"People make mistakes. I have made many in my life, but this past week I have made more than I can count on one hand.
I am sorry. And I mean it. No one is forcing me to write this. I am not feeling pressured to say this. I am speaking out because I realize that the last few days have been more hurtful to me - and many others - than the repeated blows I suffered to my head in Toronto this past weekend.
I have been filled with incredible sadness and regret.
I am sorry that any good work I have done for promoting equality may be tainted by me reclaiming a hurtful word - that's been personally used against me and the gay community - to hurt someone that was verbally attacking me. It was stupid.
Apologizing for me is not easy. Writing this was not easy. Life is not easy. But everything happens for a reason and I will take away a lot of valuable lessons from this experience.
Violence is never the answer. Never.
Victims should not be mocked.
The "F" word will never be uttered from my lips again. Just as others use the "N" word to insult and hurt - or as part of their everyday speech - I challenge them to remove it from their vocabulary as well.
Hindsight is always 20/20, they say. I should have been the bigger man and walked away from an unfortunate situation. Instead, I chose - in a very misguided way - to stand up for myself and only made things worse by how I - under pressure, anger and extreme emotion - handled the situation.
I am sorry.
I am NOT apologizing to GLAAD. I could care less about them, my former employers.
I am apologizing to the gay community, to anyone who was hurt by my choice of words, and to all the people who have ever emailed me to thank me for all that I have done to fight for gay rights over the last few years.
I have reached out to Isaiah Washington, someone I incorrectly labeled a homophobe in the past, despite his own public statements that he was not.
I will be donating any money collected from my lawsuit against Polo Molina, road manager for the Black Eyed Peas, to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.