You keep telling me to understand. To be quiet. To let it go.

You call me a crybaby, a whiner, a troublemaker, a child.

You say I’m a hypocrite. You say I’m spewing the hate I rally against. You call my pain a temper tantrum.

You tell me it’s my job to unite us as you call me a loser.

Well, to you I say, if you want us to unite please make me understand. Please explain to me how any political issue you have is more important than human rights.

Please teach me how whatever it is that you deem so important is worth me or someone else sacrificing their basic human rights in exchange.

Please give me your take on how equal rights has varying definitions for varying groups of people. Please help me to understand why it’s okay for you to move onto the specifics of designing your perfect “pursuit of happiness” while some of us are still struggling to get their rightful amount of “life” and “liberty”.

There are some things you need to understand.

Whatever you say, however you treat me, no matter what you do — I will always be your equal. You can never change that. That’s not up to you to decide. The same rights that you were born with, I was too.

If you’re allowed to live where you want, so am I.

If you’re allowed to marry who you want, so am I.

If you’re allowed to tell people they can’t touch you, so can I.

If you’re allowed to be comfortable in your own skin, so I am.

If the police aren’t allowed to harass you for no valid reason, they aren’t allowed to harass me either.

If you’re allowed to walk down the street without being yelled at, poked at, shoved, sworn at, grabbed at or shot at — so am I.

If you’re allowed to apply for a job, so am I.

If you’re allowed access to necessary medicine, so am I.

If you’re not blamed when someone commits a crime against you, I shouldn’t be either.

If you’re allowed to practice whatever faith speaks to you, so can I.

If you’re allowed to receive any and all life-saving procedures, so am I.

If you want to eat at a certain coffee shop, use a certain bakery or hire a certain photographer, I’m allowed to hire them too.

And if you and I are virtual carbon copies of each other in the workforce except for our sex organs or skin color or any other such quality and you’re earning a certain amount of money, I better be making the fucking same amount of money for my same amount of hours, effort, brain power and loyalty.

These are areas we don’t seem to agree on. You seem to think that these are areas up for debate. They aren’t. You and I must share a planet. I’m okay with that. I’m even okay with us sharing a country, state or town. There’s just one ground rule and as long as that rule is followed, our differences of opinion can be fairly easily worked with.

The rule?

You and I are equals. And we will be treated as such.

End of rule.

End of discussion.

End of patience.