The Unmasked Community

Representative Diamond released an official statement supporting “the unmasked community.”

He repurposed PA Secretary of Health Dr. Levine’s eloquent statement supporting the LGBTQ+ community, but denies that he was mocking her. It’s hard to imagine why else he would have done that. But regardless, LGBTQ+ folks already face enough hate, ignorance, and bullying. Diamond’s actions, intentional or not, added to that. That he used his status as a public official only makes it more disgraceful.

The press release garnered a lot of attention for Representative Diamond, including national stories. That may benefit him personally in some ways. However, those stories cast him and, by extension, Lebanon County, in a very bad light.

And even more importantly, mocking the LGBTQ+ community/not wearing a mask doesn’t help the businesses in Lebanon County that are trying to reopen or stay open. It doesn’t help the community to stay healthy. Writing anti-science press releases does nothing to secure or replace the $13 million dollars in discretionary funding that Lebanon County lost, due to actions that Representative Diamond encouraged and supported.

I know some people are scared of losing their freedom. But wearing a mask means being free to go into a store or a restaurant. Wearing a mask means keeping our neighbors healthy. Our country’s Declaration of Independence declared three unalienable rights, but liberty is the second one. The first one is life. It’s hard to exercise your freedom when you’re dead.

So wear a mask correctly, wash your hands, and watch your distance. And vote Duvall in November.

Finally, the LGBTQ+ members in our community need our support, not actions that further the likelihood they will be harassed or discriminated against. LGBTQ+ youth, in particular, are more likely to experience bullying and harassment than their heterosexual peers. National organizations such as GLAAD and The Trevor Project and local ones like Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County and the Central PA LGBT Center provide educational and other resources to help.