Today 5 years ago my brother took this picture for my first poster as a politician for my region. Some months later I got to the National Committee as the first Responsable of LGTBI in the history of an Spanish political party.
One of my biggest concerns was being HIV positive. It wasn't public. I still worked as a teacher and I was afraid that someone could use to harm my party and then it bring some work problems for me. I talked about with on of our representative in the Congress, Julio Lleonart, and he gave me all his support as a friend and as a college.
But it didn't last long. The party fell down into pieces after we lost all the representation in the Congress. In the meantime I lost a lot of Facebook friends and even real friends for political confrontations.
Our motto "What brings us together" was our motto. But already politician were dividing the society. It worked.
Now politics are just about making your followers hate your opponent. Say a couple of headlines that people can repeat in their conversations. Some winning arguments on a Facebook discussions were you can defeat the friend of your friend who posted some political article. Give an excuse to use their hate and anger against another politician.
My students in America used to say "I hate Donald Trump". I would answer "oh, so you support him?". They'd look at me like "are you crazy?!". Then I used to explain to them that politicians like him need hate to grow just like a plant needs water. The most hate you spread the most you support their ways of dividing the society.
My life changed the day I decided not to hate or to share anything on social media that could raise hate against anyone.
It also changed the day I stopped trying to be right or convince anyone about my views or to judge them for theirs.
This doesn't mean not to talk or to participate into politics. Then is when extremists really win. It is about getting involved from a place of kindness, respect and compassion. Not seeking revenge in your opponents.
Give it a try :)