HATE CRIMES (also known as BIAS CRIMES) are crimes motivated by bias against an identifiable social group, usually groups defined by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender identity or political affiliation. While this action is shown to all the groups mentioned; I feel that HOMOSEXUALS are PUBLIC ENEMY # 1 and are given the full force of this negative energy. We are seen as the lowest of the lows and being a MURDERER or THIEF is much better than being GAY! The crazy thing is that if a gay person comes along and says, "hey, look at me, I'm a productive, contributing member of society with values and ideals that make me little different than you," we are automatically a threat to someone who has believed all his life what he may have been told since he was young; that we gay people are perverted people who should live short and desperate lives. Hence this fear leads to a subconscious reaction: hate and/or kill the queer. Irrational, isn't it? So why go to this place? Why let what a group of persons make you live a life of ignorance and fear? Do you fear that you may actually be homosexual yourself? Is that it? But it’s all so very simple; if we are left alone and tolerated this world would be easier to live in. But TOLERANCE isn’t something that we can get and ACCEPTANCE is definitely out the window! However, it has crossed my mind that simply 'TOLERATING' us because of our sexual orientation is inhumane. So imagine how I feel about US being ACCEPTED? My belief is not that everyone has to accept homosexuality. My belief is that homosexuality should not be a determining factor in how well we are treated by persons that fear us. My belief is that all of us should be accepted, regardless of sexual orientation. When this world has persons in it that can take the life of a MATTHEW SHEPARD in the palm of their hands and out his flame, how can people in all honesty live with themselves? But sadly CRIMES against us are not always taken seriously, because law-enforcement officers, like some members of society, are often unsympathetic and downright hostile. It’s sad that WE have to deal with hysteria before there is understanding and acceptance. People would prefer not to deal with US at all and bury their heads in the sand to avoid seeing OUR reality. If one really thinks about it the real issue is power – who has it and who does. Our society has developed mainly around the needs of men, in whom most of the power has been vested and one way to express that power is the conquest of homosexuals. And as they say power corrupts; especially when they are so blissfully ignorant. Why do these power-hungry men refuse to face their own reflection in the mirror, a reflection that shows anything but a man? We raise the mirror of truth everyday and we will not stop! We will use your ignorance to fight intolerance and injustice. We are diminished by discrimination when the value of our very existence is questioned and our integrity as human beings is further compromised. So continue to hate on us because you are unable to LOVE. The only thing HATE CRIMES does is make the world seem more manageable by reducing many of the complexities of life to simple concepts: HOMOSEXUALITY IS WRONG AND MUST BE EXTINQUISHED! Doesn’t that make sense? How can you honestly say that you think that I am not worthy and deserve to die? I guess I don’t deserve live; after all I am a HOMOSEXUAL and homosexuality is a shameful lifestyle that destroys all it touches. THEREFORE YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO KILL OR HARM ME!