First of all, I love you. I am pretty sure that, even though we haven’t seen each other in a couple of years, you know that. For twenty-six years, you’ve been a presence in my life, sometimes in person, sometimes online, always a friend of my heart. I love those rare times I get to see you. You make me laugh. You remind me of crazy things we used to do. You remind me that someone always loves me, even when I think no one does, because I well remember the day when my world caved in and I literally believed you were my one and only friend. I doubt you realized that when it happened, but it did. And I’ve always been grateful to you for answering my call that day.
I remember lots of laughter. Long, rambling walks and talks together. The times in college when we held each other up when both of us were honestly falling apart.
I’ve been proud of you. Once traveled hours to watch you perform and do what you do best. Even online, you still make me smile. I love who you were in my past and who you are today.
There was a day when I found out something I honestly didn’t know about you. You’re gay. And, do you know what? Nothing about my feelings for you changed. I still love to see you. I still love to talk to you. I have defended you a few times. I have never, ever thought differently about you, have never, ever said or thought one disparaging thing about you. I have never looked at you differently.
I have never stopped loving who you are.
You know me well enough to know where I stand on some things. And I wonder if you know how badly you cut me this week. I am sure that, when you posted your thoughts on your Facebook page, you were not specifically thinking of me. But reading them felt like you punched your fist into my chest and ripped my heart into pieces. Because when you and your friends called people who didn’t agree with you names, you shouted them in my face.
And worst of all… Bigot.
You say I cannot believe like I do and still love you for who you are, because you are gay, and that is what makes you you. Well, you have always known that I am a Christian. And now you say you can’t love me for who I am, because what I believe makes me who I am.
And it hurts. I’ve cried. I’ve wanted to reach out to you, but you’ve made it clear you want nothing more to do with “people like” me.
And that makes me sadder than you will ever know.