12 June 2016

Our PULSE Beats On

CNN reports that his father says he was deeply upset by seeing two men kissing in front of his family a couple months ago.

I do not care what religion or nationality the killer was (even if that's all the media and far too many anti-LGBT politicians can talk about). Those factors have nothing to do with this at all. Get that straight first. He was just as likely to be a white, 5th generation American, "christian" with stupidly poorly restricted access to stupidly unnecessary guns, especially at this point in our ignorant, violent, prejudice-driven history. And do NOT make this all about ISIS, because that would be a huge cop-out from admitting what good old American hate does to people all on its own, which still lacks some serious admitting." All Americans" are not feeling the effects of this attack. "All Americans" are not condemning it. "All Americans" are not "standing together" in the face of it. I guaranfuckingtee you that a whole lot of Americans are saying "'they' had it coming." And ignoring that is as cowardly as the act itself.

For all the admonishments I've already seen to not let it matter not only who the killer was but who the victims were or his motive for killing THEM, sorry, you're just wrong. And if you're straight, you need to think really hard about that, because it's an insulting level of privilege. When 50 people are killed solely because they are who I AM, "why" matters. We don't just share hobbies or interests; we might share none. We share a single characteristic that we can do nothing about. It doesn't make us more likely to have cancer or freckles or some kind of allergy; it ONLY makes us more likely to be beaten and tied to a fencepost in rural Wyoming or shot in a nightclub in Orlando or subject to a million acts of violence in between... for nothing more than living our lives openly and honestly and with a modicum of self-esteem and self-respect. If I lived in Orlando and felt like going out, this is the kind of place I would go. If you know me and care about me, understand that, because it's not limited to a specific city or state or building. This attitude is rampant, especially right now, this ridiculous hatred of LGBT+ people.

When you see this hate sanctioned in a hundred ways every day, by everybody from businesses to churches to states to friends and family, "why" absolutely matters. If you hate "gays" (or transgender or bisexual people) or go around saying stupid shit like "I don't hate anybody, but it's just wrong" or "I don't hate anybody but I don't want them in the bathroom with me" -- or you hate or fear BEing "gay" and let the people around you dictate to you whom it's "acceptable" for you to LOVE -- you fuel the environment that makes this more likely. You condone the hate and shame and the false, empty idea that there's any basis for it. It could happen anyway, but I guarantee you that the nasty attitude and gas thrown on it simply because more of us can get married anywhere now makes me feel a lot more at risk of being one of these victims than I would be if the bigots among us would all just quit being bigots.

But it still doesn't make me wish I weren't gay, because there's not a fucking thing wrong with me. Get that through your heads, too. I will continue to be gay and happy and entirely at peace with myself and only because of that, able to live in a way that I can and will continue to be loving toward all other groups, since we insist on having "groups," including the groups of you who hate me for being me. My "gay" doesn't hurt anybody. Bias hurts everybody.

I will be at a table at Twin Cities Pride the weekend after next (6/25-26), Loring Park. Feel free to stop by. I AM gay, couldn't change it for you if I wanted to and don't want to. For anybody who has wondered why LGBT+ people have "Pride" festivals -- THIS is exactly why, and Pulse will continue to beat in all of us. Some of you break my heart, but I will not let anybody's cowardly, ignorant, wasted hate shame me or scare me. See you there.