The LGBT community shouldn’t demand tolerance for its differences if it won’t tolerate the differences of its own.

I’m homosexual and I’ve never felt less connected to the LGBT community than I currently do. When I was a teenager, I used to visit my city’s LGBT youth center regularly. As an adult, I attended the local pride festival annually. I even used to have gay friends I routinely socialized with. Then I discovered that I was conservative. That’s when I also discovered how close-minded the LGBT community truly is.

When I had what I’ll refer to as my “conservative awakening,” I honestly didn’t think about the social consequences that would proceed it. I assumed that since the LGBT community had embraced me as a progressive that they would continue to do so even after a change of heart. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Slowly but surely, I began to notice a subtle backlash. If I posted an opinion defending the conservative ideology, I would instantly receive fierce rebuttal from my LGBT friends condemning my viewpoint. My gay friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter steadily cut ties with me. Even long-time LGBT acquaintances that I kept regular contact with eventually started avoiding me.

Me, photographed by Adam Bouska in 2011, in participation with the NOH8 campaign for marriage equality.

Nothing about me had changed except my political outlook. I was still a strong advocate for LGBT rights. I still cared about the LGBT community and its perseverance. Why didn’t it care about mine? I stopped asking myself this once I realized that it never did. The truth is, the gay community doesn’t actually care about anyone. Maybe it did at one point, but the movement lost its direction after the legalization of gay marriage. The LGBT community is now a caricature of itself, reminiscent of modern-day feminism. Reasonable requests for basic equal rights have been traded in favor of demands for gender-neutral bathrooms and impartiality from religiously observant businesses. Even Donald Trump, America’s first-ever president-elect to enter office approving of gay marriage, is categorically damned by the LGBT community for no discernible reason other than his association with vice-president-elect Mike Pence. Even the gay community’s argument against Pence doesn’t hold its weight when taking America’s political history concerning LGBT rights into consideration.

Did everyone forgot that gay marriage only became legal the summer before last? Barack Obama was strongly against it during both of his presidential bids. Hillary Clinton didn’t publicly support same-sex matrimony until 2013 and is rumored to still privately maintain disdain for it. Pew Research Center concluded that 30% of Democrats still oppose gay marriage in 2016. While the LGBT community is quick to paint Republicans as anti-gay, Democrats do not deserve a free pass by any means. While our sitting president has spent the last 8 years encouraging Americans to be mindful of anti-gay, extremist religious ideologies, president-elect Trump specifically promised LGBT Americans protections from such dangers. Donald Trump even waved the LGBT flag. No major party presidential nominee before him ever has. However, these monumental firsts fall on deaf ears. The LGBT community ignores them. Instead, their argument is that a Trump presidency might lead to a reversal on the legalization of gay marriage. Might. President-elect Trump has insisted that this will not be a focus of his administration, but the LGBT community simply doesn’t care.

Donald Trump, the first presidential candidate to hold an LGBT flag. Also the first president-elect to enter office in favor of same-sex marriage.

Would the LGBT activist community have a purpose if it didn’t manufacture unnecessary battles to fight?

If I politely engage other LGBT on social media in an effort to defend gay conservatism, my attempts are usually met with insults or accusations of self-loathing, if I’m not entirely blocked from accessing their account altogether. Maybe the gay community has always been this totalitarian and I didn’t personally notice until I no longer fit the (stereo)typical mold. Whatever the case may be, I don’t remember the LGBT community I was proud to support during my youth being this close-minded. It definitely doesn’t deserve to be. America only recently started approving of our right to marry. Responding to that with an arrogant disposition is socially regressive. Plain and simple. A community that has long fought for acceptance should be more accepting. You do not get to function under the guise of being open-minded if you filter out every opinion you disagree with. Open-mindedness doesn’t work that way and neither should the LGBT community.