Dear The Daily Beast & Nico Hines,
While we do not know each other, our paths have been crossed in the worst of ways. This letter is to explain to you the consequence of outing people. I understand you have apologized and since removed your immoral article from your publication, but that doesn't solve the problem. Consider this an educational moment. My advice to you: listen and understand.
You are a writer. You've been writing your whole life. You are passionate about your writing. Over the years, you've shared some of your writing with others but you've also kept some of it to yourself. That's just the nature of what you do. You're writing your life's story and some it is public.
Then, one day, a stranger steals your story and shares it before it's finished. This devastates you because you've been working on your life's story and are proud of some of it and are still trying to improve other areas. You feel violated, betrayed, scared and forced into sharing an unfinished story.
Everyone around you starts asking questions you weren't prepared to answer. Your reaction and feelings are valid. You have been wronged.
What I just described is exactly what you did to the LGBT athletes at the Olympics in Rio.
You stole their life's story and prematurely shared it.
You forced yourself into a situation you had no right to be in. You used others for your own gain.
Newsflash: You are The Daily Beast and Nico Hines. Did you think this story was going to take you to the next level of journalism? Make a name for yourself? Earn you a Pulitzer? The answer is no.
We live in a world that is filled with violence, hate, discrimination, stereotypes and all sorts of things that shouldn't exist. Do you know what can fight those negative influences in life? Ethical and morally sound journalism. You have the responsibility and opportunity to share compelling stories that impact the world in a positive way. Instead, you threw it away and chased after click baits. You were willing to compromise your own values and morals to get views.
I've been outed before. While it did not ruin my life, it did have negative consequences on myself and those around me. Everyone has their story to tell and should be empowered to control it.
I hope and pray that you, your wife and your children never have their story taken from them.
You have potential. Change the world. Write compelling stories.
The Gay Catholic
My name is Aaron Jay Ledesma.
I'm from Houston, Texas.