It’s no secret that homophobia is still rife in many parts of the world. Even in the USA, where gay marriage is legal in every state, openly gay public figures can face vitriol and abuse. Such is life for politicians like Brian Sims, who lives his life in a role that normally lends itself to criticism or harassment – and that’s before you add sexuality into the mix. But one day, he decided to hit back at one of his abusers with an absolutely golden response. You’ll want to stick around for this one.
On the Venn diagram of politics and homosexuality, there’s still very little crossover, even in North America. Indeed, while every single state has now been served in some way by an LGBT politician, their numbers are still few and far between in the grand scheme of things.
Nevertheless, with same sex marriage legalized across the country, today’s political climate is far more tolerant than that of just a decade or two ago. And so, more and more public figures, like politicians, have embraced their sexuality with open arms. One such politician is Brian Sims.
Sims, who hails from Washington DC, is 38 years old. After spending his youth traveling around the country, he eventually settled down in Pennsylvania. Before moving into politics, he worked for the Philadelphia Bar Association after earning his law degree.
By 2012, Sims had been elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 182nd district, claiming the accolade of Pennsylvania’s first openly gay elected state legislator. He was no stranger to setting benchmarks, however, having previously been the NCAA’s only openly gay college football captain.
Over the course of his time in office, Sims has unfortunately – yet inevitably – received some backlash over his sexuality. Some of this has come through in full public view via his Facebook page, which he maintains and posts from regularly.
In April 2017, Sims posted a screenshot to his page of an inflammatory message that someone had left on his timeline. The message, which could be considered offensive by anybody with a conscience, used words traditionally intended as a slur for African Americans and gay people.
Of course, there were plenty of ways that Sims could have responded to this hateful message. For instance, he could easily have just lashed out at the guy with a remark of his own. Or, he could have just taken the high ground and ignored it. Then, however, the insidious commenter may have thought his words acceptable.
Instead, then, Sims decided that he was going to have to respond – but his response would need careful thought and consideration to really hit home. To that end, he was going to have to put some effort into it. And what he came up with is absolutely golden.
Sims began by doing a little research on the man who’s launched such a vicious written assault at him. Indeed, he opened up the guy’s Facebook page – and that’s when he noticed that the man in question had publicly posted his grandmother’s telephone number to his timeline, on several occasions.
By now, a cunning plan was clearly forming in Sims’ head. And, like any shrewd politician, he decided to tackle this problem head on, using his own initiative. His resulting response is the absolute stuff of legend.
In a public comment reply to the original message, Sims wrote: “David, I can’t tell if you’re really a dumb little boy or an angry bigot, but I know for sure that you shouldn’t have posted your grandmother’s telephone number on your Facebook page so many times.”
You can probably tell what’s coming next – and it’s even more astonishing than you might think. Indeed, Sims had apparently called the guy’s grandmother. “She [your grandmother] and I just had a very disappointing chat about you,” he continued. “We’ll talk soon…”
In addition to winning over plenty of fans in Philadelphia, it’s clear that Sims is an expert at defusing these kinds of situations. No doubt, he’s had to do so several times over the course of his career, if this guy is anything to go by. But the best part about it all is just how savage his response was.
Indeed, we can only imagine what went down in that conversation between Sims and the guy’s grandmother. But whatever the case, it’s safe to say that it would have been absolutely priceless – particularly if she was as disappointed as Sims made her out to be.
And so, clearly not one to let an opportunity like this slide by, Sims took a screenshot of the entire interaction and posted it to his Facebook page. There, it gained thousands of reactions from people, most of who were in absolute disbelief that this kind of attitude could still prevail in 2017 – and, of course, at Sims’ genius response.
He quickly assured people that the conversation between the pair was genuine, however. One commenter, Jordan Ashley Preiser, posted incredulously: “True story?????!!!!” And Sims, cool as anything, replied: “Absolutely. She was pretty frustrated.”
Of course, people were quick to voice their support for Sims. Paul Katami wrote: “Loved you before and love you more now!!!” Rob Shwetz, meanwhile, posted: “I’m not even American and loved this so much, I just peed a tiny bit.”
Indeed, it’s clear from his Facebook page that Sims is very much a man of the people. After all, there are hundreds of photos of him out meeting local citizens. It’s no wonder, then, that so many people were so quick to celebrate his legendary response.
As one commenter pointed out, however, it was also admirable that the guy’s grandmother looked so harshly on the language her grandson used. After all, she no doubt grew up in a different time, when “both of these words were used commonly and without repercussion,” wrote Pete Bohan.
And, let’s not forget, being told off by a grandparent is basically the worst kind of being told off. Daniel Burt wrote: “That was a very clever and classy response, Brian. There’s nothing quite like being told off by a grandparent for irresponsible (or vile) behavior.”
It may well be 2017, but tragically, politicians like Brian Sims still face harassment over their sexuality on a daily basis. Thankfully, this Democrat knew exactly how to shut down the vitriol he received from one particularly spiteful commenter. And it’s hard not to agree that his response was the stuff of legend.