When you are an openly LGBT person working for a well-known LGBT newspaper/website, you expect to get some hateful (sometimes threatening, sometimes just downright weird) letters/calls/emails on occasion. And since my first day on the job with Dallas Voice — which, by the way, was Monday, June 6, 1988 — I have gotten my fair share of all those things.
For instance, five days short of my one-year anniversary with Dallas Voice, a red-haired man walked into our office and confessed that he was the one who had deliberately set the February fire that had destroyed the Cedar Springs Road offices of the Dallas Gay Alliance and the AIDS Resource Center, and had damaged several other businesses there, including the Round-Up Saloon. That kind of thing doesn’t happen very often.
A few years ago, when our offices were still on Travis Street, a handsome, well-groomed and neatly-dressed young man walked into my office and proceeded to tell me about the police officers and secret agents who were harassing him by following him and shooting x-rays through the walls of his apartment to read his mind and fry his brain. When he started making threats against then-President George W. Bush, I knew I was going to have to contact authorities, including the Secret Service. I mean, I didn’t really think this guy was going to try to assassinate the president or that he had any true information about somebody else trying to assassinate the president. But I wasn’t willing to take that chance.
We used to get all kinds of weird and/or threatening letters, back in the day when people mailed things instead of emailing them. And since the dawn of the age of email and the internet, we get all kinds of weird and/or threatening and/or hateful emails in our inboxes and comments on our website. But honestly, it’s really not as bad as it used to be. It seemed the bigots and the crazies had retreated into their holes, unable to stand in the dawning light of a new age of equality.
And then came Trump. And the bigots and the crazies decided his election meant they had won, and that they once again have free reign to harass, insult, threaten and even harm those of us outside the parameters of their brand of normal.
I said all that as prelude to sharing a couple of emails I got this week, and my responses to them. Yes, I know that I probably should have ignored the troll and trashed the email. But I am genetically pre-dispositioned to smart-ass, and sometimes I can’t help myself. So here you go; here are the transcripts of my recent email communications with “Danny,” presented as evidence that we are living in a time of renewed hatred and bigotry:
(First email sent to Dallas Voice, via our website:)
Please clear this up: I am hearing LGBT stands for: Liberty, Guns, Beer, Trump
Is that true?
(My first reply:)
Yes, indeed, LGBT stands for Liberty, Guns, Beer, Trump. If that’s how you want to use the acronym.
It might also stand for Let Go Bitch, There! Or any number of other phrases.
Here at Dallas Voice, though, it also stands for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender.
Thanks for writing.
Tammye Nash, Managing Editor
(His reply to my email:)
Actually, alot of us are sick and tired of your LGBT craming that lifestyle down our throats as being normal, and frankly sir, we are not going to allow it in the future. We will stand up against it
(And my answer to him:)
Haha, I’m not a sir.
Just so you know, a person’s sexual orientation is not their lifestyle. My “lifestyle” involves working a full-time job and a couple of freelance jobs to pay the bills for me and my family. I drive a small car, that I bought used, because it was cheap and it gets good gas mileage. I stay home most nights and watch TV with my family. I don’t smoke; I rarely drink. Maybe one weekend a month my partner and I go out with friends (most of whom are heterosexual). That’s my lifestyle. I don’t see anything “abnormal” or “exotic” about it. And I am not cramming that lifestyle down yours or anyone else’s throat. I am minding my own business and living my own life.
Frankly, Mr. XXX, what you think you get to allow or not allow makes no difference to me. You don’t get to tell me what I can or cannot do. You don’t get to decide what is and is not normal for anyone other than yourself. If you don’t like LGBT people, don’t be around them. And don’t write them stupid, threatening emails. Trust me, I don’t imagine there are any LGBT people who want to spend any time in your company, either.
A lot of us are tired of your bigotry and hatefulness. Grow up.