Romney Stickers Break My Heart

I can’t tell you a lot about politics.  But, I can tell you how it feels when I’m driving around in my conservative neighborhood and I see a car with a Mitt Romney bumper sticker on it.

It hurts my feelings.

I know it shouldn’t. I know it’s just a sticker.  I know everybody has the right to a political opinion.  But, Romney campaign stickers break my heart.

I see a sticker. I try to ignore it. I look away.  I look back. It’s still there. Then, I do what I can to get a good look at the driver and when I do my heart aches because I know that they hate my brother who is gay and my son, who statistically speaking is most likely pre-homosexual.

I could be wrong about the owner of that sticker. I know that. But, it’s super-hard for me to believe that I am.  To me, you can’t support Romney and support the LGBTQ community.  You can’t like Romney and like my brother.  You can’t see a great future with Romney and see a great future for my son.  You just can’t.

On Facebook this week, one of my friends updated his status with the words of Pulitzer-winning playwright Dough Wright:

“I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, ‘My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.’”

It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues.”

I feel like when people support Romney they are saying the same thing about my brother and son.  And, that hurts like hell.

This election, I may be voting based on a single issue, but, to me, that single issue trumps all others.  I’m obsessed with the issue. I’m obsessed with my brother and my son having equal rights and not being treated like second-class citizens.  If we can’t, as a country, successfully treat fellow citizens how we want to be treated, how we can successfully do anything?

Another friend and I were going back and forth via text about the election. He wrote: “It’s very controversial and it seems anyone who has concerns in this election other than civil rights are looked at as gay-hating scum.”

Other than civil rights?  Other than civil rights.  Other than civil rights!

It’s hard for me to comprehend how someone could vote while ignoring the issue of civil rights. My brother and son have made civil rights the most important thing to the political me. I thank them for that, because, in my mind, that’s how it should be.

When I see a person with Romney sticker on their car do I think that they are “gay-hating scum?”  Gay-hating, pretty much.  Scum, no. I see that sticker as the polar opposite of the Human Rights Campaign sticker.  I know I shouldn’t. But, I do.


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  • jeff4justice

    Civil rights like a trial? NDAA Obama is not such a fan. And I guess the Colorado teen killed in one of Obama’s drone strikes was not gay enough to be worthy of empathy.

    To me, you can’t support Obama and support drone war, bomb war, and drug war victims. But unless they’re gay, who cares?

  • 2eo

    There is no leeway, you either support it or you don’t. The issue is of paramount importance as is it at the very core of the ideals of America.

    To vote against civil rights [or be complicit by ignorance, which is no excuse] is to vote against America and everything its good people say it is.

    Everyone is supposed to get a shot in America, to make themselves and live the dream, with liberty and justice for all. Romney and his cadre of religious nutters want to take that away from everyone but corporations and the church.

    It is that simple.

  • isaac420

    I agree with Jeff that Obama has done some pretty shady shit on the whole killing of citizens without trial. However, the expanding power that the executive branch has been taking since Reagan (illegal invasion of Grenada, Iran Contra scandal-actually treason) can only be curtailed by an active congress. No president, no matter what the party, will ever try to limit their own power. We do know that Romney is anti-gay and a member of the billionaire class that will do and say anything to get elected. That is enough for me to vote for Obama. Also, Obama is the first sitting president in history to expand the rights of gay people while Romney is assuredly to roll them back.

  • yaoming

    People are voting for Willard because they hate Obama. They might hate [email protected], too, but that’s secondary.

  • scoobner1

    The Americans that are VERY insecure will vote Romney because they’re fearful of the unfamiliar, which, for them, is quite a lot. We’ll always be burdened with their baggage moving into new business – sustainable and equitable energy, economic, foreign, and social policy.

    @jeff4justice: I would contend that being the leader of one of the most sophisticated and watched democracies on the planet is messy and difficult. Sure, ‘we could all just get along’ except for the large numbers of folks outside (and sometimes inside) America who, not much unlike our own religious fundamentalists, spend a lot of time devising ways to remove our heads just because we’re infidels, or do not deserve their definition of happiness.

    It’s very unfortunate that we have a standing military. But a lot has changed since 1956. Yes, let’s continue to make as many friends and be as flexible as possible, but not to our own detriment.

  • Cam

    Romney has said he would not have signed the DADT repeal. He went before Congress to ask for an anti-gay amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He fired a staffer because he was gay. Apparently the ability to work is something gays should not have. He has stated that gay couples do not have the right to visit each other in hospitals. So if you are in a couple and Romney wins, have fun watching your partners anti-gay 3rd cousin make medical decisions for them.

    You can discuss all the other things, but I’m sorry, that is as relevent to gay civil rights as the B.S. issue of “Pinkwashing” that anti-gay activists were trying to put forward to excuse certain middle east countries anti-gay laws when compared to Isreal.

    Romney has said we should double the military budget and has even made noises about going in to Iran. So if you don’t like OBama’s behavior with regard to the military when he is ending our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan you can’t defend supporting Romney who would have had us go into Iran and Syria.

  • Dumdum

    Wow, voting is like a bad bl*w job. We waited in line for over an hour. I was all excited with butterflies in my stomach. I spent less than a minute marking my ballot. After the Bush Gore debacle I fully expect things to go south. Check this out guys. I live in a red state. My lover and partner voted for Obama 4 years ago. I was out of the country at that time. I had to register in this state to vote and did so a few months ago. His name was NOT on the list. They allowed him to vote of course but only after forcing him to re-register and requiring him to fill out paperwork that he had already done in the recent past. Anyway, I have an LGBT rainbow sticker for Obama 2012. I cannot display it as my home or car would be vandalized. If you would like to have it, Cam or BJ. Kiwi or whom ever. Let me know. Dumdum the dinosaur. [email protected] love you guys. :-)

  • jwrappaport

    Great piece. Great quote by Wright – couldn’t have said it better. The equities are fairly straightforward in this election: I would challenge anyone to argue that the direct benefits of a republican victory are weightier than the almost certain detriments that gays and lesbians will suffer under a Romney administration.

  • Dumdum

    Hey BJ I really think that you or avenger should have at least one of my two stickers. lol only one has the rainbow. avenger should get the one that is dull orange, like Trump.

  • brent

    Wow, is this writer filled with paranoia and tunnel vision at it’s worst. If i have a Romney sticker i hate gays, but if i have an Obama sticker i love gays. Wrong, most black and hispanic people do not support gay marriage but they would be the ones with Obama stickers. So having an Obama sticker does not mean you support gay marriage, nor does a Romeny one mean you don’t. As for the Goerge Wallace comment, it would come as a surprise to most blacks that the writer is comparing them to George Wallace.Does voting only for civil rights mean that liberals would not have voted for Franklin Roosevelt because his party was the party of Jim Crow?

  • brent

    @isaac420: Obama expanded rights of gays by getting rid of do’t as don’t tell. But it was the Log Cabin’s that faught the issue in court, whiel Obama was on the other side. Only when the log cabin’s won their case in court, did Obama support repealing DADT.

  • brent

    @jwrappaport: Yes Wright couldn’t have said it better, he has compared black people to George Wallace. Right on!

  • GreatGatsby2011

    @brent: Where exactly does Wright compare black people to George Wallace in this article?

  • brent

    @GreatGatsby2011: He is saying that to vote for Romney is like voting for George Wallace. He is making the comparison of Wallace to Romney because Romney is opposed to gay marriage. Is that not right? Then what would you say about black’s who vote for Obama, but then vote against gay marriage, like they did in california in 2008? Logic would tell you that if you compare white people like Romney to Wallace, because they don’t support gay marriage, then wouldn’t you do the same to blacks who oppose gay marriage.

  • GreatGatsby2011

    @brent: So then you’re saying he didn’t compare them to George Wallace, you did.

  • Dumdum

    @2eo: Look bro. You live in the U.K. I have been there, personally. I have eaten your food!!! Some of which I still dream about today. So rich, so amazing. But blood sausage? Kidney Pie??? I had to eat nothing but vegetables for a year to feel clean again. I touched stone walls and buildings that made my American Heritage of people fleeing NOT RELIGIOUS persecution. BUT ECONOMIC persecution. THE IRISH WERE SLAVES LONG BEFORE THE BLACKS. THE way that these amazing people came to the new world is too horrific to imagine. We are ALL better for it. WHITE people used others to survive. THEY used their bible and their GUNS to survive. THEY offered the hand of love and friendship in the name of Christ. THEN CUT IT OFF!!! WHEN THEY GOT WHAT THEY WANTED. THEN YOU TIRED LITTLE SHITS TRY TO CRITICIZE A LITERARY FIGURE!!!!!!!!!! NOT YOU 2eo. I am so glad that you turds are anonymous. WHERE IS YOUR EFFING PULITZER ????? YOU BUTT HEADS !!!

  • Dumdum

    @brent: OK what gets me is that black folk for the most part are homophobic. I am color blind. I want to love everyone. Until they kick my ass or spew hate. Hey I am a human animal trying to evolve. Fight or flight bit**es. Take your pick, I can do both.

  • brent

    @GreatGatsby2011: Yes, i was using Wright’s sense of logic when i did it.

  • 2eo

    @Dumdum: A lifetime on the Internet has done me wrong. I tried to make a paragraph out of your capital words and came up incredibly confused.

    Also I can’t stand the taste of kidney, or eels but I won’t have anything bad said against blood sausage.

    I have no idea what you are talking about, but I can feel the passion.

  • BeauBoi

    20 years ago these bumper stickers and the messages that they imply would have affected me much the way they effect the author of this article: they would have hurt my feelings. Today I am much tougher. The world has hardened me in a way that only people in the LBGT community can understand. Today they make me angry because they are an insult to our human dignity. Further, I feel genuine sorrow for anyone who votes for Romney. Why? Because they must have such deep hatred in their hearts that I can’t imagine that they will ever be able to know love for their fellow man.

  • brent

    @BeauBoi: and Obama supporters only have love in their hearts. You can’t be serious.

  • ChiChi Man

    @Dumdum: “black folk for the most part are homophobic” — WRONG. It IS true that there is less support for the LGBT community among minorities, but it is patently false to characterize an entire race as homophobic. As a general comment not directed at you, it amazes me is how much racism and ignorance exists in the gay community (and on this board) and how easy it is for gays to demonize another minority group while crying that they’re demonized. Sound familiar?

    Why all the hate? Minorities didn’t pump money into California to pass Prop 8. Minorities aren’t the architects of the laws that have persecuted and continue to persecute the LGBT community.

    How has the gay community reached out to minority communities? I live in California and little or no work was done to educate, to reach out, to form a coalition with minority groups during the Prop 8 campaigns. If you ignore groups of people who have been ignored by everyone for years, then surprise – they won’t support you.

    It is extremely easy to demonize and make generalizations, but it is far more effective to build paths for understanding. President Obama’s marriage equality support has had a direct effect on support of marriage equality in minority communities, particularly among men of color. We have an opening and we should use it, instead of pointing fingers in the wrong direction.

  • brent

    @ChiChi Man: You make exuses for minorities that you would never do for whites. Would you say the reason republicans oppose gay marriage is because the gay community didn’t reach out enough to them?

  • Dumdum

    @2eo: Neither do I. It has been at least 15 years since I was in the U.K. and it was only two days. So I am hardly a judge of any thing. I was tracing my Irish antecedents so hey what do I [email protected]ChiChi Man: I lived in Richmond California when I was 10 years old. I was the minority there. Got picked on and beat up often. Was attacked in San Francisco and mugged several times near my apartment on Grove and Fillmore Street by you guessed it African Americans and called a fa**ot every time. I was bullied and called a f*g and a pantie waist and sissy boy when I was 10 at Alvarado Elementary in Richmond CA. Northern blacks are less friendly than southern blacks. I never got beat up or bullied in New Orleans. Just saying. I want to like everyone, but stereotypes exist for a reason. Proof is all around us.

  • Yang Tai

    look..i know “communist” is a word that is used to incite..but the reality is Obama believes in economic central planning..the ACA makes healthcare even more government controlled then it was before..Obama *is* big government..that is a fact..he believes government is the source of all prosperity..Obama has been a government employee most of his life so it’s not surprising he has this big government view

  • jeff4justice

    @isaac420: That’s all the more reason why I would never vote for Obama. The 2-party system is corrupted to the core.

  • MV MOM

    Dear CJ’s Mom (and Others Who Hate ME for My Bumper Sticker),

    In February it will be two years since I stumbled upon your wonderful blog. I get excited each time a notification email arrives and I take the time, usually late at night when it’s quiet, to read the latest entry of your family’s journey. Visiting with your family if only via your heartfelt and touching writings is always a roller coaster of emotion. Typically I laugh and most every visit I cry as well, free flowing tears of compassion, solidarity, understanding, and often of anger at the ignorant and cruel people who would seek to injure CJ or deny him the wonderful life that is before him.

    I have shown your blog to my children and told them of your boys, both of them, and of you and your monumental love and fierce support of their right to live and be who they are. My own daughter is a free spirit who as a child loved to create, dress up, sing, dance and act. Before age 15 she’d had blonde hair, red hair (dyed and cut for her role as Ariel in a dance production), multicolored hair, and black hair. What costume we could not find to buy she would make, often redesigning clothing we found at thrift stores. She was always the protector of the oppressed at her school and anywhere else. I taught her to question authority, follow her heart, stand up for what is right and reject bigotry and discrimination in all forms. She is strong and kind. One day recently we watched Taylor Swift’s “Mean” video and I remember saying that the character of the young boy who was eventually a famous designer made me think of CJ and that he could be that man, especially with a family that champions his unique wonderfulness every waking moment!

    Although I am straight, I have gay and lesbian friends. Their friendships mean so much to me and are part of the good life I enjoy. Both of my children have gay friends, too. Happily, it is a least more accepted for many young people today to not have to hide in the closet like it was when I was a student. Of course the path is still long…

    My family lives in your community as well. We frequent Trader Joes, Target, etc., and figure that at some time we will see a little redheaded boy skipping along with his happy heart and sharp mind going 100 miles per hour and we will give him big, big smiles if he looks our way and he will know, if only on a sub-conscious level, that we are there for him, too. We will smile at you, too, for we recognize and respect your exemplary mothering and understand your absolute and infinite love for your child. If CJ’s brother is with you, we will smile at him so he might see the utmost admiration we have for a child so young to stand up for his brother’s and ultimately his own personal beliefs.

    But it breaks my heart to think that should you happen to see the MITT sticker on the back window of my car, you would judge me in exactly the manner that your writings profess to despise, applying an undeserved and baseless stereotype to me and likely by extension to my family. You say you can’t help it, and I can understand how and why that is. In your shoes I too would have many of the same feeling for the people, the actual people, who cause pain and difficulty for your children and your family. They deserve your wrath. We have never met but you have already summed up my beliefs, projected how I would behave, and thrown me to the wolves. I don’t deserve that.

    There are laws on the books for almost everything. Perhaps laws or even a Constitutional Amendment that would guaranty the rights you desire for your son and all people in the LGTB community would make you feel better. But laws won’t – and can’t – address the real issue: what people believe and how they act on those beliefs. For that we must dig down deeper. Minds need to change, hearts need to change and that is not likely to happen with threats and insults based on fear and stereotypes. Those behaviors simply widen the rift and polarize people even more.

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