I was disgusted by gays…I hated gays. The disgust and latent hostility I felt toward gays were subcategories of hatred, plain and simple. While hate is a four-letter word I never would have admitted to, the sentiment clandestinely pervaded my every interaction with homosexuals…It takes too much energy to hate. Daniel Bao showed me that. He was our gay counselor at The Bridge when I was a freshman. A beautiful man whose eloquent and poignant truths began to move me past tolerance. I still remember our first real conversation about homosexuality. I had no intention of listening to him; I only sought to argue and debate. Daniel, however, quickly disarmed me with his personal testimony.
…He told me of people who religiously prayed to God to help them become straight. He told me of the years of denial and the pain of always feeling different. And he told me of the violence – violence from strangers and family, horrible images of beatings, destruction of property and the daily verbal condemnations. It was chilling to find that so much of the testimony he shared with me was almost identical to stories my grandparents told me about growing up Black. People found it revolting to share a meal with them and often felt it to be their duty to beat them so that they would learn proper living. Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that the root of my hatred did not lie with gays but with myself. It was my problem. A problem I dealt with by ceasing to tolerate gays and instead seeking to embrace them.”
— From Newark Mayor/future Senate candidate/prospective President Cory Booker‘s 1992 editorial, “Pointing the Finger at Gays” in The Stanford Daily, reprinted yesterday.
To put things in perspective, the next year DADT would be signed into law by President Clinton, followed by DOMA.
Suffice to say the man was well ahead of his time… by well over a decade before the rest of the Democratic party caught on.
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