I’m angry and I’m tired.
This Saturday a horrendous act happened. A man walked into a gay night club with full intent of shooting and killing a lot of people there. He succeeded. 49 of my brothers and sisters died. I say brothers and sisters, because we are a community. I have never met them, and probably never would have, and now I never will. It doesn’t change my emotions though.
I am tired. Tired of people not getting why my community is tired. Tired of people not getting how something like a club could be a place where we feel safe. Tired of people not getting what it’s like to not feel safe at every moment in your life. Surely if you can’t wrap your head around why a club is a safe place for us, you will never truly get our feelings. Some people will never get how we never feel safe. How we need to consider a coming-out in every new social situation. Is it worth it? Are there people who would pose a threat? Who would harm us? Are there people who would be mad, angry, scared of us? A lot of people will never realize how difficult a coming-out is. It isn’t just one moment where we announce who we are. It is a continuous proces, one that is never over. Every new situation calls for a new coming out, and at every single one of them we need to ensure our own safety, because who knows what kind of reaction we could get.
I am tired. Tired of a society that molded, and created the killer who ended so many lives. I am tired of people saying they’re fine with people being gay, but in no way will acknowledge the fact that during the Orlando massacre the people killed were my brothers and sisters. I’m tired of people ignoring that the brothers and sisters we lost of of the Latinx and Black community. Don’t let their lives be gone in vain. Remember them. Remember them well. I really am tired. And I really am angry. Laws have been made to keep us from certain rights. Tired of religious leaders, and political leaders calling us perverts and second-rate citizens. Tired of a society that helped shape the events that happened this weekend. It is because of political leaders who shout homophobic remarks into the world. It is because of political leaders who get so much money from the NRA that someone who was seen as mentally unstable was able to buy an assault rifle, one that was military grade. A gun that could fire near 50 bullets a minute.
My brothers and sisters died. Their lives ended too soon. They died because of a society that has homophobia in its core. Self-acceptance is difficult, everyone in our community knows that. Rumor has it that the shooter might have been gay. He was seen at Pulse before, and even had gay dating apps. If this is true then I am sad that he felt so angry and confused about who he was that he got mad at the mere sight of two men kissing. That is what sparked it. He got so mad that he bought weapons used to kill. And he did.
I have a message to my community who now keeps sharing #WeAreOrlando. I thank you, I feel you and I share your emotion. However, keep the following in mind. We are Orlando, but only when we also address the homophobia so ingrained in our own community. The very same homophobia that may have led to this event. Keep in mind that We Are Orlando, but only when we keep our trans brothers and sisters in our ranks. Keep in mind that We Are Orlando when the very gay rights movement was started by our trans brothers and sisters of colour. Keep in mind that We Are Orlando when you see that the part our community hurt the most are our brothers and sisters of colour, our Latinx and Black brothers and sisters. Keep in mind that We Are Orlando when choosing actual LGBTQ icons in our media, instead of straight white men. Keep in mind that we are more than that. We are a family, we are a community. We’re more than this straight acting white men only idea that so many of you have.
To the rest of the world. Please do not use the Orlando Massacre as a reason to get even more islamophobic than you already are. This was an ect of terror and hate. Yes, ISIS claimed the attack. Yes, the shooter was of Middle Eastern descent. He was however, according to his ex-wife and father, not religious. He was a weak man, enlisted by the biggest hate group the world has seen today. Feel sorry for people like this. Don’t hate them. Don’t believe the media shouting islamophobic remarks at you. This had nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with homophobia.
It has to end. The world needs to change. It needs acceptance.
We’re here. We’re not leaving.
This was a featured post not written by Ingrid, but her friend Ezra.