A self-confessed paedophile who wrote an article asking people to be understanding of his 'sexual orientation' has penned a new article addressing his critics, titled: 'I'm a paedophile, you're the monsters.'
Todd Nickerson, a freelance graphic designer from Tennessee, published his first article on popular online magazine Salon on 21 September.
In the article, he explained how he believes his molestation as a child is the reason he is now sexually attracted to young girls, and mentioned his membership of the 'Virtuous Paedophiles' forum - an online community of paedohpiles who have vowed never to act on their sexual urges.
Prior to joining this forum, which he now moderates, he said he was a member of an "unhealthy paedophile forum", populated by people he described as 'pro-contacters' - paedophiles who believe that sexual activity with children should be legal.
He said he used to tentatively hold this view himself, but has now renounced it - instead committing to a life as a celibate paedophile.
He finished the post by asking readers to understand paedophiles' urges: "Please, be understanding and supportive," he wrote."
"It's really all we ask of you. Treat us like people with a massive handicap we must overcome, not as a monster. If we are going to make it in the world without offending, we need your help."
The article was shared and commented upon thousands of times, mostly by people outraged at Nickerson's views.
A backlash also immediately followed in the media, with articles on right-wing political site Breitbart calling Nickerson's articles "self-pitying" and criticising him for not reporting his 'pro-contact' forum members to the police.
Now, Nickerson has published a second article, called: 'I'm a paedophile, you're the monsters: My week inside the vile right-wing hate machine'.
Nickerson claims that since the first publication, he has received hundreds of emails, 95 per cent of them "thoughtful and respectful".
Hitting back at his critics, Nickerson says that forcing paedophiles to keep their urges a secret is bad for their potential victims, writing: "If kids are harmed because some paedophiles weren't able to come forward and seek help in this apocalyptic environment, well then, they're just collateral damage."
He thanks those who supported him, said he and his critics both have the "mutual goal of keeping kids safe", and writes: "I hope you come to see that I'm not your enemy."