In a new op-ed in the Observer, Mati Weiderpass, one half of the gay duo who own The Out NYC and other properties, once again is trying to clean up after it was revealed that he and his business partner hosted what was initially described as a fundraiser for Sen. Ted Cruz. In the op-ed, Weiderpass says that it wasn’t a fundraiser and that it was just a dialogue, and calls the criticism he has received for hosting the meeting as “attacks from gay extremists…” It shouldn’t take long for a casual reader to feel once again insulted by Weiderpass as he makes this comment in his opening paragraph.
Since hosting a discussion with Texas Senator Ted Cruz in my home, I have been inundated with hateful, biased social media messages, and attacks from gay extremists (do I dare say the word?) who demand inclusion, but do not believe in dialogue. I know in my heart that these attacks do not represent the rich culture and diversity of the gay community. Yet, in our community, as in so many others, the most vocal often dominate the conversation. I hope this op-ed will help heal wounds and continue necessary progress and discussion.
He continues by drawing parallels between his “dialogue” and a dialogue between a Jewish leader and a Muslim.
It is amazing that my businesses are being boycotted by some because I hosted a discussion with an elected official. Not a fundraiser. Not an endorsement. A dialogue. What would we say if the Jewish community organized a boycott of a business leader who hosted a private discussion with an important Muslim politician? We know the answer. I am a longtime leader of my community – and proud of who I am and what I have accomplished.
He continues to try to turn the tables on the community by saying he’s a community leader, he’s the one trying for change, and the LGBT community is “small and intolerant.”
His editorial discusses the importance of reaching across the aisle to Republicans and people of all faiths and nationalities to impact change through freedom of speech—and we understand this valid point. But calling the LGBT community extremists for also using this right that you so treasure, to engage in dialogue with a company that many thought to be at the forefront of LGBT rights in New York City, is an egregious, small-minded way of rebuilding trust.