I’m the first to admit I was a follower – I did like I was told. I cast my vote to give Barack Obama another four years in the White House, I spit on my faith and fell under the LGBT left’s spell that everyone had to love me, everyone had support same-sex marriage and anything less was oppressive bigotry.
I let Obama’s eloquence and effortlessly cool attitude fool me into thinking he had my best interests. I let his lies sink into my clothes and convince me that it was somehow my job to take on social justice, to solve world economic and climate issues and that my voice mattered.
I let five years of a New Jersey college education convince me that I was somehow to blame for the blemishes on the portrait of our nation’s past and that somehow my years of moderate Christianity made me hate myself and those like me.
I was in a graduate-level media course when the professor quite literally labeled conservative Americans “ignorant” people. I remember thinking to myself “what if she finds out I don’t like Hillary Clinton and I am against socialized medicine?” I kept quiet.
My disillusionment with the left began slowly with simple disagreements about immigration and uncomfortable conversations where I found myself being labeled a racist despite not only no evidence of such but generally ludicrous logic behind the claims; one gay leftist even called me a white supremacist because the people I’ve dated in the past (a whopping four individuals) were all Caucasian.
The slow burn turned to an inferno when an Islamist killed 49 people inside of a gay nightclub in Orlando. The mainstream media told me guns were to blame. They told me the Islamist was a homophobe, and that I had to embrace Islam, a “religion of love.”
I’m the son of a man who dropped everything and put his various equipment licenses to work when a nation reeled from the murders of 3,000 Americans in the name of Allah, picking up the pieces of twisted metal and uncovering bodies where 7 World Trade Center once stood.
I’m from the same North Jersey town as a hero named Jeremy Glick who, along with 36 other passages and a few brave crew members, drove United 93 into a field in Shanksville, PA, saving thousands of lives in Washington, D.C.
When I heard the suppressed truth that the Pulse shooter – an Islamist – clearly told his victims that his actions were “for Allah,” and “for Islam,” I knew I couldn’t accept the lies anymore. Islamist attacks on free Americans hit far too close to home for me to give in to the leftist lies.
For the first time I challenged the mainstream LGBT community. I refused to accept the false narrative being spun by the media and things only got worse for me.
The names continued. They labeled me a hateful bigot, and a self-loathing homophobe. As the LGBT left cast me aside, I fell into myself.
As 2015 came to a close and 2016’s election saga began I had a personal experience in which I found my faith, right where I left it. The left quickly stitched my skin color to my rekindled relationship with Christ and my love for my country.
They created a public enemy out of me. They told me I was wrong for who I was.
But like millions of Americans across the country, I refused to change who I was. I found groups of people just like me, I joined ACT for America, which mobilizes citizens in communities across the nation to health protect and preserve American culture and keep this nation safe.
I connected with people on social media who shared experiences with me – other LGBT Americans cast aside by the left and other Christians and conservatives that found their voices muffled by leftists. Instead of trying to shut me up, the right listened to me and even encouraged me to speak up and speak out.
I receive private emails and messages from folks around the country telling me that they too felt silenced by loud liberals with their conditional tolerance and hateful rhetoric.
Even an Associated Press cameraman covering the March Against Sharia last month in Foley Square whispered to me “you know, I agree with you, but I’ll lose my job if they knew.”
I keep talking, writing and sharing my story so others can see that we don’t have to apologize for what we believe in, and we don’t have to shut up about it.
Truth is, I was never wrong – I just needed to go right.
James Merse is a healthcare communications professional from Northern New Jersey and teaches communication courses at community colleges. Follow him on Twitter: @JamesMerse