This was posted on my Facebook earlier today. I am posting it here for people I know that don’t have Facebook, and for a record of my feelings surrounding this tragic event.
I want to publicly thank everyone who has been in contact with me or Josh in the past two days. The events in Orlando put us in a bad place, and we appreciate your love.
That said, there are things that are bothering me about what happened that I want to share.
I’m sure you’ve seen many politicians and religious leaders with a great deal of influence that would have you believe that this was a terrorist attack on all Americans. They would have you believe that a tougher immigration policy and more surveillance would’ve prevented this. Those people are wrong.
This was an attack on the queer and trans communities by a US citizen that purchased his weapon legally.
The terrorist in this case targeted queer and trans people, and acted without support from an organization. The only thing that would prevented this would’ve been tougher gun restrictions, and a culture that didn’t demonize anyone that isn’t cisgendered or heterosexual. Not to mention his wife, who was fully aware of his plans and didn’t report it.
I’m angry at the person who did this, but I’m also angry at the people that would erase the identities of the victims. This is the largest mass shooting in the US, and the largest targeted act of violence against queer people. The majority of people that died were not only queer, but also POC.
All of these communities are constantly under attack from our political system, whether it is being denied employment because of their sexuality, being denied public restrooms that match their gender identify, being profiled for the color of their skin, or sweeping generalizations based on assumed nationality, faith, and immigration status.
You know what the part about this that sucks the most? Nothing will happen. Someone shot kids in an elementary school a few years ago and our gun laws didn’t change. The laws didn’t change because there is a culture of fear, and people care more about their material possessions more than the life of a stranger. I don’t expect the same politicians that called my relationship a moral threat a week ago to change their minds on gun laws after gays were shot in a club.
I want a next step, something to make the world better after this. I just don’t know what can be done. I feel like the silence from the majority of straight people I know represents the attitude of the general public.