I am so sad right now for my queer brothers and sisters in Florida.
But I’m also outraged.
We—the LGBTQ community—have been under siege for decades. From the 15,000+ homosexuals killed in the Holocaust under the Third Reich, the continual police raids on Stonewall Inn; to the brutal beating and death of Matthew Shepard; to the victims of The Upstairs Lounge whom churches in NoLa refused to hold services for or bury; to Jenny Jones Show guest Scott Amedure; to the thousands of LGBT youth who take their own lives and the hundreds of other gay, bi, and trans people who are routinely attacked; and finally to yesterday’s shooting at Pulse in Orlando.
“The religion of Islam hates homosexuals.”
Well, Christianity hates them just as much.
“Muslim extremism caused this.”
No. Still-rampant homophobia and transphobia did. The religion of the nutjob mass murder is irrelevant. Christians have been killing us for decades.
“Our prayers are with you.”
No! No! Just stop! You can keep your prayers. Stuff them back in your bigoted prayer-holes. (I’m directing this to the Kim Davises, Mike Huckabees, Rick Santorums, Pat McCrorys of the world, not to our truly compassionate, loving Christian friends, who grieve with us and mourn our losses as their own.)
Fear, ignorance, and hatred caused this—the same kind of hate stoked by the Family Research Council and American Family Association, Christian organizations deemed hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
By the continued existence of gay-conversion “therapy” that is condemned by the American Psychological Association and that recently affected the relative of a celebrity.
By North Carolina and Houston anti-LGBT legislation.
By Rick Santorum comparing us to animal rapists.
By Justice Antonin Scalia’s hateful opinions and statements from the bench of the SCOTUS.
And by the fact that my wife and I have been a couple for 13+ years, were engaged in 2009, and were legally wed in 2013, and have only had that marriage recognized and legalized across America for 353 days.
Stop Focusing on Religion
A mentally ill Muslim slays 49 of us, and you’re outraged about ISIS? Of course you are. It’s so much easier to focus on a “them” than the virulent strain of overt and subtle anti-LGBT hate that has infected our very own nation. This man was an American. He grew up here, was exposed to the same society that spawned the atrocious, cruel congregation of Westboro Baptist. Even if he were “self-radicalized” by terroristic Islamic ideology, his homophobia wasn’t borne of Mohammed. It was borne of ‘Murica.
I love my country. I think we do a lot of stupid things, and we’re no longer the example of human rights and decency we once were. But I am a proud American. Our brothers and sisters killed and injured in Orlando are Americans. And Omar Mateen was an American.
The culture of these United States that marginalized its gay citizens for years and still seeks to deprive us of our freedoms and liberties and call for our deaths—an entire culture and media that are overwhelmingly Christian-influenced—heavily shaped this killer’s homophobia far more than going to mosque for an hour or two a week did. We didn’t blame Christianity when Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people—including children.
So don’t you dare blame this on Islam.
It’s time we stop pointing a finger toward Mecca and take a hard look at the three fingers pointing back at ourselves and how we fail to condemn bigotry in every form. How many in our society “Yeah, but…” the actions of Kim Davis or dismiss the boycott of Target because of the stores’ LGBT inclusivity policies? How many of us remain silent when spiteful politicians support laws that take away our rights, wound our dignity, and compromise our safety?
“Why do you have to have gay pride parades?”
This. This is exactly why. Love will win, yes. But make no mistake: We will not be silenced. We will not back down. We will not hesitate to fight for our very right to exist.
Make a difference: Donate to your LGBT brothers and sisters and their families.