I say “I love you” to a lot of people, and I say it often. That’s because I know what it’s like to not feel loved, and to wonder if anyone gives a crap. If you think being so free with those words dilutes their meaning, then you don’t understand me – or love – at all.
I live my life out in the open, sometimes maybe a little too open. That’s because I know what it’s like to feel as though you have no choice but to hide who you are, for your own safety. You may think it is self-serving, but I prefer to call it an act of defiance against everyone who ever threatened or hurt me.
I speak out when groups of people are wrongly targeted because of their birthplace, color, gender identity, sexual identity, income, or any number of other such ridiculous things that should be non-issues. I don’t do any of this to garner attention, I do it because I have lived through a lot of shit in my nearly 50 years, and yet I recognize my privilege as a white man in a country ruled by white men.
I do these things in honor of those who were brave enough to do them before me.
I do these things because I have a responsibility to those who come after me.
I do these things so I can sleep at night.
I do these things because I still can.
Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.