Gay man persuades his dad to stop voting Republican due to party’s anti-LGBTQ+ track record

Ryan short and his dad

Ryan Short convinced his 80-year-old dad to stop voting Republican in light of the party’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation sweeping the US.

Short, from Washington State, managed to convince his former pro-Republican elderly father to make the change after he outlined just how bad Republican policies are for the LGBTQ+ community.

In a letter to his family, the 42-year-old explained that he’d managed to persuade his dad to refrain from voting Republican going forward as it damages the lives of countless LGBTQ+ people across the country.

In the missive addressed to his entire family, Short relayed his conversation with his dad and encouraged family members to refrain from voting for the Republican Party if they wanted to keep him in their lives.

His letter read: “Hear me clearly – you cannot vote for the GOP and continue to have a relationship with me. No exceptions. I am inviting no dialogue, and I have no interest in nuance.”

‘To vote GOP is to divide the family’

Short explained that he even had an escape plan just in case things got too bad for LGBTQ+ people.

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The letter went viral on Twitter, before Short’s account was suspended for unknown reasons. However, in a conversation with Insider, he explained that young LGBTQ+ people began messaging him to ask if they could copy the letter to send to their own families.

“This letter was a boundary, not a persuasion. It was not intended to persuade anyone.

“Trans 20-somethings were messaging me and I was like, ‘go for it, man, like open-source that shit! We’re only free if we’re all free.’

“I came quickly to a place of feeling very proud for putting that message out there. Especially once people said they wanted to copy and paste this to help their situation.”

Before his account was deleted, the letter published to Twitter quickly went viral, racking up more than 15,000 likes and over 3,000 retweets.

Despite overwhelming amounts of support online, some were quick to criticise, even going as far as to describe the move as “narcissistic and painful to read”.

Short’s husband took to Twitter to call out his suspension, with many rallying to support his account to be reinstated.

“We made strides in LGBTQIA rights when folks realized we are their brothers, sisters, friends, children, parents and loved ones and to deny us rights was to hurt their own families,” his husband said.

“Now conservatives realise that’s actually power. We CAN change minds. He HAVE influence and we can use it. Just YOU alone can do it. You don’t have to be a billionaire to make waves. We can make the country stronger and more inclusive … and that scares the crap out of them.”

Republican states have introduced some of the US’ most anti-LGBTQ+ legislations

A wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has swept the US in recent months, with senators in Arkansas approving a bill that would criminalise trans people if they use a toilet when a child is present.

Senate Bill 270, the most extreme “bathroom bill” in the US, was approved by lawmakers on 7 March. This means that a trans person could be charged with sexual indecency with a child if they remain in the same public changing facility with a “minor of the opposite sex present”.

Lawmakers in Kentucky have passed an expanded anti-trans bill which targets the rights of vulnerable young trans people in the state.

On Thursday night (16 March), the state’s legislature passed the bill in a matter of hours, with approval from a committee and both the state House and Senate.

Senate Bill 150 seeks to ban gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth, requires doctors to detransition young trans people and prevents schools from discussing gender identity or sexual orientation with students of any age. 

Tennessee became the first state in the US to pass a ban on public drag performances that could potentially be seen by minors on 2 March. It comes as a number of red states push similar efforts to criminalise drag performers, coinciding with bigoted, baseless rhetoric slandering LGBTQ+ people as unsafe to children.