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.


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  1. @ ELCID :

    Dude, if I were on Face Book I wouldn't be able to wear my T shirt which says :
    "No, I'm not on *@%&ing Facebook."
    See my page.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 2:58:08 PM

  2. Max's letter is completely on point, as are many responses here. The problem is, a lot of people are ANTI-GAY or apathetic towards gay rights, yet at the same time, like to pull out the "I have gay friends" card. We live in a society that may be less blatantly homophobic than in the past, yet is still very much passively homophobic. It's just that people are more likely to BS and not put themselves out there as anti-gay due to fear of backlash. We are still not seen as equals or a fully-integrated portion of society. The fact so many are willing to overlook homophobia highlights that.

    We need to cut out the dead weight who hang on our coattails and say they are our friends but won't be there for us when we need them. And we need to categorically make it clear that there are no two sides to this debate. You're either for or against human rights.

    Fenrox: Learn what real friends are. Real friends are there for you when you need them and make tough decisions in support of you out of the goodness of their heart. That's what a friend is about. Someone you can trust. Anti-gay persons, apathetic persons, political conservatives, you can not trust them to be there for you in any sense, as a gay man. That's just how it is.

    Friends should get it. They shouldn't need an explanation. It's not hard to understand. If they need an explanation, if they are silently condemning you behind your back, they are not your friend.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 26, 2012 3:06:28 PM

  3. @kiwi, Ha, did Rick or whomever do that? What a crazy guy. Well honestly that is great to know! I have commented here years ago and people tried to get me fired and arrested. The comment started over some dumb youtube video and the attacker developed a whole magical conspiracy where I was magically the center. So I don't down play this stuff. I know the extent and horrors I could commit online so I assume that capability of everyone.

    You are a hyperbolic guy who is quick to jump over people who aren't on the same page as you. If we became friends we would have to be the kind of friends who don't question or debate positions but instead ratchet up whatever bombastic thing the other is saying. Which is more or less the nut of what I was talking about.

    And again, this whole thing started with me disagreeing that people blindly do what Max did, we each have different lives and need to address things with purpose and understanding, not a cut and paste letter.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 3:14:43 PM

  4. @Francis, Good lord, Did you read any of that? My friends aren't monsters, some of them can be wrong! My friendship with them is stronger than that. OK? I would challenge that you do not know real friendship that will survive practically anything. You may not have any situations in your life where you would befriend a person who doesn't share your belief but your understanding of friendship is not absolute.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 3:19:02 PM

  5. YESS, I can comment again! (Anyone else get that, you make a LOOONG post only to have it vanish into nothing after posting it?)

    @Jackfkntwist, Eloquently put! I respect your life man! I too would be SUPER interested in a FB friends breakdown!

    Also, I have an example of me being a total hypocrite with this, i put it out of my mind but you got me thinking on it. My uncle is a total jerk, a pastor and an IDIOT. After many FB rows we absolutely hate each other. I can't get him to change his mind and I don't even want that anymore, just abject punishment for being a slimeball. We were never friends but are related so, a tad hypocritical!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 3:21:49 PM

  6. or, Fenrox, those of us who, unlike you, havent' spent the last 7 years doing nothing. so when election time comes we've already had our "Converts", if you will.

    i like different pages! i dont' like lies and untruths being interpreted as facts. i like dealing in facts. something that irritates those who prefer their own opinions ;)

    so, in the future, since you don't have the balls to put it all out like i do, you can refrain from addressing me. i like an even playing field. it's useless when one person makes all of their claims and statements whilst using the internet as a Burqa.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 3:22:51 PM

  7. Oh boy...........you all do not want to see the ex-gays and gay Republicans running in defense of Romney. These people are something else. Absolutely no backbone, absolutely no sense of worth.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 26, 2012 3:24:44 PM

  8. and is IS about specifics, not broadly-generalized differences of opinion.

    Which Tarantino film is his best? Herzog VS Fassbinder?

    "i don't like black people?" - not an opinion held by anyone worthy of my throught progress.

    specifics, fenny. i don't care to associate with bigots, no matter how nicely they may treat "me".

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 3:25:05 PM

  9. A real friend does not turn their back on you when you need them most. That's actually very understandable and not at all extreme. If you can't trust a person then you really can't be a friend to them or they to you.

    No, I'm not saying your friends are monsters, Fenrox, but what I am saying is that, bigotry is bigotry, and associating with bigotry and not checking it at the door is giving it the OK. And it is not OK. And those who turn a blind eye to bigotry are just as bad as the bigots themselves.

    I choose my friends wisely. My friends are real allies. And it's not even that they're straight allies, that's just a title. What they are, are people who are understanding, compassionate, loving and most important, people who are ready to go to bat for me and our community. That's what being a true friend to me and a true friend of the gay community is about.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 26, 2012 3:37:56 PM

  10. Good for him. We don't need people in our lives who think we should be second class citizens.

    Posted by: Bobby | Oct 26, 2012 3:48:17 PM

  11. @kiwi, see? Dude, you have twisted this so much. You are a bully, this is what an internet bully does.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 4:05:36 PM

  12. fenny, if you can't play with the big boys then stay outta the sandbox. you complain about bullying the way Gay Republicans do - with no understanding of nuance or any intellectual discernment.

    And FRANCIS - spot on. Momma always said, "What you permit you promote"

    for too long people have becomes pariahs for being LGBT. the time has come for the anti-LGBT brigade to become the pariahs.

    when they see how lonely it is they'll realize that by choosing bigotry they lost friends and family.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 4:09:19 PM

  13. @ FENFOX :

    That Pastor does not sound like a nice person.....and life is too short for people who disrespect you....at least that's how I feel . I'd prefer to be totally alone and without friends, real or cyber, than tolerate some tools who "accept" me.

    As for being related to a jerk , that has never stopped me from completely disowning someone who disrespects me.....and I mean never talking to that individual again.....ever.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 4:15:20 PM

  14. @Kiwi, stop lumping me into other groups you are comfortable writing off. I am more than this tiny thing you learned about me. You are highly intolerant of me and haven't really read anything I type.

    If we were friends, would you dump that friendship because I wont dump my one friend that is voting for Romney?

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 4:16:46 PM

  15. @Jackfkntwist, heh my name is Fenrox, fyi.

    Yeah, I mean I have no real desire to ever talk to that man again. Not sure, but if he totally changed face and apologized and wanted to reconnect I don't know if I could. I hates him!

    I don't know why that hate was so ready for one person and totally absent on another.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 4:19:08 PM

  16. i tend to not befriend people who lack spines, Fenny. YOu'd likely not last 5 minutes with me ;-)

    like i said, since you clearly get your panties in a bunch when called out for, you know, transparency and back up, you can refrain from trying to get my attention in the future or referencing me.

    i thought you liked people who were highly intolerant of you. there's no greater intolerance than voting to suppress your rights and freedoms.

    or are you like the gay republicans, who will accept votes against you as long as you dont' get called any Mean Names?

    alas, rhetorical. i'm done with ya, kiddo.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 26, 2012 4:21:17 PM

  17. @Kiwi, Also technically we are talking about the same thing you realize. You can send a letter to all your friends and drop the ones who dont support you, I can pester them with love for years and years. Either way our ultimate conclusions are present in our actions. At the end of my process, the friend might be opposed still and we end the friendship, at the beginning and end of yours you drop them if they don't agree. It's the same thing, we both have weeded out friends that we feel needed to be weeded.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 4:23:00 PM

  18. @Kiwi = idea bully, but not the kind who will attack you over things.

    Ok, I got it. Thanks for being cool!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 4:24:52 PM

  19. Guys, you know something ?
    We are all on the same side. We all wish our community well, and we are all cognizant of the younger generation coming up with their own problems and shyness and stresses with their families.
    We don't need to tear each other apart.....we need only to be strong for each other and not cow down to the homophobes.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 4:24:58 PM

  20. @ FENROX :
    Sorry, I don't know how I made that error.....carelessness I guess....but my apologies.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2012 4:31:21 PM

  21. @Jack, Truth!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 26, 2012 4:32:32 PM

  22. Great discussion.

    You never know which topics going to take off and create a discussion so emotional and thought provoking. This discussion did without anybody resorting to name calling and personal insults. That's pretty good.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 26, 2012 4:41:10 PM

  23. Derrick, that's because Rick and his aliases haven't posted. No Markus sighting, no Andrew sighting. Glad the trolls stayed away.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 26, 2012 4:44:10 PM

  24. I'm so appreciative of Max's post, along with a few others I've read -- so appreciative that I started feeling guilty for not making the same type of personal, from the heart appeal to my friends and family. Well, I finally finished it and posted the link on my Facebook wall just before heading out to early vote today. Maybe I can sleep better tonight. Here's the link: http://www.dmaust.com/Vote-Obama-Biden.htm
    Thanks again, Max! xoxoxo

    Posted by: Dennis Maust | Oct 26, 2012 6:07:27 PM

  25. Good on Max. Screw anyone who claims to be your friend but still votes GOP. It's proof they don't really think you're on the same level as them.

    Posted by: Kyle M. Sullivan | Oct 26, 2012 8:14:03 PM

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