I never knew a single tweet could rattle so many people.

March of 2016, I tweeted that conservative republicans can be pro-racial diversity, pro-LGBT, pro-environment, pro-income equality, and pro-women’s rights. I meant every word. What I didn’t realize is how difficult of a concept this would be for the left to grasp. Ever since that tweet went public, my Twitter account has received an onslaught of ridicule, scrutiny and hate.

Why?

Because progressives actually believe the false stereotypes they’ve heard about conservative republicans. They legitimately think our party is racist, homophobic, anti-environment, elitist, and anti-women. 62 million people voted for Donald Trump. A lot of these same constituents also voted for Barack Obama. It is wildly ignorant to assume they also intentionally voted for hate.

Some of the responses my tweet received.

I remember the first time I went to a local GOP meeting. I was nervous as hell. I’m gay, half-black and had heard all of the rumors people would tell me when I was liberal.

Republicans are racist. Republicans hate gay people.

I couldn’t help but wonder if they would feel that way about me, but I also couldn’t keep supporting failing democrat policies. I walked into that meeting, sat down and introduced myself. Now I’m the lead delegate of my county’s GOP.

The party has welcomed me with open arms. No one cares about my sex life or skin color. We all share the common goal of simply wanting better for our country. There are members of the republican party who are racist, but there are also racist democrats. There are homophobic democrats as well. A recent study from Pew Research Center concluded that 30% of democrats still opposed gay marriage in 2016. Democrats are not excluded from holding unfavorable societal views. They are rumored to have created the Ku Klux Klan after all. A claim that holds more weight than the false accusations that president Trump and his administration are nazis.

What I’m getting at is that politics is more complicated than the people who challenge my tweet realize. No political party is ever going to fully satiate a voter. I voted for Trump because I saw him making efforts to connect with the African-American and LGBT communities. I also voted for him because I’m tired of weak regard for American immigration laws — which isn’t racist. The Trump administration has acknowledged that it will protect gays and LGBT rights. The argument that it’s homophobic has no clout. There also isn’t any categorical proof that Donald Trump views races outside of his own as inferior. President Trump is the first POTUS to enter office approving of gay marriage and LGBT rights. And he’s republican. That is historic.

The presidential nominee of the republican party defies the GOP platform.

Why can’t I?

I’m realistic enough to know that president Trump and the GOP won’t always make me happy. But as I previously said, no politician or political party ever will in full. When we vote for an elected official, there is almost always going to be aspects of their governance that go against our personal interests. Every politician and political party is guilty of it. Have you ever heard of the term flip-flopping?

I voted for Donald Trump because I felt like he spoke to the bulk of my needs. I’m sure that’s the same reason people voted for Hillary Clinton. President Trump wants to strengthen the economy, reduce our national debt, and strengthen our defense against very real threats of terrorism. Those are all things I support. There are aspects of his platform that I don’t agree with, but my expectations for the presidential options we ended up with were never very high.

It has almost been a month since president Trump’s inauguration and I haven’t lost any of my rights as a gay, biracial American. If I ever feel like I’m going to, I will challenge it. I will always speak up and stand up for what I believe in. I support racial diversity. I support LGBT rights. I love our planet and want the best for our environment. I want equal opportunity for every American. While I’m not an advocate for abortion, I support every other aspect of female equality. And I do all of this while voting republican.

I don’t feel like the democrats currently have the right approach to providing Americans the things I mentioned in my tweet. When I’m getting hounded on Twitter by slanderous, closed minded “progressives” for simply voting republican, I feel further validation. At the end of the day, nobody represents you but you. Supporting a political party shouldn’t feel like being in a cult.