Dissolving hatred in our society starts with each of us on an individual level. Whether we are straight, LGBT, black, white or all shades in between, if we want to heal hate among youth we must engage in a process of introspective exploration to reveal where we ourselves have held onto hatred, ignorance, fear, and anger. Amidst all this homophobic murder, and without dismissing accountability; even those of us who feel justified in our animosity towards those who hate, must forgive our judgments. Hate in any form is still hate and it contributes to its survival. In the story of the crucifixion (whether myth or fact) Jesus says himself, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Read more of Joseph Mannino’s essay in the Huffington Post