September 30, 2014

Dear Rob Ford.

Dear Robbie,

The day you got voted in back in 2010, I came home and cried.

I had come to Toronto because of the diversity and openness. I had only been in Toronto for a few months when you got voted in. I’d only just heard your name, and didn’t really know much about you. But the small bits and pieces I’d seen of you showed me that you seemed to be homophobic, racist, generally bigoted, and so confrontational and argumentative that you’d likely be impossible to work with.

And, well, over the past 4 years, you’ve pretty much proven all of those things to be true.

And I’ve hated you for all of it.

Amongst my close friends, I’d openly say that if you dropped dead from your tumours, from your drug and alcohol abuse, or from walking out onto the street and getting hit by a streetcar… Well, that couldn’t happen soon enough and I’d be the first to dance on your grave. Thinking about you made me feel such rage, anger, and hatred… But I also felt that something was wrong. That it was not good, nor healthy to look forward to someone’s death like this. But I couldn’t help but feel the way I felt about you.

You see, Rob, you represent everything I’ve had to fight against my whole life. I saw you, and I was able to put all of these shitty things I’ve had to deal with every day and parcel them into you. So if you died, if you went away, part of me thought that maybe all of those shitty things would go away, too.

You, and people like you, foster such hatred and separation and discrimination… You are perpetrators of all of these things, Robbie - but ultimately, today, I see that you are also a victim here.

You have lived a privileged existence. You are white. You are straight. You are male. You are rich. In our culture, you’ve got all the trump cards, buddy. How could someone like you be a victim?

But yet, you are. I don’t know what happened to you, Robbie. But someone in your life made you hate yourself. Someone in your life made you believe that you’re not good enough and that you’ll never be. And you have internalized all of this and believe it yourself. Your racism, your homophobia, your belligerence, your need to always be right… All of these things come from the fact that you hate yourself, you feel defective, and you need to put others down and always be right lest people see the truth about you.

But I see you today, Rob.

I see the truth. 

I see how much you hate yourself. Only someone who hates themselves, only someone who believes that they are not enough will try to numb those feelings with drug abuse, “drunken stupors”, and throwing out such rage and hatred at the world.

And shit, buddy. I feel sorry for you. You keep trying to numb the pain, but ultimately, you’re just hurting yourself. You’re not cutting yourself with a knife, but you might as well be. I’ve never abused drugs and alcohol, but I’ve hurt myself in other ways over and over again - so I get it. Self-hatred is it’s own form of maddening torture. But ultimately, you’re hurting yourself because you don’t know any other way.

I get it, man. Someone god knows how long ago told you at a vulnerable age that you’re shit, that you’re useless, that you’ll never be good enough, and who knows what else.

And I get it because I’ve been there, guy. 

Can you believe it, Robbie? You and I have something in common. 

You, a straight, rich white guy - have something in common with me - a gay, not-rich brown guy. In some ways, you actually have it worse than I ever did. As a gay, not-rich brown guy, I can only do so much to hurt myself. But you? You - with all your privilege and wealth… You have the means to REALLY fuck yourself over. And clearly, this is one credit card you’ve maxed the fuck out of.

WE have something in common.

Shit. 

You probably don’t believe it, and neither do I. Yet here we are. Mix our blood from our wounds in a cup, and it’d all look the same. 

So today, I’m putting down my hatchet. I wish you would, too…

But I know you’re not ready to. Frankly, I don’t know if you’ll ever be ready to before you really do die. And it’s sad. Because if you don’t stop hurting yourself before you die? Well - that just means that whoever hurt you long ago… They win.

So in October on Election Day, I of course won’t be voting for you. I hope you and your brother lose for the good of the city.

But ultimately? I just hope you eventually stop hating yourself. I’ve spent a good chunk of my life living that way, and now that I don’t, I couldn’t imagine going back to living like that again.

So Robbie? 

I hope that you stop cutting yourself soon, buddy.

Cheers,
Ruban