A Dying Shame

"Fallen Crowns" West Hollywood, California 2015

Yesterday, 49 people were killed in a gay nightclub in the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history. Some people say this atrocity was a terrorist attack. I disagree. I believe what happened was a hate crime pure and simple — a slight heightening of what plays out against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people on a day to day basis all over the world. The shooter simply gave himself an excuse to justify the murder of innocent LGBT people by associating himself with a vast array of terror organizations. And why shouldn’t he? The religious right, Republicans, and other extremist conservatives, here in America who wish to deny LGBT citizens our basic civil rights and talk about us as though we were less than them, brush off their hatred of us as excusable because their “God” and their “Bible" tells them it’s okay, and we in the LGBT community and those who say they are our allies have allowed it. We have allowed ourselves to believe that there is a debate to be had over the well being of the LGBT community. I’m here to tell you there is no debate! And we cannot legitimize extremist hatred by engaging them as though there were a debate to be had! Every single LGBT person on this planet is fearfully and wonderfully made — perfect in our desires for the same sex or the need to change our sex to express our true gender identity. For far too long we have sequestered ourselves from the rest of society — given ourselves gay bars as sanctuaries — places where we can express our nature without fear of reproach. We’ve accepted our gay ghettos as havens from the straight world. But protecting ourselves is only partially the truth. The other truth is that we’ve believed that we should be sequestered away — that it was right for us to shield straight people from feeling uncomfortable by witnessing our love and the truth of our natures. However, it’s long past time we take a stand and say — NO MORE! Once again, I tell you there is no debate! Anyone who would take away our right to marry, to express our love publicly, discriminate against us in the workplace or our state of residence, keep us from using the bathroom appropriate to our gender identity, or who would support the oppression of gay people not just in America but anywhere on our planet is not a viable adversary in conversation. There is no conversation anymore, and there never should have been from the start! We LGBT individuals are not sinners. We are not a mutation. We are not less than. If there is a heaven we aren’t just going there, we’re going to be the ones decorating the damn place! We are no different from our straight brethren in any area other than our sexual and gender preferences. And to take a vicious act against us and turn it into a terrorist attack because that was the excuse a bigot shooter gave himself should not be tolerated. BUT if we are determined to do so, then we need to talk about the constant threat that the LGBT community is under here in America and around the globe by the religious right, Republicans, and extremists conservatives who use the same excuse to treat us with a slightly less vicious hate every day, but no less a hate that has cost far more than a mere 49 lives over the last few decades! No, my friends, that calculated and insidious hate by the religious right, Republicans, and extremist conservatives has cost our community millions of lives! From AIDS to suicide to murder we have been in the middle of a LGBT genocide for years, and we have sat back and accepted it! We absolutely need to do something about gun regulations in our country. If you feel the second amendment means you should be able to own a gun — fine! There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with regulating gun ownership, however. Even if it saves one life, more gun control would be worth it. However, while we push our senators and congressmen and political parties to do the right thing with regards to gun control, we must not let them forget the act of hate against our community on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. If we let them brush it off as simply terrorism and not the hate crime that it was, than that blood that was spilled is not just on the hands of the shooter, it ends up on our hands, as well. Because until we stand up against the hate that has been excused for far too long in this country, the massacre of our LGBT community continues on.

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