A man has written a letter to a gay couple he bullied in 1993.
The man – who says he was “17 and bigoted” at the time – says he is “so, so sorry” for treating the pair as “second class citizens”, in the the letter shared on Craiglist.
He describes seeing the pair “relaxed and happy” and “smooching a little”.
The letter then describes how the man preceded to shout abuse at the couple – actions he says were due to being taught that homosexuality was “wrong and sinful”.
However, he later reveals he has lived with the shame of his actions for over two decades.
“I don’t remember your reaction and I don’t know if you heard me,” he writes.
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“As we walked away I felt a prick of shame. Outwardly I had acted as if it was you who should be ashamed, but for over 20 years it has been me who carries this shame.
“I’m writing this today to apologise for my behaviour.”
He goes on to say that shortly after the incident, his “whole world changed” after moving to college.
“My learned bias and my belief in homosexuality as a sin was flipped upside down as I was exposed to new people and new ideas,” he explains – before saying he has now moved away from a religion that “taught me to hate.”
“My life is now one of empowering and advocating for young people.
“20 years later I carry my shame as a reminder to check my privilege.
“I consider myself an ally and I hope my advocacy over the years has righted some of my wrongs.”
The man – who signs off as “a kid who learnt the truth” – ends the letter by saying he hopes the couple are still as in love as they were in 1993, and have found the acceptance and support they deserve.
“Wherever you are I hope you’re each still sitting close with a loved one and living a wonderful life.”