I’ve had a heavy heart since I heard about what happened in Orlando. I’ve tried to write about it, but nothing does it justice. I think I’m close now. NOTE: I recognize that there are people I love who will not agree with what I am about to say. I hope they will continue to love me anyway, and maybe even take something from it. Or block me. That’s okay, too.
In fact, I love most of the people I know (whether we’re on the same page or not), and quite a few of them are members of the LGBT community. As heavy as my heart is for this beautiful group of people, it pales in comparison because I don’t truly know.I did not grow up surrounded by people who would shame or hurt me for something as simple as love. Although I actually was bullied and called gay a lot growing up – I never thought being gay was bad (I’m not gay, still) but I guess they did. But yeah, people don’t get killed for being straight or … not that I know of.
Though it’s very important to talk about the epidemic of gun violence in America and talk about solutions – because it can’t go on like this, it simply cannot – we need to also mend the heartache of the fact that THIS WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST A HATE CRIME, AND NOT THE FIRST AGAINST THE LGBT COMMUNITY.
Let’s talk about the fact that most of this gun violence has been caused by straight, white men. (For that matter, check the stats on who’s doing the raping in our country). For a lot of people, that’s probably an uncomfortable thought.
Let’s talk about why we’re so damned afraid of the LGBT community, and let’s please not hide behind the bible while we do it. Because people are quick to quote scriptures about what is right or wrong, but conveniently overlook the ones about loving your neighbor and loving your enemies no matter how they slight you. Your neighbors … the people you share this world with. A lot of them fall into the LGBT category.
And if you still believe they will go to Hell and think it’s okay to say hateful things and even joke about it, it’s time to shut up and let God decide that later. It’s His call, not Yours.
While we’re at it, let’s start defending all of our fellow Americans – regardless of skin color or religious ideology or orientation – against the hateful prejudices fueling all this senseless killing.
In fact, let’s have the gall to admit our prejudices. Get it out in the open, so we can figure out why we’re so hung up on a group of people that any of us would single out and slaughter a room full of them. And then when we figure it out, we put in the work to get over it.
Tolerance is a crappy goal – it’s lazy. Tolerating something sounds like it has a time limit. How about acceptance instead? It’s simple to do.
As people, we can do so much better than this.