When I first read that Josh Rivers was taking over as Editor at Gay Times Magazine I was overjoyed, the first non-white editor, the magazine and the community as a whole were moving in the right direction.
My joy like many other peoples was short lived when Tweets Rivers had sent out at least 3 years before were dragged from the depths and came back to haunt him. The tweets in question are nothing short of diabolical. What was perhaps more shocking was that some of the tweets were directed at his own community.
Gay Times were swift in their action and suspended Rivers from his Post pending investigation.
For me everyone deserves a second chance and I do not say this without acknowledgement that the content of those tweets has and likely will continue to cause offence to many who are the subject of hatred from the outside world and do not need hatred coming from those within their own midst.
I say he deserved a second chance because I know I have said unsavory things towards the LGBT+ community, living as an Evangelical Christian for most of my life made that inevitable. I for one know what I said, am deeply ashamed and will stand up for every LGBT+ person I ever meet to make up for it.
The difference between Josh Rivers and I though is that I will stand in front of anyone I ever offended and I will admit that I consciously made those statements, yes I had been brain washed but those statements came from my lips and no one forced me to say the things that I said.
Josh River’s apology and subsequent interview with the BBC demonstrated to me that he was not quite ready to take ownership of his comments and give a rational and believable explanation. The fact that he went through a period of self-loathing could certainly add to the hatred he was spewing about others but the fact that he referred to “We” in the last line of his statement told me he was not quite holding himself accountable.
In his interview with the BBC he said, “I was stunned, I was confused. I spent most of my 20s in a daze, in a blur. I was not sober as much as I probably could have been.” The 31-year-old added: “I was lost, I was angry. I was upset, I was lonely. And I think those tweets are a reflection of someone lashing out at the world around him.” “They were cries for help.”
Cries for help they may well have been but River’s apology doesn’t scream out as genuine, it screams out as self-centered and self-preserving.
For me, most people deserve a second shot however they need to demonstrate that they are willing to accept their mistakes and learn from them. River’s claimed he asked of the tweets when he laid eyes on them, “I was appalled… I said who wrote that?”
Do you feel River’s was sincere in his apology and should he be forgiven?