In the spring of 2009, at the height of popularity of the original iteration of Diversity Rules Magazine, I was the victim of a homophobe’s cowardice and received a very threatening e-mail entitled, “Cease and Desist,” in which I was threatened with physical harm if I did not cease publication. The full text of the threat is provided below:
“Dear Mr. Koury it has come to our attention that not only have you been spreading your heterophobic filth throughout the region but also include your faggity shit where young children have access to it. They don’t know what even normal sex is in their impressionable minds. You WILL stop distributing in those areas and keep this shit in gay bars, etc. We have your name, associates, phone numbers, where you live and where you work as well as your routines. You are giving an even worse impression of homos when you freely distribute among kids. It’s called recruiting and you WILL stop if you know what’s good for you. You see Mr. Koury we are EVERYWHERE. We also have infiltrated your queer organizations AND distributorship. You boast of 10,000 issues a month. It’s really only 1/2 of that as OUR people destroythe rest. We are invisible and we are LEGION. We are 14 – 72 YEARS OF AGE. We are in your schools, law enforcement, churches and government (national and local) and we are EVERYWHERE. If you continue in your indiscriminate distribution of your filthy rag someone, an “associate” perhaps, will come up to you UNEXPECTEDLY to render you a personal TUNEUP!!!!!”
Obviously, anyone that knows me personally is aware that such cowardly acts shrouded in anonymity do not scare me. While I was a bit unnerved at first and did take the issue to the police for investigation, it did not sway me, but only reinforced my resolve to continue. I consider this point in the history of Diversity Rules as a defining moment, and one which cemented my resolve to never stop publishing the magazine in some form or fashion.
At the time I deliberated between not printing or printing the full text of the threat sent by the poor, ignorant wretch who sent it. The person clearly cared not to understand who I was as a person, but rather simply wished to focus on my sexual orientation as a threat of some sort. Not much has changed sadly since 2009, as these lower forms of life still walk among us. Ultimately, the full text of the threat was printed with an entire issue devoted to homophobia and the vileness of the people that spew it.
The issue was entitled, “Cease and Desist? Never!” I wanted the coward to clearly see that his threat had no impact and that it only prodded me to continue on in my efforts to spread the message of Diversity Rules Magazine to those who needed and wanted to partake of its message.
While much has changed on the gay rights front with the culmination of a major battle at the Supreme Court legalizing same sex marriage throughout the nation in June of this year, our society still has a long way to go before full and unequivocal equality is achieved. But as our African American population knows full well, that equality can be quite elusive despite major Civil Rights legislation that guaranteed full and equal protection to them.
The evil in a person’s heart cannot be changed by a law. Only time and generational purging of such vile thought brought upon by natural death will begin to lessen the impact of prejudice and hate. However, as we see in our current socio-political environment that hate we all despise is still alive and well. While we will never fully eradicate it, we must continue our march forward until the putrid stench of the voices of hate are drowned out.