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The truth is this… I’m gay. I only came out as bisexual as a way to help me deal with my true sexuality. I can now say that I was only lying to myself to try and be more comfortable with who I am. #AlternativeFacts

You, see #AlternativeFacts isn’t just a buzz phrase used by the Trump administration to justify their lies. Alternative facts are used by everyday Americans all the time to justify their own preconceived ideas, fears, and loyalties. Alternative facts are what birth’s oppression and marginalization. It’s what helps people justify their own prejudices.

Alternative facts trick us into believingthat all Muslims are terrorists.

Alternative facts lead to the holocaust and the killing of Jews and other groups of people.

Alternative facts scare pro-second amendment supporters into believing that all liberals want to take away their guns.

Alternative facts create the false mindset for many liberals that all conservatives who voted for Trump embrace the extremely hateful rhetoric of the president.

Alternative facts permits the government to kill those who do wrong through the death penalty.

Alternative facts falsely label Black Lives Matter as a hate group.

Alternative facts allow for a woman to do the same job as a man but get paid less for it.

Alternative facts declare that Hispanics are lazy.

Alternative facts allow men AND women to believe that the women’s march was about citizens whining because their candidate didn’t win the election.

Alternative facts ignite support for unjust wars.

Alternative facts blind so many Christians into an understanding that their religion is superior in American culture.

Alternative facts once made it so that blacks had to use their own bathrooms, water fountains, and sit on the back of the bus.

Alternative facts allow heterosexuals AND homosexuals to believe that bisexuals are just confused.

Just to be clear… I’m still bisexual. Always will be. It doesn’t matter who I date in the future, my sexual orientation is still bisexual. I’m not confused. I’m not denying who I am to be comfortable with my orientation. And yes, there are those who have insinuated this about me. I realize that some may use the bisexual label as they figure out who they are but that isn’t me. In many ways, it would be easier and more accepted to just be gay.

The initial statement in this post was to display the irony of us ridiculing a horrible, oppressive man but failing to recognize that so many of us do the same. We just don’t have the platform and power to fuel the widespread hatred that he does. When our president and his team present “alternative facts”, it’s our duty to push back but let’s also make sure that we are doing that with each other and ourselves when presenting or buying into the alternative facts that are out there in society. It has oppressed people because of their skin color, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more for far too long.

Some alternative facts are born out of experience but that doesn’t mean that all similar situations are the same. May we seek to learn truth by being in relationship with those who are different than us. May we listen to each other’s stories and respect each life’s journey. In Community of Christ we have Holy text which counsels us in times like this. It says, “Open your hearts and feel the yearnings of your brothers and sisters who are lonely, despised, fearful, neglected, unloved. Reach out in understanding, clasp their hands, and invite all to share in the blessings of community created in the name of the One who suffered on behalf of all. Do not be fearful of one another. Respect each life journey, even in its brokenness and uncertainty, for each person has walked alone at times. Be ready to listen and slow to criticize, lest judgments be unrighteous and unredemptive.” This counsel requires us to be vulnerable with each other. It requires us to be patient and kind. It is challenging and when we seek to live it out, it can be easy to become angry and frustrated but it is still the challenge for which we must seek to fulfill.