Dear President Trump,
It’s honestly hard for me to live with the fact that you are now the highest-ranking official in America and will wield great power over the lives of victims of bullying. I’m hoping that the gravity of your new position sinks in, that you find compassion in your heart and mind, and that you change your approach and stop setting an example that empowers bullies.
In the rural area where I live, and where the company I cofounded employs more than 600 people at our factory alone, I’ve seen first-hand the pain bullies cause, from taunting meeker-looking folks on the street to abuse in the home to the words anti-LGBT clergy use to coerce innocent LGBT kids into attempting the impossible task of changing the way they were created. Because of this, for over a decade I’ve worked to end bullying of LGBT people through Faith in America, the nonprofit I co-founded to educate people about the harm religious-based bigotry causes.
Through Faith in America, and the many, many smart and caring people who support us, we’ve made incredible progress that benefits all Americans—helping to create true comfort for all at home, in the workplace, and in the world. Highlights of FIA’s work include educating at the Southern Baptist Convention, guiding clergy of many faiths in understanding the extreme harm they cause so that they reject misguided religious teachings, developing our LGBT Mental Health Project, and working with the Family Acceptance Project.
I won’t stand by and watch our country take even one step back from the gains we’ve made. LGBT people of all ages have experienced so much pain through lack of understanding or being thought of as an “issue” instead of individuals. My hope is to meet with you and Vice President Pence to get a very special book I edited into your hands — one I’ve shared with many in politics, religion, and education. Entitled CRISIS: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay, it shares all-too-true heart-wrenching stories of those abused and rejected simply for being themselves. I believe it can help take you both from using the Presidency as a bully pulpit to making it a platform that empowers everyone.
If you will change and be a President for ALL the people, a guiding light of empathy and wisdom, and an upholder of the separation of church and state, then I’m certain I can tolerate the gaudy style of your NYC residence and various properties. I’d even be willing to help you make them better. And help with the White House. Design tip: shiny brass is okay, but in limited doses.
Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Home Furnishings
Co-Founder, Board Co-Chair
Faith in America
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The opinions expressed in these letters are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations and this magazine, its staff and contributors.
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