Dear Lt. Governor Patrick, You Don’t Represent Me

Source: Austin Chronicle
Source: Austin Chronicle

Dear Lt. Governor Patrick,

You don’t know me, but you represent me. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate because you don’t represent me. My fellow Texas citizens elected you to office, but you do not represent my beliefs on a multitude of issues. Come to think of it, you don’t represent many of their beliefs either.

When you posted that tweet– that judgmental, self-righteous, giant middle finger of a tweet- a mere 6 hours after the Orlando shooting, you didn’t represent me. Exactly whom you were representing, I couldn’t say because no one I know would agree with you doing that in their name- even the ones who voted for you. Because even the people I know who are opposed to the LGBT “lifestyle” for religious reasons have a heart. They have compassion and empathy and class. Let’s face it, Lt. Governor, they have common decency. I wish I could say the same for you.

You see, Dan- can I call you Dan? I know it’s a bit informal, but I just cringe to address you by your title because right now you don’t deserve to hold it, and Dan is much nicer than what I really want to call you. Dan, you probably don’t realize this, but you are the problem. You are part of the reason things like Orlando happen, and why they will probably keep happening. No, you didn’t pull the trigger, but your words and the words of those like you loaded the gun in a manner of speaking. Your consistent and deliberate refusal to extend compassion and tolerance to those you do not approve of carries more weight now that you hold arguably the most powerful office in the state. So whether it’s through repugnant tweets or feigned outrage at bathrooms in Texas schools, you send a clear message not only to your constituents, but to people everywhere: the LGBT community is comprised of sinners and those sinners must pay one way or another.

No, you don’t incite violence, but you do everything in your power to make the LGBT community into second-class citizens. You work tirelessly to deny them their rights. You dismiss their beliefs because they don’t align with your own. You paint them as valueless heathens who deserve what they get- even if what they get is death on the hot Florida asphalt outside a nightclub at the hands of a madman. You see all of this a righteous crusade to bring morality “back” to our society.

I wonder, Dan, (I’m going to keep calling you Dan, okay?), how you would feel if it had been your son who was riddled with bullets after enjoying a night out with friends. I wonder if you would have said he reaped what he sowed as you sat at the hospital wondering if he was going to make it through the next few hours. I wonder if you would’ve been so unbelievably tone deaf to the largest mass shooting in our country’s history if it had taken place outside of a church instead of a gay club.

I think you know the answers to these questions, Dan, as do I. And make no mistake, the rest of the world knows it, too. So enjoy your smug self-righteousness. It will be cold comfort come reelection time when voters remember the day you brought shame and embarrassment to our state. And it will be laughable in the future when you go down in the history books right next to those who held on to segregation till their knuckles turned white.

But until that day, Dan, know this: you do not represent me.



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