Upon learning that the ex-sitcom star and fundamentalist Christian activist Kirk Cameron will be in Ocean Grove, NJ for a speaking engagement, youth leaders from Garden State Equality have proposed a sit-down brunch to discuss his anti-gay views.
Seventeen-year-old Corey Bernstein, co-chair of the Youth Caucus at New Jersey’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization, wrote a letter to Cameron and posted it on Garden State Equality’s Facebook page.
“Mr. Cameron, I understand you are visiting Ocean Grove, New Jersey from Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29 to speak to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. When you are in town that weekend, I would like to extend this invitation for you to join me and other members of Garden State Equality’s Youth Caucus – many of whom are also teenagers who have been bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Bernstein wrote.
“Mr. Cameron, words casting negative judgments about LGBT people not only perpetuate prejudice in our wider society, but also hurt LGBT youth in particular. Some of your public comments about being LGBT have devastated us LGBT youth. We yearn to grow up in a world that provides us dignity and safety. That is our simple, most heartfelt dream.”
Bernstein concluded by confessing the actor’s words had cut him and his friends to the quick. “When I heard your comments, I personally felt you hated me – as did many other LGBT teens I know – without your having even met us. Please, Mr. Cameron, won’t you meet us when you’re in Ocean Grove at the end of the month?”
Cameron’s management had not issued a statement at press time.
Steven Goldstein, Chair of Garden State Equality, added, “If Kirk Cameron loves everyone as he says he does, including LGBT people, how could he say no to meeting these bullied LGBT teens coming to him in the spirit of conciliation? Kirk, turning down this invitation from some of society’s most wounded youth would be incompatible with kindness and unconditional love.”