letter to Austin Rhodes

Austin,
 
I wanted to reply to your comments about the Gay Community not being in support of the Gay Pride celebration, and those leading the effort are not from the CSRA.  Isaac Kelly is the president of Augusta Pride and he has been in Augusta his whole life and so have most (if not all) member of the Augusta Pride Board.   Isaac just wants his home town to be a more open and accepting community for the gay community.  Isaac has said himself that he did not want to it be a political thing, but has made the motto “Community for all”
 
I am conservative and Christian.  I happen to be gay as well.  I am looking forward to Gay the Pride and hope to show Augusta that most of gay community in the CSRA are conservative and Christian here as well.  No, not all gay people are, but we are definitely not what we are accused of being in the rhetoric in the Augusta Chronicle.  To call me and my friends pedofiles and hedons? What is the basis for this? Do these people even know me?  Me and my partner both work in healthcare and our whole lives are devoted to helping people stay healthy and happy.  We are both Christians, but we are constantly faced with this bias and hateful words in this community.  So many of our gay friends who were born here are afraid.  I have friends who have been in monogomous, loving relationships for 5+ years, but are afraid to tell their own families or let others know out of fear of what might be said or done to them.  In Georgia (and I am pretty sure South Carolina too) you can be fired just for being gay. 
 
I give devote my life everyday to helping others out and being who I believe Christ wants me to be.  I believe God has put my partner in my life, and together we are better adept to live out our callings in life.  I know this is an uphill battle in Augusta, for people to see us for who we are.  We are God’s children too and all I want is to be able to proudly talk about my partner at work or in social conversation.  But so many in Augusta want me to feel ashamed, or further, seek to damn me because I am in a relationship with a man.  That is wrong and just not a Christian way of acting.
 
The Augusta Gay Pride event is for all of the CSRA, gay and straight.  I know this year will be tough because all anyone has to go by is their pre-conceived notions. But hopefully this is something that can be a source of pride for the whole CSRA community, just like the Greek festival or any other celebration.

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