He’s the Republican lawmaker who recently made headlines with his commentary on the LGBTQ+ community being a “modern-day version of the Ku Klux Klan.”
Given President's day yesterday was celebrating a rather horrifying symbol for most minorities, I'd like to take the time to discuss this "lawmaker's" comments in depth.
I've linked the section on LGBTQ+ identities here, and the full interview is provided below.
Prepare to throw your device out the window...
TW warning: Implied LGBTQ+ hate violence
His outward hatred of gays and lesbians is also accompanied with the symbol of trumps presidency crowned upon his head.
His comments are an active reminder of how many other people share his dangerous beliefs. This hatred is becoming common. There is a growing group of individuals who have been emboldened by the current administration to encourage hatred and violence towards minority groups.
It's particularly troubling though that so many of them, Eric Porterfield included, think of themselves as victims rather than recognizing their accountability in the oppression of others.
They see the movements towards equal rights as taking away from their piece of the pie, instead of seeing the reality of people simply trying to improve their quality of life and come out from under the fear and discrimination they have faced.
It’s absurd for those who have been on the receiving end of discrimination for our identities to hear from those in positions of privilege that our fight for equality is somehow threatening.
Porterfield has since been asked to resign, but is showing of no signs of doing so. He continues to stand by his statements.
We must keep in mind that he still has a strong backing in the very conservative 27th district of West Virginia.
So why would he feel the pressure to back down? His supporters feel safe vocalizing and acting upon their own dangerous philosophies and they no-doubt feel empowered by the lack of consequences they see him facing.
So what can we do?
It’s moments like these that we must work harder to bring each other up and realize how important our support is to one another. It’s easy to become discouraged, exhausted, and distant during times of strife, but at the end of the day we have to stand together if we have any hope of achieving our goals of a more equal and loving society.
If you are a child with a Porterfield parent - we're here for you.
This Op-Ed was written by Lane Lunsford
Lane is our support group facilitator for the support group Bitter/Sweet. She is also an advocate for bisexual people and a body piercer for her local tattoo shop. She adores sloths, and her husband.