Yesterday an armed gunman walked into a gay bar in Orlando, Florida and killed 50 people. 53 more were injured in what is now being described as the worst mass shooting in American history.
The reason the man did this is apparently that he saw two men kiss about a month ago and felt so angered that he decided it was the reasonable thing to do to shut up a gay bar full of unarmed people who just wanted to dance.
This level of hatred towards people just because they love each other is nothing less than pure insanity. But sadly I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve had the feeling for quite a while that such an attack on the LGBTQ community was going to happen eventually.
Whether it is from Christian or Muslim extremists, neo-nazis or just random people on the street, there is a lot of hate directed towards us.
But the thing is: they can’t defeat us. Homosexuality and bisexuality exist in at least five hundred species and has been around for millions of years. LGBTQ people have been around since the dawn of humanity. Whether or not these extremists like it, we are part of this world just as much as them. We have a right to be here, and enjoy being here, just as much as they do.
We are their sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, non-binary relatives, cousins, co-workers, neighbours etc. We are here and we are NOT going away.
They can choose to hate us. They can try to destroy us. But they will fail. Because we won’t let them.
Many extremists of all kind may be rejoicing right now, thinking that this means we will now hide away. Stop being out and proud. Stop parading at Pride and fighting for our rights. But they’re wrong.
This gutless coward who thought he was some sort of hero for shooting unarmed people has harmed us, it’s true. The LGBTQ community all over the world is mourning with their siblings in Orlando. But thousands of years of oppression has hardened us. We will rise again, like a phoenix always rises back from the ashes.
And we sure as hell won’t stop dancing, no matter how many bigots wish we would.
If you wish to help the victims of this heinous crime, please consider donating to the Pulse shooting victim’s fund