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. In utter frustration, I feel compelled to express that I more often than not refrain from commenting anymore on Towleroad because there are so many merely hateful self-serving venomous harpies who just lie in wait to project their lives' shortcomings upon any reasonable statement made in sincerity to express an opinion. In the salons of the European Enlightenment, the host or hostess (more frequently) would simply not endure such boorish behavior and demand that you leave their home. These civil yet animated salons were the birthplace of the eventual United States of America. Herein, however, I fear that much heat but no light is produced, and therefore, no 2nd Enlightenment will ever spring from such a battlefield of petty offenses and vicious ad hominem garish attacks. What a pity to squander for multiple parties' petty personal gain such a remarkable forum for tete a tete exchanges that might just be philosophically significant rather than being mere exercises in sophistry to gain points one or two at a time for sides of arguments that are of minuscule importance in the grand scheme of things. All this while we Americans are on the brink of possibly electing the slimy likes of Mitt Romney (a mere haircut and suit of a man) and Paul Ryan (the "devout" Roman Catholic who thinks Ayn Rand, an atheist to boot, was a great thinker rather than a second rate science-fiction romance novelist less talented than the prolific Danielle Steel!)

    Posted by: Tom Cardellino | Oct 26, 2012 8:18:59 PM

  2. Tom Cardellino FTW!

    Posted by: TJ | Oct 26, 2012 9:13:24 PM

  3. @Tom Cardellino here, here! There is too precious little accountability inside an anonymous (mostly) wormhole to approach enlightenment.
    Though I disagree with you about Ayn Rand, I will concede the romance point. Danielle Steele would never have sexed up that sexless Dagny Taggart.

    Posted by: Jesse Archer | Oct 26, 2012 10:55:05 PM

  4. I see many of these almost-there statements on FB and other forums. Ending with "please delete me" seems, imho, weak and passive. Take the active position, ladies and gents; ask these "friends" to confirm they are voting for your non-equality and then defriend them, yourselves...in Life! Take the damn stand all the way, y'all; take these people out of your lives.

    "Please delete me..." is so passive.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Oct 27, 2012 1:09:02 AM

  5. I understand where he's coming from. Even more than the last election, this election is vastly important, particularly for gays.

    In case after case, the Supreme Court splits 4/4 with Kennedy being unpredictable. Roberts' vote on health care was out of the blue and no one is really sure what it means for the future. Justice Ginsberg will probably retire soon and if even ONE of the court liberals is replaced by a conservative we're f*cked, perhaps for decades.

    That isn't hyperbole, it's simple fact.

    And it's not as if anyone is voting FOR Mitt Romney. There isn't a single personal quality he has or a policy position he holds that isn't a complete turnaround from his previous position on the exact same issue. And the reason that's such a big deal isn't over anything Obama has actually done but the Right Wing echo chamber ILLUSION of who he is and what he's done. And a lot of people can't be swayed from that Kenyan-born Muslim Socialist Boogeyman version of Obama because the Right has spent the last 4+ years creating that fantasy.

    They are voting AGAINST Barack Obama, but not as he really exists- a somewhat wonkish center-left politician- but the fantasy Fox News creation.

    And in order to vote for this slick simulation of an actual human being, nothing more than a cynical and soulless character actor, these people who claim to have gay friends are stabbing those friends right in the back. Because, and here we come full circle to the Supreme Court, Romney winning WOULD be disastrous to gay rights in the US not just for the next 4 years but possibly for the foreseeable future.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 27, 2012 2:37:50 AM

  6. He gets a "you go, boy!"

    Posted by: SayWHAT | Oct 27, 2012 6:53:04 AM

  7. I have strong opinions on political, social and religious issues. However, I would not shun or lose a friend or family member over them. I stay engaged and try to move them in my direction.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 27, 2012 7:56:19 AM

  8. Max, you are one of the most wonderful human beings God ever put on this earth, I applaud you.

    Posted by: mike ramon | Oct 27, 2012 11:33:00 AM

  9. Have you ever heard the quote, "You have to admit one thing about Mussolini: he made the trains run on time"? It's a famous jibe against the dictator, that sure he oppressed people and destroyed their lives, but hey, didn't the trains run great?

    The same thing could apply to voting during the 1960s Southern desegregation fight if you claimed "I have black friends" but you're voting for Gov George Wallace because you like his policy on property taxes or whatever. If someone was willing to overlook his virulent racism and vote for him for some other reason they were complicit in his racist policies.

    Perhaps it's time for gay people to take the votes of so-called "friends" for homophobic politicians personally because it IS personal. "Gosh, I'm really sorry that your future rights are being curtailed and the rights you have now will be lessened and stripped, but I stand to get a tax cut if I vote for Romney!"

    Truly, with friends like those who needs enemies? And you should ask yourself whether you really hoping to change their mind (are you really even attempting to do that?) or if you're just being a huge p*ssy, unwilling to stand up for yourself and your rights.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 27, 2012 11:43:20 AM

  10. Tom, that gave me a boner ;-)

    And Caliban, you're spot-on.

    I've been witnessing some really heated and NEEDED discussions on these votes via facebook and through conversations with friends.

    A parent telling their gay kid "we do support you, we just feel that Obama wants Iran to have nuclear weapons because he hates America, don't you understand,son?" - and my friends saying, basically, "you've embarrassed and dismissed me for the last time."

    it is personal. when they vote GOP they're not supporting you at all. they're supporting discrimination and bigotry against you.

    this isn't about not talkin gabout politics until the election and then just "dropping all those who disagree with you" - this is about an ongoing dialogue - do you have that "Friend" or "family member" who even years on now refuses to understand how a vote against your equality is indeed a vote against you?

    have they felt this way "for years"? Have you given them love and friendship and they still cavalierly vote for the party that seeks to demean you?

    Then try something new. Clearly your love and friendship and openness havent' worked at ALL so far. so try a new tactic.

    it's personal to us, make it personal to them. how insulting it is to you as a human being that despite knowing you, loving you, in so many cases having given BIRTH to you they sit back and casually cast a vote to keep you a persecuted and discriminated against individual. that any of you would sit and take it as a mere "difference of opinion" shows why our community remains discriminated against - what you permit you promote, and when you sit and take it you make yourself a doormat.

    some of you need to challenge the friendship and love of these people you claim are your friends or family. why does love and friendship revolve around the targeted-minority being a wimp and accepting bigotry? GROW A SPINE and turn the tables - it's about THEM realizing what they're doing to YOU - and anyone who can't have those conversations is revealing a fear that if they dont' concede their dignity as a gay man, they'll get dropped and ignored. be a real adult and challenge them.

    for inspiration, some words from our beloved Harvey Fierstein:

    "There's one more thing you better understand. I have taught myself to sew, cook, fix plumbing, build furniture - I can even pat myself on the back when necessary - all so I don't have to ask anyone for anything. There's nothing I need from anyone except for love and respect and anyone who can't give me those two things has no place in my life."

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 27, 2012 12:04:33 PM

  11. I have strong opinions on political, religious and social issues. However, I would never shun or lose a friend or family member over them. I stay engaged and try to bring them over to my view. I am often not always able to do so.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 27, 2012 1:32:04 PM

  12. you miss the point, andrew.

    it's not about you losing them, it's about them losing you.

    it's very clear that a lot of gay people on here don't trust the "love" of family and friends. why else would you continue to let their condoning of bigotry go unchecked?

    it's not about you losing them because of a vote, it's about them losing out on having YOU in their life, due to their condoning of bigotry.

    you're not the bigger man for keeping those people in your lives. you're the enabler that allows their willful ignorance to continue.

    if they thought they'd lose YOU by voting against you they'd have more incentive to change.

    i say this as someone who's seen it in action.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 27, 2012 1:43:43 PM

  13. Here's a question, Andrew, for you and others who say basically the same thing you do. And it's an honest question, not rhetorical or an accusation disguised as a question.

    Do you REALLY "try to bring them over to my view" or do you keep silent, hoping that eventually they will realize how their vote for homophobes disrespects you by minimizing the importance of your rights? Do you actually discuss these issues with these so-called friends or do you just suffer their opinions in silence?

    It's an important distinction.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 27, 2012 2:22:53 PM

  14. one of the reason some of us are indeed touting the "make it bloody clear you don't tolerate their condoning of intolerance and prejudice" approach is because we know it brings about results.

    we have others saying "i try to blah blah blah" and yet it doesnt' seem to be working.

    so try another approach, folks.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 27, 2012 2:38:34 PM

  15. @Caliban: I rarely keep quiet about anything. I don't require that in order to be my friend or family member that you hold the same opinions as I do, even on important issues, and they don't require it of me. A lot of the demagogues and extremists, like Kiwi, who post on this site try to beat everyone into accepting their point of view. They like Benedict XVI, think they are infallible. They are the stuff dictators are made out of. Accept everything that they believe or they will screw you any way they can. That's not the way I roll.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 27, 2012 3:28:30 PM

  16. And amazingly, Andrew, your friends and family don't need to respect you as a human being in order to maintain your friendship.

    when you act like a doormat expect to be treated like one.

    what point of view am i beating people to accept? that everyone deserves Equality? oh, how TERRIBLE of me.

    if your family prefers anti-gay prejudice over loving you then it speaks volumes about their character.

    and you'll be happy to know that other people with spines and integrity are standing up to have those tense conversations that you yourself are too afraid to have

    I get it. If you challenge your family's prejudice you're afraid they'll disown YOU. Thing is, they'll never change because they know you're too scared to call their bluff.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 27, 2012 3:35:38 PM

  17. Kiwi you think that you are the font of all truth and that every other poster on this site's duty is to say Amen to your hysterical rants. I value nothing that you have to say. You think that you know it all and completely understand human behavior. You actually know very little. Your rants don't impress me one bit!

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 27, 2012 3:43:27 PM

  18. No, I don't. I don't think i know everything. Not by a long shot. But I do know a coward's excuses when I hear them.

    Take this anger you have at me and throw it back at your family and "friends" who think so little of you that they're voting to deny your equality and personhood.

    Or is that reality too much to bear?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 27, 2012 3:48:41 PM

  19. btw "the stuff dictators are made of"? Again, that'd be your friends and family voting to deny you Equality.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 27, 2012 3:55:12 PM

  20. Kiwi: I have no anger towards you. I have seen you use all this psycho-babble of yours on lots of other posters on this site who don't agree with you. You pretend to know them, their friends and their families and you don't know squat. It just drives you nuts that not everyone, even life long out and proud liberal democrats, like me, don't buy all your B.S.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 27, 2012 4:12:28 PM

  21. what B.S.? I'm not the one making excuses for voting against your Equality. That's your family and friends.

    What B.S. of mine, specifically? It's your family and friends casting votes against your equality. It's not me, nor my friends, nor my family.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 27, 2012 4:27:22 PM

  22. I never said anything about how my friends and family are voting in this next election. Thats just another baseless assumption that you have made. I simply said that we may disagree on some political, religious and social issues. Unlike you I don't expect them to walk in lock step with me. You are just like the fundamentalists types who shun their children who don't believe their religious B.S. I would never shun or avoid a friend or family member who didn't hold all of my social and political views. You authoritarian types can't stand differences of beliefs and opinions.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 27, 2012 4:51:31 PM

  23. such a sob story. lift your chin up and go about your business..marriage is just a piece of paper for tax credits.

    Posted by: stan | Oct 27, 2012 5:32:36 PM

  24. my buddy's mother-in-law makes $71 hourly on the laptop. She has been out of work for ten months but last month her paycheck was $21846 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here's the site to read more http://www.Mid12.com

    Posted by: giga | Oct 27, 2012 7:30:05 PM

  25. Thanks!

    Posted by: Arthur in the Garden | Oct 27, 2012 9:28:18 PM

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