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President Of Young Democrats Of America Comes Out

500983_1Growing up in a conservative Christian family in rural West Virginia, my own journey to a place of self-acceptance has been a long and difficult one. Over the past two years I’ve finally found the courage to look in the mirror and insist upon honesty and authenticity, overcoming so many negative messages I had internalized as a child and young adult. Now in my early 30s, I’ve reached a place where I believe my story can help increase understanding, provide encouragement and be a catalyst for change.

While society is evolving at a breathtaking pace, there are still many places where I could be fired from a job or evicted from an apartment simply because of the person I love, like my home state of West Virginia. I can’t sit by quietly and leave this fight for equality to others. This is my fight.

There are also young LGBT men and women across the country who aspire to careers in public service and need to know that they can achieve success in the political arena. I want to be an example of a leader who succeeds because of my honesty, not in spite of it.

And lastly, it’s important to note that I didn’t shed my faith when I embraced my sexuality. There is a significant conversation occurring within the church right now about the place of LGBT people in faith communities. While there should always be room for theological disagreements, this debate is too often grounded in deep misunderstanding, only perpetuated by a culture of shame and silence. We need more voices who can authentically bridge that divide.

I look forward to the day when emails, blog posts and public pronouncements like this one are no longer necessary. I am increasingly optimistic that future generations will not have to endure the internal conflict that I experienced in total isolation for so many years. But we are not there yet.”

 

— Rod Snyder, President of the Young Democrats of America, in an essay titled “Some Unfinished Business: My Coming-Out Message to the Young Democrats of America” published on Huffington Post

By:           Jeremy Kinser
On:           Aug 9, 2013
Tagged: ,
  • 35 Comments
    • Ron Jackson
      Ron Jackson

      Good for you Rod! Now just chuck that christian fairy tale BS in the trash can and you might be ok.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 7:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      Part of the way, get rid of the god part and there is genuine progress.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 8:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Badger88
      Badger88

      @2eo: @Ron Jackson: Huh, I could’ve sworn that the gay community valued people embracing who they are, instead of changing themselves to conform to what others want. Apparently that love of diversity doesn’t extend to personal beliefs…

      Aug 9, 2013 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      @Badger88: Amen!

      Aug 9, 2013 at 9:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      There is no real progress while people pretend that they will come around. The religious are the bane of our existence, they mercilessly attack and murder us in every country on the planet.

      Also I fail to see even the remotest comparison of “tolerance” religion is chosen, being gay isn’t.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit
      hf2hvit

      @Badger88: Not to personal beliefs that cause nothing but MAYHEM in the lives of others…sorry that sentence was probably above your level of so-called intelligence.

      Go back to FUX News.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 10:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Badger88
      Badger88

      @2eo: So you have no problem with people who criticize effeminate gays for not being masculine enough? Sexual orientation is something we’re born with, but we can certainly change behavior and lifestyle. Like religion, it’s something that’s chosen, so does it need not be tolerated?

      Aug 9, 2013 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Badger88
      Badger88

      @hf2hvit: Yes, because clearly if I’m speaking up for religious gays, I must be an idiotic conservative. In fact, I’m both a liberal and a law student. But thank you for judging and stereotyping me without knowing anything about me.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Badger88: The hell are you on about, you dribbling cretin. They aren’t even remotely comparable.

      But I don’t expect you to understand.

      Also HF2 has a point, you can’t post this ultra conservative apologist drivel and expect to get away with calling yourself liberal.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 10:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Badger88
      Badger88

      @2eo: Well, I truly am a liberal, but I guess you know better than me. Although if you think what I posted was “ultra conservative,” you clearly haven’t been paying attention to what actual conservatives have been saying about us.

      Seeing how bitter, rude, and divisive some atheists are on Queerty, they aren’t exactly showing how Rod Snyder would be a better person if he dropped his religion.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 10:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      In comparison a leader of the Young Republicans was outed by a rival and left politics altogether.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Badger88: There we are, just let the illusion of liberalism you have go and embrace what you actually think, that we have to tolerate their barbaric behaviour and psychotic violence because we are bad for being oppressed and we probably deserved it.

      Etcetera, whatever helps you sleep.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Hi Badger…… Just so I understand what you are saying. Gays are bad for being Rude, but right wing folks are not bad for trying to attack us, pass laws against us and make our lives illegal.

      That sounds a lot like the old Southern Rac-ism where, they would discriminate with a smile and it was those nasty blacks who were the trouble makers for not liking how courteous the rac-ists were when they discriminated against them.

      P.S. Queerty, unless you have a really good explanation for why you screen out the word “Rac-ist please remove it from your filter. It is ridiculous.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Badger88
      Badger88

      @Cam: When did ever I imply that gays are rude? I said some atheists are rude, which has nothing to do with their sexual orientation.

      And where did I ever defend any right wing people or their bigoted laws on here? I utterly detest what the Republican Party and homophobic religious people have done to us.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • follow_the_leadr
      follow_the_leadr

      Lots of vitriol and hate for religion here- either trolls or stupid. As an atheist I personally respect others’ rights to their beliefs. The time of religion is coming to an end, and it is the religious themselves who are falling out of their own religion, so let it happen as it does. I think a lot of the hate stems from the fact that much abuse has been had at the hands of the religious- however, the reaction here is a gross over-reaction. Most (American) Christians do not hold a sheer hatred of gay people in their hearts.

      That said, it’s great that this man was able to come out despite his conservative upbringing and the religious convictions of his family and neighbors. May he live a long, prosperous, healthy life.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @follow_the_leadr:

      Please point out the gross overreactions here as well as the vitriol and hate.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jer1440
      jer1440

      He’s been out for a long time, so I’m a little confused as to how this was news. I was pretty active in the organization up until a few years before he was elected president (exec committee level stuff, but not in the actual running of the organization in DC). I never met him personally, but I was always aware that he was gay from talking with people and nobody ever suggested he was not 100% out. I remember reading a few articles listing him as an out delegate to the DNC convention a few years back also. In the last 15 years, YDA has become one of the friendliest places in the Democratic party for LGBT people and that is saying a lot. Being out in the organization has generally been considered a plus, politically, for the last decade. YDA outright endorsed gay marriage in 2003 immediately after the Massachusetts ruling. In fact, the President and Executive VP before him were both gay and out, so this isn’t really news. Maybe he just wasn’t out to his church.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @follow_the_leadr: Also can you point out why you and Badger share the same IP address?

      Aug 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @2eo:

      Aaaaannnnnddddd……Boom goes the dynamite. ;)

      Aug 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Badger88
      Badger88

      @2eo: Can you tell me where you see our IP addresses? Because we’re not the same person, so I’m confused of where you’re getting this from.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • follow_the_leadr
      follow_the_leadr

      @Badger88: That IP address thing: 2eo confirmed for troll. Tell me, 2eo, what’s my- erm, “our” IP address?

      @Cam:

      No. 2 · 2eo
      Part of the way, get rid of the god part and there is genuine progress.

      No. 1 · Ron Jackson
      Good for you Rod! Now just chuck that christian fairy tale BS in the trash can and you might be ok.

      I don’t like religion that much either, but I respect the right of the religious to practice their religion as long as they are not forcing it down someone’s throat or being offensive to other people. This young man is doing neither from what I can tell.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @follow_the_leadr:

      You claim that that was hate and overreactions? Interesting, so their disagreement with religion, their correctly pointing out that the majority of attacks against gay rights were fueled by relgions etc… are hate and overreactions.

      Interesting, no swearing, no direct attacks, but you class that as hate and overreactions. Sounds like the typical defender of the right wing trying to present the gays as bullies and the bigoted as the poor victims.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james_in_cambridge
      james_in_cambridge

      He does realize he’s a Democrat, right? Who cares?

      Aug 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      The Book of Mormon says that God thinks blacks are inferior to whites. The reason the LDS Church stopped discriminating against blacks was that President Carter told them that if they didn’t stop discriminating, they were going to lose their tax exempt status. Lies and hate in the name of God are still lies and hate.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • that_dude247
      that_dude247

      @james_in_cambridge: Lol. I thought the same thing.

      Aug 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Scott Rose:

      Actually the big motivation was that schools were threatening to boycott playing against BYU, it was all about the PR.

      Aug 10, 2013 at 8:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      You guys are way over-complicating it. He is a novice politician, which in most of the US (and most countries) still necessitates making a nod to “faith” and all that hoo-hah. He’s no doubt trying to imagine how Democratic candidates could start winning again in his native state, for instance, which is one of the most backward.

      It would be instructive and fun to see some of the raging Queerty atheists run for public office in West Virginia. That would be interesting. For better or worse, the US doesn’t have the British system where party headquarters sends a novice politician out to the sticks in East Slopshire where he’s never even been before and hope he’ll win an election. (Actually that sounds like kind of a cool system; maybe we should try it?)

      @james_in_cambridge: Much as love Cambridge (& I used to live there), keep in mind that he isn’t running for Cambridge City Council!

      Aug 10, 2013 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • susansylvester
      susansylvester

      just as Rebecca responded I’m surprised that any body can earn $8431 in four weeks on the computer. did you see this website >>> http://www.work35.com.

      Aug 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @the other Greg:

      It’s funny when right wing defenders start screaming about “Atheists”.

      Remind me how many gay kids have been beaten in the name in Atheism and how many have been assaulted in the name of Religion.

      Aug 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Cam: Oh come on, Cam, I’ve been posting here for four years and you know I’m not a “right wing defender.” And I wasn’t “screaming.”

      I’ve been f@g-bashed several times and I always doubted that any of those teenage boys and young men had been to church recently, if ever! Would you contend that absolutely NO gay kids were beaten in the Soviet Union 1918-1990 when every kid learned atheism in school?

      When religion has faded away into mythology, in a couple of centuries (my guess), there will probably still be gay kids getting beaten. Bashing has many factors; religion is one but hardly the only one.

      Religion is dangerous but you make more headway against it by being funny, like Bill Maher does. I think Stephen Hawking gets this too.

      My main point in #27 was that any politician has to say a lot of nicey-nicey bullsh*t that he may not really believe. To me, this kid’s “faith” stuff seemed that way, a rote statement.

      Aug 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Badger88
      Badger88

      @the other Greg: I think you’re the one over-thinking this. I highly doubt that politics was his motivation for discussing his faith. It’s true that not being a Christian can hurt a candidate in West Virginia. However, any voter who refuses to vote for a non-Christian is also never going to vote for an openly gay man like Rod Snyder, regardless of his faith. So if Snyder was that concerned about his image with voters, he wouldn’t have publicly revealed that he was gay to being with.

      Aug 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Badger88: Oh, I don’t assume he aspires to run for office himself. A “president of the Young Democrats” is more likely interested in a political career “behind the scenes.” So he’d be thinking, as I said, more in terms of how D candidates could get elected in places like WV.

      But maybe you’re right that politics wasn’t the motive for the “faith” statement. It occurs to me that maybe he had a totally different audience in mind: closet cases. Other posters have said the headline is misleading and he’s not really coming out NOW, he’s been out for several years. But he may have the background where he knows how to coax out a certain closeted, red-state type. Maybe nicey-nicey “faith” talk helps coax them out. “Part of the way,” as even 2eo says in #2.

      Aug 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Becky Sharp
      Becky Sharp

      Oh please. This queen’s got such a severe case of gayface people can tell he likes manmeat from space. Honey, you don’t need to “come out” when nobody ever thought you were in.

      Aug 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kangol
      Kangol

      Good for him!

      Aug 11, 2013 at 1:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      The real problem in the world of religion is that much of the warm and fuzzy attitudes that can be found in any faith are easily trampled on by all the mean spirited attitudes that too easily prevail.

      What a shame too.

      But there are many religious or spiritual folk who see the great meaning and value of things from their faith like —

      love
      joy
      peace
      forbearance
      kindness
      goodness
      faithfulness
      gentleness
      self-control
      don’t judge anyone
      forgive others
      accept one another
      stop passing judgment on one another
      accept one another
      be completely humble and gentle
      be patient
      bearing with one another in love
      live in harmony with one another
      be sympathetic
      love as brothers
      be compassionate and humble

      etc….etc…..

      And these great values are practiced towards many, especially LGBT’s.

      Look at our own president, and Cameron and so on….all over the world good things have happened to every LGBT person.

      Aug 11, 2013 at 11:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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