As anyone can see from my bio, I am a gay American (although my percentages my shift from time to time, ultimately, I am gay). In 2001 I was a victim of a hate crime that was the target of media attention, and underwent 10 months of counseling subsequent to that event which will, always, live on in me. Unfortunately, my university (where it occurred) turned a blind eye as "boys will be boys". And, yet, I love that university. In 2002 I was dismissed from a job because I began dating a male co-worker. Multiple male/female co-worked tandems existed, and no clause in my contract, or any document, said I could not date a co-worked. I love that employer. My nation says my relationship is not worthy of notice. My Australian parter (of 2 years) and I will not be able to move to the United States together based simply on our relationship. Indeed, I will remain in Australia, probably indefinitely, because there is no clean way for us to migrate, without it being open to endless review. I love my country. I have been called faggot, and ass-bandit, and countless other names. I have been harassed and pushed and punched, and made to feel less than human by my fellow Americans. And, yet, still I love my country. The history of gays in relation to straights is an abominable one, full of hate and anger. Gays have been hurt, mangled, executed, and made to feel "less than" for hundreds of years in a multitude of countries. Many nations deny our right to exist, while some American states deny us the right to marry or the right to adopt. Indeed, being "come on to" by a gay man was a defense in case regarding Matthew Shepherd's execution, and my own sexuality was used as defense against the hate crime committed against me. I do not hate straight people. Nor do I hate those who preach that I daily commit a sin when I wake up next to, and kiss, my partner. For those that hate me, I have nothing but pity. I do not hate straight people. I do not damn them, nor wish them any harm. I do not believe that horrible things that befall homophobes are their "chickens coming home to roost", nor do I believe that they should be damned to hell. If any of my friends ever suggested that straight people are "less than", or that I should not vote for a candidate for any office because they are straight, or if any of my friends suggested that straights should be "damned", I would try to talk to them to change their position ... or, save that, if they were truly irreconcilable, I would question the friendship itself. I would never bring a child to a Pride rally where anti-straight remarks were made. I would never call a heterophobe a trusted spiritual advisor, nor continue a 20 year relationship with someone who espoused those views. To do so, in my own mind, would only be countering hate with hate, and that gets us no where. It may be true that one presidential candidate has never been called a "nigger". Nor as the other been called a "bitch". Neither has been called a fag (though, unfortunately, calling another man a fag is far more accepted in our cultural lexicon than nigger, though both are terms of hate and a tragic cultural history). NEITHER candidate has ever been called a fag with any veracity to the term, nor has either candidate, in their own lives, has had their romantic relationships invalidated by a state. I have. In that sense, I can say NEITHER candidate represents my own history, my own oppression, my own needs, or my own vantage point. And, yet, I manage to transcend that divide. I would be entitled to launch into a complex history, and relate how the history of homophobia in the world, over the past 2000 years, has shaped a viewpoint whereby some gays may be entitled to hate straight people due to the countless centuries of hate and oppression they have faced. And, yet, I would be wrong. Citing a motive for hate does not excuse the hate; nor does it excuse those who choose to surround themselves with hate. If we are to move in a "post-sexuality" world, then EVERYONE who espouses hate toward another sexuality must be counseled to change their world view. Or, save that, then I must move on to find others who will work with me in a struggle for equality for all, rather than re-hashing the hate of the past. THIS is why I find Obama's argument regarding Wright so un-convincing. I am sure I will get smashed for writing this, called countless names, and the target of multiple insults. Fine. However, Obama cannot claim a monopoly of hate. Millions of Americans face hate every day -- based on sexuality, race (there are other racial minorities with tragic histories), gender, class, religion, and so much more. However, very few of us CHOOSE to, on a weekly basis, engage with those who espouse hate toward the dominant group, expose our children to that hate, while, at the same time, condemned yet offering historical apology for that hate. Despite my advantages, I have been the target of hate in the United States, so much so that I may never be able to go home. Still, God Bless America -- I am proud of my nation, for all its faults, and never once wish it harm, nor could turn a callous eye toward the harms it has faced. Let the ripping into me begin.