Tampa Man Threatened To ‘Wipe Out Whole Gay Community’

Ralph Perkins (mugshot via Tampa Police)

A 50-year-old Florida man has been arrested after threatening to commit a mass shooting against the LGBTQ community in Tampa, Florida.

From The Gaily Grind:

Ralph Perkins was arrested Wednesday on a charge of making a written threat to conduct a mass shooting and is currently being held without bail in the Hillsborough County jail.

According to the arrest report, Perkins made the threats Monday after his offer for an unidentified person to move in with him was rejected.

“I like to take a gun I like to wipe the whole gay community out in Tampa and then kill myself,” Perkins wrote via a grammatically incorrect text message on his phone. “That’s going to be my ultimate present to Tampa Florida is the annihilator the gay community before I kill myself.”

Officers confirmed that Perkins sent the threats from his phone and took him into custody just after midnight Wednesday.

Perkins’s angry comment was apparently spurred by being rejected by another man on Grindr.

No weapons were found during Perkins’ arrest, but a spokesperson for Tampa Police told the Tampa Bay Times, “We cannot predict what he would have done had he not been arrested.”

The Times also notes that Perkins is a registered sex offender

Teen’s Heartbreaking Letter To Homophobic Parents Goes Viral

Kent Mendez (image via Instagram)

A gay teen shared a heartbreaking note he left his parents explaining why he had to leave home after they rejected him for coming out as gay.

The letter, penned by 19-year-old Kent Mendez, was shared on Twitter Monday and quickly went viral. At this writing, the post has been retweeted 15,000 times.

“There hasn’t been a day where I haven’t cried or struggled to find the energy to get out of bed,” begins Mendez. “This doesn’t feel like a home and I don’t think it ever will.”

“You have accused me of being a bad person, of being an embarrassment, and telling me I have a psychological disorder,” he continues. “I don’t think you guys will ever understand what it’s like to hear that from your own parents and how harmful and damaging it is to a child.”

Mendez goes on to share the ways his parents “used money” to “control” and “suppress who I am,” from forcing him to choose between his happiness or his education to forcing him to watch videos “to make me feel ashamed of who I am and who I love.”

“The other day you asked me what parents were for: Parents are supposed to love an accept their children unconditionally,” writes the teen in one of the most affecting passages. “That’s all I asked for but sadly I guess I asked for too much.”

After detailing his journey of self-acceptance, he tells his parents, “I refuse to live a lie, not for you or anyone.”

He closes the note writing, “I’m leaving because I refuse to become another statistic.”

The response on Twitter has been overwhelmingly positive.

He followed up by telling his Twitter followers, “I’m not sharing this for pity or for attention, but because I know there are people out there just like me who are scared and stuck in abusive homes and I want to be an example that you’re never stuck and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

He also shares that he’s currently living with a friend, adding, “As f*cked up my life is right now I’m glad I’m finally in a place where I can laugh and crack jokes again.”

Tuesday morning, Mendez tweeted that his parents hadn’t contacted him since he left home.

He has launched a crowd-funding campaign to help him get through school.

On the GoFundMe campaign page, he explains he “made the decision to leave a very toxic environment for the sake of my mental health and happiness.”

His goal, for now, is to “at least attend community college and be able to get back on my feet.”