SUDDENLY I’M AFRAID by Giacomo Sanfilippo

pjimage (32)
Clockwise from top left:
Metropolitan Joseph (AOCA), Archpriest Josiah Trenham (AOCA), Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA),
Dr. David Ford (St. Tikhon’s Seminary), Archpriest John Parker (St. Tikhon’s Seminary)

I posted the following to Facebook this evening, and have decided to share it in its original, unpolished form with Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s readers—but especially with Josiah Trenham, John Parker, David Ford, Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan Tikhon, and all of our other cowardly, tongue-tied bishops in the US and Canada.

If you haven’t been following Orthodoxy in Dialogue closely, see the Josiah Trenham: The Scandal section in our Archives 2020 for context.

At supper tonight I suddenly wanted to start crying, and I can’t seem to shake it off.

For you see, I’m suddenly fearful for my own safety. The whole world knows who I am, where I am, what I look like. All it takes is one radicalized crazy to come after me.

The Twitter attacks from anonymous, presumably Orthodox trolls have intensified over the past few days—all in defense of Josiah Trenham. I have been called every horrible name in the book. One individual reminded the whole band of inter-tagged, pro-Trenham, anti-gay tweeters that I’m in Toronto. Another tells them them he’d love to “slap” me—which, if you’re LGBTQ and have been on the receiving end of violence in one emotional, verbal, or physical form or another for most of your life, is terrifying.

All it takes is one radicalized crazy watching John Parker’s video calling for me to be drowned and fed to sharks, one crazy reading David Ford’s applause for Parker’s speech, one crazy watching Josiah Trenham’s praise of Sharia law for executing people like me.

And so this evening’s letter to the editors [see Letters, Steadfast Reactionary XII, 1/31/20]  arrives in the midst of all the above: a letter thanking God for destroying Sodom and Gomorrah for their presumed homosexuality, written by a man self-identifying with a pesticide that was used to kill Jews.

If it comes to this, pray for me, that God grant me the divine grace to say: Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do.