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. Yes, anyone whom I know who votes for Romney is no friend of mine. If someone whom I have thought of as a friend votes For Romney, then he was friend by deception, and is no friend of mine.

    Posted by: darkmoonman | Oct 28, 2012 6:39:56 PM

  2. Why would I want to de-friend someone considering Mitt? I want them to see what a wonderful life I am living without the dictatorship. Remember, revenge is a dish best served cold. I'll gain my revenge by simply living my life to its fullest.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Oct 29, 2012 4:18:39 AM

  3. I agree with Fenrox. If you have friends just based on who they will vote for, then those are not friendships. Relationships take work, and we often love and live with and know people that we *mostly* like.

    Let's remember how things were under Clinton, and Bush, and even what Obama's stance was until this year. At some point, all those men thought I was less than and acted accordingly. Sorry if the truth hurts, but it's true. I still have trouble believing that Obama's position wasn't somewhat about political expediency. I'll vote for him, but not *just* because of this stance on gay equality.

    Think for a moment, before de-friending people who might be lifelong friends, about what you're expecting of them. They're straight. They don't know what it is to be gay. You can tell them, but they don't *know* and some part of them will never understand why it matters to have marriage rights and other rights. I know I have friends dealing with stuff I don't approve or don't understand. I try to understand, try to be empathetic, but I certainly don't let their plights change my vote. Did you know that Obama's Affordable Care Act privileges even more the institutional option for old age healthcare, making living independently or with family more difficult? I also have family that own small businesses, and can actually show me in dollars and cents how Romney would benefit them more and keep their family afloat. But...I shouldn't care about that.

    The thing I don't accept from friends is uninformed support. I could de-friend over that. But if they're aware of all the positions and how it will affect them and affect me and the country, and they make a choice with that awareness....then I respect that choice. I can't expect them to vote for me against their interest, because I'm not doing that for them and I never would.

    More importantly, if we stay friends, then I have a much better chance of them becoming vocal supporters of equality down the road. Nothing is more powerful than the voice of a changed mind. It's more powerful than my voice, and it means more than one vote in one election.

    Posted by: Stefan | Oct 29, 2012 10:05:07 AM

  4. Yes, very misleading headline. I didn't read this for days because I thought it was another self-hating gay man supporting Romney/Ryan.

    Lovely letter. I especially love his urging his friends to de-friend him if they don't agree.

    Posted by: Book7 | Oct 29, 2012 11:03:44 AM

  5. Yes, very misleading headline. I didn't read this for days because I thought it was another self-hating gay man supporting Romney/Ryan.

    Lovely letter. I especially love his urging his friends to de-friend him if they don't agree.

    Posted by: Book7 | Oct 29, 2012 11:03:46 AM


    Posted by: SHAMSHER | Oct 31, 2012 1:33:30 AM


    Posted by: SHAMSHER | Oct 31, 2012 1:34:33 AM


    Posted by: SHAMSHER | Oct 31, 2012 1:36:06 AM

  9. "MCHL,"



    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Nov 4, 2012 10:02:58 PM

  10. But I'm wondering how many people did remove themselves from his page.

    Great letter Max. Hope every one of your friends proved to be friends.

    Posted by: jleo71 | Nov 10, 2012 11:20:20 AM

  11. Bravo, Mr, von Essen. Bravo.

    Posted by: darkmoonman | Nov 11, 2012 11:45:07 PM

  12. Excellent piece. But - maybe that headline should read, "...email to friends who supported Romney/Ryan."

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Dec 13, 2014 12:34:46 PM

  13. Extremely well said.

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Dec 28, 2014 2:56:19 AM

  14. Exactly. These well chosen and posted words WILL change some people's minds. And to the people who CHOOSE to NOT support the GLTQQAA community : " goodbye and good riddance ".

    Posted by: Padraig | Dec 28, 2014 4:36:41 PM

  15. That was awesome. Thank you.

    Posted by: JS | Jan 13, 2015 11:21:11 AM

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