IN QUOTES

Broadway Star Max Von Essen Wants To Un-Friend Folks Who “Like” Romney

I know there are important issues involved in this campaign. I know that people are suffering and that 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 less-than, so tired of knowing I have friends on Facebook 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 and 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 potential president who believes that he or 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 as 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-percent equal.

—Broadway star Max von Essen (Evita), addressing Facebook friends who are voting for Mitt Romney, in an essay on Huffington Post.