I find it hard to swallow that we live in a country that where people say that a genetic predisposition is a sin and that sinners are going to hell. Then people who hold those beliefs hide behind religion and freedom of speech, like their bigotry is something righteous.

When someone calls these people out, no one gets hurt, except maybe someone’s feelings. When a teen who thinks they may be gay is told by their community that (it)is not OK to be the way they were born, that is damaging beyond belief. When there are entire countries jailing and killing homosexuals, these callous comments are not OK.

I was raised Catholic. Even though I’ve left it behind, I was lucky enough to go to a fairly progressive church. Christianity is loving your neighbor, helping the less fortunate and treating others how you want to be treated.

If you’re gay, please know that these bigots are not the majority, though they are loud. A lot of us don’t care if you’re gay, straight, bisexual or whatever.

We judge you not on your DNA, but your actions. The generation coming into power is accepting and supportive. Things will likely get worse before they gets better, because it’s hard to share your privilege sometimes.

Just remember this: It gets better. It’s getting better. There are plenty of us helping to make sure of that.

Derek Viger

Portland