Yesterday, I posted two statistics on my personal Facebook page about independent issues facing LGBTQ individuals: one about hate-motivated crimes, and the other about HIV. While I maintain that these are both issues of great importance–as is crime or disease affecting any groups or individuals, I was unclear in how I presented the juxtaposition of these two phenomena. In short, I made a serious error in judgment, which I regret.
My post was not from a place of homophobia or bigotry but of frustration. I acknowledge that crimes borne of hate exist. I acknowledge that careless and inadvertent contractions of HIV exist. I acknowledge that these are both tragic, and unrelated.
I know in my heart–as those who know me do–that I am not a homophobe. I understand, however, that my post has caused some people to believe otherwise. I have heard from gay friends along with several of my AM980 co-workers–themselves with gay friends and family–who expressed similar confusion, because it did not represent the Andrew Lawton they’ve come to know.
Not having first-hand experiences with living as a LGBT individual, I cannot glean knowledge from first-hand experiences, and have only impersonal data on which to rely. I realize that does not present the entirety of the situation. I also regret that a firestorm was created through this that overshadowed the broader dialogue that could have been beneficial to the community as a whole–and to myself.