractured, problem filled self and I love that they do. When I was smoking too much they took a resolved stance to get me to curb that. In the beginning I was VERY against it, but eventually I got what they were saying and they helped me quit.

    My friends can be ideologically wrong and I can still support and admonish them! It's this idea that I need to put a line in the sand because you guys are super fired up. And again, I am against the idea that everyone should be doing this, not this dudes attempt. And for instance, my grandpa became a LOT less racist. I never let up and I never let him say a single racist thing with out a discussion. I helped him find a new way of framing things, I could have just dumped him and let his hatred fester, but hey, he is a friend of mine and I don't roll that way.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 1:21:01 PM


  13. @littlekiwi, I am weary of engaging with you at all. I shouldn't have put that dig in my first post. You are a total bully. I am afraid of being on your radar because you have dubious ethics! I don't want you coming after me online which I fully believe you will do. I mean we are having a discussion on a message board, this is not a big enough interaction for you to attack me, but I just don't trust you. I read the things you post, I see the way you try and attack people in these comment sections. You take things too far dude.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 1:24:01 PM


  14. Absolutely true and wonderfully said, congratulations!

    Posted by: Roman Bolliger | Oct 26, 2012 1:28:54 PM


  15. @ FENFOX :
    I am just sensitive about the way I am treated as a gay. After so many years being disparaged (and I still am but never to my face) I have acquired some confidence in myself.
    This allows me to let off steam and be very proud of who I am. It also makes me short with anyone who regards me as any way different. I'm not.
    But I think there is a whole world of understated prejudice out there and that this "acceptance" of us from friends is only the tip of an iceberg of misgivings people have about us.It is they who need to change not us.....and the onus is on them to do so.

    I think that is what I am trying to say.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 1:34:35 PM


  16. A married gay friend of mine recently posted about his anniversary on Facebook and wondered what the conervative Romney lovers in his Mormon Red State home would say and how they would react to the posting... What he got was a unnanimous outpouring of love. Even the Rom-bot lovers can't help but love him and his partner-- which makes them very conflicted in their Mormon-cult influenced souls. And that is a very good thing. I don't believe we should be "un-friending" Romney voters. This movement on several of the gay blogs to do this is EXACTLY the wrong approach. Yes, these FB friends of ours are supporting a scary, evil Robot -- and yes, by doing so, they are effectively taking away our civil rights and saying we are "less then". BUT-- refusing to speak with them and associate means we'll never convince them or change anything-- we'll never have the chance to. You think that by giving them an ultimatum and bascially forcing some of them to choose bewteen their religion and you is going to be the thing that makes the difference??? WTF??If we keep them as friends-- change IS possible in some circumstances and we should believe in that, hope for that, and just rise above it, "man up" and be better than they are. I realize it is all MUCH easier said than done-- but to flat-out disown everyone who doesn't agree with us makes no sense at all. My way or the highway is the George W Bush approach to diplomacy. Let's try to sit down at a bargining table is the Obama doctirne. And it makes much more sense. SO-- yes, the Romeny lovers offend me. Yes, they are wrong. But I was once afflicted with the same cult mentality -- and I was able tot change. And I believe at heart they are victims of the lies they are taught. I have seen friends and family totally "come around". IF I had disowned them, they never would have. It is frustrating as hell, but do-able and worth it.

    Posted by: iawl | Oct 26, 2012 1:35:44 PM


  17. A married gay friend of mine recently posted about his anniversary on Facebook and wondered what the conervative Romney lovers in his Mormon Red State home would say and how they would react to the posting... What he got was a unnanimous outpouring of love. Even the Rom-bot lovers can't help but love him and his partner-- which makes them very conflicted in their Mormon-cult influenced souls. And that is a very good thing. I don't believe we should be "un-friending" Romney voters. This movement on several of the gay blogs to do this is EXACTLY the wrong approach. Yes, these FB friends of ours are supporting a scary, evil Robot -- and yes, by doing so, they are effectively taking away our civil rights and saying we are "less then". BUT-- refusing to speak with them and associate means we'll never convince them or change anything-- we'll never have the chance to. You think that by giving them an ultimatum and bascially forcing some of them to choose bewteen their religion and you is going to be the thing that makes the difference??? WTF??If we keep them as friends-- change IS possible in some circumstances and we should believe in that, hope for that, and just rise above it, "man up" and be better than they are. I realize it is all MUCH easier said than done-- but to flat-out disown everyone who doesn't agree with us makes no sense at all. My way or the highway is the George W Bush approach to diplomacy. Let's try to sit down at a bargining table is the Obama doctirne. And it makes much more sense. SO-- yes, the Romeny lovers offend me. Yes, they are wrong. But I was once afflicted with the same cult mentality -- and I was able tot change. And I believe at heart they are victims of the lies they are taught. I have seen friends and family totally "come around". IF I had disowned them, they never would have. It is frustrating as hell, but do-able and worth it.

    Posted by: iawl | Oct 26, 2012 1:35:45 PM


  18. @ FENFOX :
    I admit to being "super fired up". Ha ha ha.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 1:36:10 PM


  19. i didn't attack, nor bully, you.

    i shared my mother's message of having these discussions about letting family and extended family know that a vote for an anti-gay politician with anti-gay policies on their agenda is a vote against her son. against everyone like her son. moi :-)

    i'm not a total bully. i'm nt voting against your rights and freedoms. your "friends" are.

    i don't get crazies coming after me online. worry less about people like me, and worry more about your so-called friends who clearly think you're unworthy of equality.

    and you're welcome, btw, for the work that i, my friends, my family, and countless others have been doing for the last number of years which you yourself admit to having dropped the ball on.

    so remember: the bully aint me. the bullies are the people you still pretend are your friends.

    but a simple video would suffice. it's very easy. you can film yourselves having that discussion - how you can remain friends despite the fact that they're voting against your Equality.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 1:42:40 PM


  20. Dear Max,

    I'm a over 55 senior, living in a community of seniors, most of whom would go ballistic if they knew my true gender history. Although. I discussions, I've espoused support and understanding for the GLBT community, they have not yet been made privy to my life's origin.

    I'm a multi-degreed Ivy League graduate, Air Force veteran, and have been a corporate Vice President and prolific product developer, and former college teacher.
    But it is "high time" to tell the truth, and to release myself from the bondage of secrecy that has impacted my life.

    As a parent and grandparent, it is to set an example for my progeny, that honest about one's self is the only true path through life.

    I applaud those younger than myself who have found the courage to express their core identity, bravely, and fully knowing that such revelation my be risky, in a world, and society, whose intelligence and compassion has still not fully blossomed.

    Posted by: Matti | Oct 26, 2012 1:54:09 PM


  21. As I said the whole phenomenon of "Face Book friends" is absurd.
    Are they of the same intimate importance as real life friends ?
    Or are they only cyber friends ?
    And if only cyber friends who cares whether they accept anyone ?

    I raised this subject with someone last week who was explaining the whole concept to me, slowly !
    So i asked;
    "What if I come in drunk some night and unfriend everyone ?"
    I am told that would be social death.
    Still, it is tempting.......if I were on Face Book, that is.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 2:10:32 PM


  22. @kiwi, I know you didn't attack me, It's that I fear that you will resort to it. I don't trust you because I read your posts. Listen to how hyperbolic your last one is! How many friends do I have that are trying to deny me rights? How resolute is that belief?

    You freak out man! I have ONE friend who is voting for Romney and he knows what he is doing is wrong, He is being a petulant brat! Later he will come around, and since I know he is a good guy, He will add reparations for his actions.

    And I don't know what you have done for the gay community. I haven't done anything for 7 years, but 7 years ago I worked for AIDS hospices and planned gay community organizing for 16-20 year olds. Now I just give money because I don't have any time. And I do thank you for any work you did in your life for the gay community, why wouldn't I?

    And you are literally goading me into doing something. You are literally trying to pressure me to do things while insulting my character.

    So to your video request, I will see what I can do, My one friend is in Arizona and I am in NYC and neither of us have webcams. But mostly I won't make one because why? I have nothing to prove to you.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 2:23:12 PM


  23. helpful hint - if everyone bucks up a bit, acts like an intellectually honest adult, and is very clear about the absolutely-personal and negative impact that government-sanctioned discrimination will have on us and does this in their everyday lives, and not just around elections, we be much further ahead.

    To everyone who has Republican-voting friends or family, or those who "support you as gay but don't support gays marrying" - ask yourself the Dr. Phil question: how well is this working for me? You're doing it your way, is "your way" leading to any actual progressive changes?

    There's no "agree to disagree" when it comes to civil rights. And never forget their they're not Republicans who still support you even though you're gay, they're republicans who support bigotry and discrimination against you for being gay, even though you're also a human being who calls them a friend.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 2:27:35 PM


  24. Gurrrrrrrl, you are a paranoid android.

    whatever medication you're on i suggest you double your dosage.

    here's the worst of what you can expect, as per my own experiences with "people attacking me online" : some closeted idiot who comments anonymously will log onto your youtube channel or blog page and call you a "FEMME"

    OOooOOOohhhhh, i got called a "femme" by an anonymous internet poster...WHOOOOOOOooo i'm crushed.

    here's a hint - if you cant' play with the big boys on our level you can refrain from directing any personal messages to me in the future. til' then, best of luck with the upcoming election, sugarpie :D

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 2:32:52 PM


  25. @JACKFKNTWIST,
    If you were on Facebook I would add you...

    Posted by: ElCid | Oct 26, 2012 2:37:33 PM


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