By Alex Temblador
Earlier this year, we featured in a Spotlight Series interview two dads, Anthony and Dominic, a loving couple who were going through the adoption process of their son Gabe. They recently finalized the adoption and were so excited that they tweeted a picture of their adoption day to Hillary Clinton whom they support for the upcoming elections. Little did they know that this action would be met with attacks by bigots on Twitter.
In a personal essay on Scary Mommy, Anthony recounts how in less than eight hours the tweet of their family received over 90,000 impressions and had prompted hateful attacks against his family and his Twitter account by the alt-right.
He wrote, “Put simply, it was deplorable. I couldn’t keep up with the notifications in time, just when I had reported one to Twitter and blocked another, 20 more had sprung up in my timeline.”
Anthony grouped the tweets he received into different categories, so others could see just how much hatred some people receive for showing support to Hillary Clinton. Some were basic anti-Hillary quotes such as, ““smh you do realize Hillary is the biggest liar and hypocrite around right? She just wants your vote.”
But it got worse, as the alt-right began targeting Anthony and Dominic’s family. “Our family provoked the anti-immigrant crowd to take up arms,” said Anthony.
One such tweeter wrote: “Don’t show that picture to the incoming waves of Muslim immigrants, they don’t approve of that sort of thing.” Another wrote: “Gotta import those Syrian, anti LGBT refugees! Hellary will get it done! Syrian Refugees are great LGBT allies! LOL!”
And sadly, the tweets got worse. Anthony shared some horrifying tweets that were directly targeted at his family. “These were the ones that bent my knees and flooded my eyes, because they live outside the realm of politics,” he said.
They included the following:
“The only thing you should be feeling is a rope around your neck pederast”
“This is not a family. This is a social experiment… Enjoy it while it last.#FourthReich coming!”
“Someone call child protection services. Kid’s gonna get molested eventually.”
“You sodomites make me sick, all of you will be put in camps and forced to wear a pink triangle, then gassed with bug spray”
“Child abuse. You’re ruining this poor boy’s life to live out fantasies of dressing him up like a doll etc.”
After such an experience, Anthony reflects, “We have allowed a world to be created where the sharing of a family picture causes an eruption of hatred, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, and vitriol.”
He encourages modern families and citizens of the U.S. to remember that just because there is marriage equality in the U.S., it does not mean the we are done fighting against bigotry:
“This goes beyond political affiliation. We are at a crossroads, and while the victories of marriage equality leave us thinking that all is well for families like mine, we’d do well not just to remember the vast swaths of people who still hate us, but to use moments like these to guide our actions, to allow them to force upon us a self-empowerment to right the wrong.”
“There is no sideline for my family. There is only every day, lived fully, scorched to the ground when reminded that sharing our love with the world opens us up to the heat of hatred magnified by the veil of the internet. This is our world.”
Though experiences like this are tough for Anthony and his family, he still hopes for a positive turnout in November and still stands proudly for Hillary.